Mozambique Happenings for accommodation, things to do and places to see in Mozambique

PEMBA AND QUERIMBA ARCHIPELAGO HISTORY

 

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THE QUERIMBA ARCHIPELAGO

Lies within Cabo Del Gado Province and consists of 32 coral islands stretching from the Rovuma River in the north, which forms the natural frontier between Tanzania and Mozambique to Pemba in the south. The area has never really been developed and remains an unexploited tourist paradise.

 

Pemba, formely Porto Amelia is the capital of Cabo Delgado province, and is situated 250kms south of the Tanzanian border. Pemba Bay is said to be the largest inland bay in the world. The mouth is only 2kms wide and the bay is 375 square kilometres in size and has a uniform depth of 25 metres. There are numerous stories of German submarines using Pemba Bay during World War 2, to re supply their U boats.

 

BORDER CROSSING / ROVUMA RIVER
The only border crossing from Tanzania that can be used by vehicles is at Namuiranga/ Mwambo where you cross the Rovuma River on a ferry.
This border post is open from 06h00 - 18h00 and the ferry can only take a maximum of 10 tonnes at high tide.
Please note that, although officially the ferry is meant to run every day ,this is not always the case.
During the dry season from August to December it can only operate at high tide when there is sufficient depth of water. This means that at neap tides it does not have enough water to do the crossing.
The Captain is not always on hand and has to be sent for, using one of the locals, this is normally when the water is too shallow to operate the ferry.
If you are planning a trip which involves this crossing, then plan your arrival to coincide with, preferably high spring tides.
During the rainy season the ferry is much more regular but the roads to the ferry can sometimes be impassable.The ferry will also not run when the Rovuma is in flood.
Another factor to be borne in mind is that because this is not a very busy border post, the officials on both sides of the border are not always on site and have to be sent for in order to attend to your exit and entry formalities.
The cost is around US$25,00 per vehicle.

PEMBA
Most visitors fly in to Pemba and there are 3 flights a week from Maputo. Flights are generally fully booked so forward planning is essential to prevent disappointment.

The road from Nampula to Pemba is negotiable by two wheel drive cars, although there are bad potholes on it.
This is a 520 km stretch of road with not very much in between, and 4x4 is recommended. The roads can be impassable in the rainy season. This option is not for the faint-hearted, but rather for those looking for more adventure and with plenty of time on their hands.

Praia da Wimbe is the well known and main resort area of Pemba.Wimbe is a few kms out of Pemba and with it's beautiful white sands and coconut trees all along the edge of crystal clear water - it certainly is a paradise of a holiday and vacation destination.
There are some fantastic diving reefs close to the shore, claimed by many divers to compare with the best anywhere in the world.

 

BORDER CROSSING / ROVUMA RIVER
The only border crossing from Tanzania that can be used by vehicles is at Namuiranga/ Mwambo where you cross the Rovuma River on a ferry.


This border post is open from 06h00 - 18h00 and the ferry can only take a maximum of 10 tonnes at high tide.
Please note that, although officially the ferry is meant to run every day ,this is not always the case.
During the dry season from August to December it can only operate at high tide when there is sufficient depth of water. This means that at neap tides it does not have enough water to do the crossing.
The Captain is not always on hand and has to be sent for, using one of the locals, this is normally when the water is too shallow to operate the ferry.


If you are planning a trip which involves this crossing, then plan your arrival to coincide with, preferably high spring tides.
During the rainy season the ferry is much more regular but the roads to the ferry can sometimes be impassable.The ferry will also not run when the Rovuma is in flood.
Another factor to be borne in mind is that because this is not a very busy border post, the officials on both sides of the border are not always on site and have to be sent for in order to attend to your exit and entry formalities.
The cost is around US$25,00 per vehicle.

 

PEMBA
Most visitors fly in to Pemba and there are 3 flights a week from Maputo. Flights are generally fully booked so forward planning is essential to prevent disappointment.

The road from Nampula to Pemba is negotiable by two wheel drive cars, although there are bad potholes on it.
This is a 520 km stretch of road with not very much in between, and 4x4 is recommended. The roads can be impassable in the rainy season. This option is not for the faint-hearted, but rather for those looking for more adventure and with plenty of time on their hands.

Praia da Wimbe is the well known and main resort area of Pemba.Wimbe is a few kms out of Pemba and with it's beautiful white sands and coconut trees all along the edge of crystal clear water - it certainly is a paradise of a holiday and vacation destination.
There are some fantastic diving reefs close to the shore, claimed by many divers to compare with the best anywhere in the world.

 

Pemba has shops selling basic supplies,as well as it's traditional markets, or bazaars, and it is here that you can find all sorts of wares at a negoitiable price.
Around the outskirts of Pemba, as indeed at most Mozambican towns, you can experience the "Bairros" (refered to as "Native Quarters" in the colonial days).
The best known Bairro in Pemba is Paqite Quete (pronounced "pakiti-ket") and there you can find a host of tradesmen, (basket weavers, boat builders, carpenters, jewellers and silversmiths, traders, sculptors called "esculturos", traditional healers and even smugglers) all conducting their daily business.

Fuel can be bought in Pemba and telephone services are also available.

 

THE MAKONDE PEOPLE;

Cabo Del Gado Province is home of the Makonde people. The Makonde are known as being fearless people and their initiation rituals are well known.When males of the Makonde people are initiated, they wear "Mapico" masks for the "Mapico dance", which is one of their most important dances.
Their cultural heritage is evidenced by their cosmetic practices, the women paint their faces with a white powdered root to soften the skin, as well as sharpening their teeth and tattooing their bodies and piercing their upper lips.
The Makonde are artists, particularly famous for their ivory and bony wood carvings, known as “Torture Art” in certain circles.
The art workshop in Pemba is where visitors and tourists can watch the carvings being done.

 

QUERIMBA ARCHIPELAGO;
Running parallel to the coast between Pemba and the Tanzanian border are a string of over 32 small islands that form the Querimba Archipelago.
This archipelago stretches 250 km's from Ilha Tecomaji in the
Baia de Tungwe in the north to Ilha Quipaco in the south.

 

IBO ISLAND;
Ibo is the main island having been used by the Portuguese as a trading post. There is an interesting old town on the island with some impressive 18th and 19th century houses facing the mainland, and two sturdy forts with their cannons facing the sea. The interior of the island is densely forested. Day and overnight trips on the islands can be arranged

 

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