Quirimbas Islands lie in the Indian Ocean off northeastern Mozambique, close to Pemba, the capital
of the province of Cabo Delgado. The archipelago
consists of about 27 islands, including Ibo, Matemo, Quilaluia, Quirimba, Quisiva and
home to fishing settlements, the islands'
population grew around Arab trading
posts and thrived under the Portuguese trading routes when it was known as the Ilhas de
Sao Lazaro (Islands of St.
Today, many of the islands are
The Quirimbas National Park
spanning an area of 7 500 km², includes the 11 most
southerly islands, which are partly surrounded by mangroves
. The park was established in 2002.
These islands are known for their high-quality diving sites,
including phenomenal drop-offs, some up to 400 meters.
World Heritage Status
outstanding natural and cultural value of the islands influenced
the archipelago to be put on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on August 20,
2008 in the Mixed (Cultural + Natural) Category.