Ilha Quisiva is an exclusive private Island vacation experience in the Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique and luxury yacht charter. Enjoy superb private luxury villas, exquisitely furnished, impeccable and unobtrusive service, fusion cuisine, tennis, spa and exceptional marine activities including fishing, scuba diving, kiteboarding, sailing and much more… Ilha Quisiva will be the first “international standard” marine resort of its kind in southern & eastern Africa offering fractional ownership and thereby the opportunity to share in a premium, 6-star eco island resort. Quisiva Island is located just north of Pemba in the PNQ (Parque Nacionale das Quirimbas) and is the perfect Island Getaway.
Our story began eons ago…perhaps as early as the 2nd century of the Christian era, when ancient Oriental and Arabic seafarers in their junks and dhows first made landfall on these mysterious African coasts between the spice islands of Zanzibar and the port town of Pemba in northern Mozambique. It was then that the first contact between the Swahili peoples and these strange eastern men begun. Men seeking Maluane cloth, indigo, spices, food, refuge and the limitless slaves, gold and ivory bounty of Africa…and so began this extraordinary confluence of cultures. From the west came the long voyages of Portuguese, Dutch, English and Frenchmen in their caravels, galleons and windjammers seeking lee shores and way stations in their fierce quest for trade and riches in the far-flung lands of the Maharajas and Emperors of the Orient.
In time, these explorers and colonists built their first small town on Ilha Ibo in the midst of this coral archipelago of 27 tropical islands strung out like green beads in a glittering blue sea - drawn here by the breathtaking beauty, exotic smells, endless breezy sunny days, rich sea harvests and fertile mainland teeming with game. These conquerors are now gone, their shackles thrown off - leaving behind their crumbling ramparts and echoes of the past from fading architecture, relics, artifacts and a unique blend of material and cultural influence: part African, part Asian, part Arabic and part European.
For those early pioneers, lying a day’s sail by dhow south of Ilha Ibo and north of Pemba town, lay the island refuge of Quisiva in sparkling blue water, with its long finger beach of sugar white sand pointing west into the setting sun…offering safety, shelter and tranquil beauty. The African peoples of the region once called it “Criziwu” which in the old language meant ‘a place of hiding’ or “Esconderijo” in Portuguese. A short sail from the white beaches on the mainland, unspoiled mangroves and the vast wildness of African bush - where elephants shift through the thicket, lion and leopard hunt. The ancient ruin of an old island fort stands guard, testament to a time gone by, eternally witnessed by old baobabs. Amongst pretty village buildings, tall palms heavy with coconuts fringe the little beaches, swaying gently in the breeze. Through the hot, fragrant bush and exotic trees, roost to flocks of seabirds, a dappled glimpse of shy antelope. Then out onto the eastern island edge where the coral reefs slip off into the dazzling blue depths of the Mozambique Channel - where game fish teem and dolphins play, and forests of fossil coral pedestals stand surreal in the tidal wash, each with its topknot of scratchy scrub. The sharp coral ledges clicking with thousands of scuttling crabs, the rock pools alive with clams, octopus, starfish, urchins, cowries, wriggling eels and small, brightly coloured fish. Cool, peaceful bush-shrouded villas scattered, each recessed in private coves, with small, soft, sugar beaches secluded by stands of mangrove with stiff black roots, wet and glistening from the outgoing tide. Bright malachite kingfishers dart and flit, a fish eagle swoops and the tropical sun beats down from a clear blue sky…on an island paradise in Africa.
The Quirimbas Archipelago is undoubtedly the undiscovered jewel of Mozambique and Ilha Quisiva is one of the finest private island getaway destinations in Africa and is ideally placed to offer discerning visitors the best possible marine safari experience. Timeless beauty, abundant natural diversity, tropical weather, seismic stability, malaria free and a fascinating layered history offer a luxurious and sophisticated island experience with a uniquely primal connection to Africa. Direct flights into Pemba from Maputo, Johannesburg, Nairobi or Dar es Salaam launch you into an exotic realm of discovery where unrivalled sport-fishing, diving and yacht charter are combined with white coral-sand beaches fringing the wild bush of the African mainland.
The Quirimbas Archipelago is washed by the blue currents of the Mozambique Channel and a two day sail separates it from the Grand Comoros Islands and Mayotte. It is within easy sailing distance of Madagascar, the southern Seychelles and the spice islands of Zanzibar, Mafia and Pemba.
Ilha Quisiva falls within the dramatically wild and beautiful Parque Nacionale das Quirimbas. Nearly 6000 km² (1,470,000 acre) of this park lies on the mainland continent and a further 1500 km² (367,000 acre) comprises ocean and coastal habitat and includes the world famous St Lazarus Bank lying approximately 80km (48 mile) offshore.
Rising up 2000m (6800ft) from the floor of the Mozambique Channel to within 10m (34ft) of the sea surface and lying approximately 80km (48 mile) off Ilha Quisiva, the St Lazarus Bank provides 20km (12 mile) of world class game and salt water fly-fishing. Its spectacular drop-offs, crystal clear water and huge fish provide a unique destination for fishing charters and breathtaking drift dives for advanced divers.
The Parque Nacionale das Quirimbas has an incredibly rich bio-diversity and includes 4 regions in the WWF Global 200 Eco-region list. It has outstanding mangrove stands, coastal thicket and evergreen forest mosaic interspersed with grassland and bamboo. The marine environment includes kilometers of fringing reef in good condition with a high diversity of coral species, extensive sea-grass beds and rich inter-tidal zones around both the islands and mainland coastal fringe which provide a rich environment for an amazing diversity of fish and invertebrate species. The waters of the archipelago are known for an abundance of game fish species including marlin, sailfish, yellow fin & dog tooth tuna, barracuda, wahoo, black king, blue fin king and many others as well as turtle, dolphin, porpoise, whale and whale shark. The park provides feeding and nesting grounds for many bird species and includes three elephant migration routes. There are also lion, leopard, buffalo, sable antelope, eland and a number of other large animal species to be found within the park.
The location of Ilha Quisiva within the spectacularly beautiful Quirimbas Archipelago lies well north of the cyclone belt. With predictable wind, ideal climatic conditions and rich biodiversity, it is ideal for kitesurfing downwind tours, fishing, diving or cruising charters. The region is situated in the Mozambique Channel, sheltered from the rough waters of the open ocean, with a host of interesting destinations, many anchorages and lee-shores, some of the finest fishing grounds in the world and hundreds of undiscovered coral dive sites. These factors center Ilha Quisiva squarely in the finest adventure sailing realm in Africa.
Since Ilha Quisiva lies offshore with little fresh surface or artesian water, the likelihood of contracting malaria during your stay on Ilha Quisiva is highly unlikely.
Ilha Quisiva is an island sanctuary within a sanctuary with a pervading sense of historic mystery fading back through mists of time. Lying in a pristine and remote marine wonderland and surrounded by sapphire seas of the Indian Ocean, Ilha Quisiva provides an exclusive escape offering the perfect blend of simple and gentle sophistication, romantic frisson and the spice of adventure.
A 339 hectare (830 acre) private island is the setting for 14 beautiful private villas and our exquisite health spa, hence your luxurious escape to space, privacy and freedom is assured. The village on the sunset side of the island will provide a place of conviviality and interest as a perfect counterpoint to the seclusion of your private villa.
For time immemorial, various communities of different cultures have settled the western point of Quisiva island. Each of them has brought their own particular influence and adapted it to the new African context…rather than abandoning it and taking on another cultural expression. Renowned architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens (architects of North Island, Jao, Mombo & Ngorogoro Crater Lodge) have reflected the attributes and cultural expression of our time, as well as the rich history of the region, in conceiving a beautiful and sensitive architectural language for the resort village which serves as the focal point of the island. The new village layout takes its inspiration from the regional confluence of these historic cultures including the ruins of the old Portuguese fortim on the island, Ibo town and familiar elements instantly recognizable for their African origins.
Where possible, historically authentic construction methods have been used and much of the finish is exquisitely hand‑crafted by local and Zanzibari craftsmen.
In laying out the resort as a village, we have created an intellectually stimulating concept true to the historic usage of the site over past centuries. It is successful in providing a lively and convivial contrast to the seclusion and privacy featured in the villa accommodation on the eastern shore.
The island restaurant will offer you a choice of air-conditioned escape from the tropical heat or squalls , or alternately, shaded fine dining on the verandah overlooking the main beach and pool. The table settings feature exquisite linen and rare 18th century china - relics of the ancient European-Orient china trade central to the history of the archipelago. An unusual air-conditioned library gallery surrounds the interior dining area and offers you a peaceful retreat in which to immerse yourself in our fascinating collection of original Africana and natural history multi-media. The interiors feature exquisite, handcrafted signature pieces – a product of Silvio and Lesley’s creative art and the skills of our local Arimba and Zanzibari craftsmen. Similarly, the lounge offers an outstanding panorama across the brilliant blue sea of the Baía de Arimba to the distant mainland coast, in generous, comfortable chairs from shady verandahs or from an air-conditioned sanctuary. The lounges and restaurant are connected by an underground tunnel and wine cellar set deep in the cool coral rock to the glass, air-conditioned African sunset bar set in the fort ruin with its unique fire-pit and battlement deck open to the stars.
Set back from the sand spit surrounding a small intimate piazza, a tiny chapel offers a spiritual place perfect for idyllic island weddings, a guest shop with intriguing community craft stalls set under an ancient baobab and our friendly bistro offering al fresco refreshments and light meals. From here, you may amble off in different directions under shady palms along narrow pebbled lanes of coral walls and cool thatched verandahs of the doctor’s house and the island manager’s office.
The activity center faces south onto the landing jetty and houses a fully accredited PADI/NAUI dive center and a fishing shop. Here, Brendon Held and his team of qualified skippers and dive-masters, will prepare and equip you meticulously for your ultimate fishing, diving or sailing experience by power craft or yacht - or simply set you off with your personal gillie into your own private realm of adventure either by kayak or dhow.
A focus of the island village is an Ibo-esque building housing our superbly furnished, air-conditioned executive conference facility configurable for formal or informal briefing or as an auditorium. It is equipped with the most modern AV facilities and shares an atrium with our own small museum and interpretive center where we feature the history, culture, archeology and geography of the archipelago. The Park Ranger and ecologist’s offices, laboratory and specimen tanks and displays are located in the same building for those guests interested in enriching their knowledge of the ecology of the island and marine systems.
The main beach on Ilha Quisiva is presided over by the old fort as it has been for centuries gone by. The main freshwater pool is centered on a rock promontory overlooking the iconic spit of white sand on the western side of the island. The sand spit is 500m long at low tide and guests may swim in complete safety in the warm tropical waters. A walk on the soft sand, apparently in the middle of the sea, or sunbath surrounded by water on comfortable loungers attended to by discrete beach attendants.
A short island buggy ride along a winding, bush-canopied lane from the island village brings you out upon a bizarre forest of coral pedestals materializing suddenly from the glittering sea on the eastern shore of the island. Set back from the tense edge of the low coral cliffs and secreted into the island bush, lie 14 villas designed for either one or two couples or for whole families comprising up to eight people. The villas will look out over this surreal vista, each set on a small private beach cove and carefully sited to ensure complete privacy and seclusion. Renowned for their ability to produce emotive and original responses to dramatic conditions, international award winning architects Andrew Makin, Mark Horner and Janina Masojada (architects of Singita Lebombo & the Johannesburg Constitutional Court) have produced an inspired contemporary villa design whose surprising style contrasts with the structures and design of the island village on the western side of the island. Constructed from coral rock and glass and finished in fragrant local hardwoods and marble, each villa uses width, depth and height to frame private vantages on a stunning natural marine world. Beautiful original artifacts, furnishings and the best environmental design ensure ultimate comfort and an exquisite sense of space, generous luxury and heightened well-being. The combination of conventional and passive low energy technology, in keeping with the energy efficient imperatives of our time, allow you to strike your own balance between over-indulgent comfort and the need for “one planet living”.
The smallest villa has 270m² under roof and external areas covering 300m². Each villa features superb bedroom, en-suite bathroom and dressing areas offering the last word in panoramic moonscapes and sunrises. Optional outside showers and lapa, study and private freshwater pool are designed to evoke surprise and delight, and the kitchenette with spacious inside or outside in-villa dining completes the experience of a living to the dictates of a slower pulse set by natural island rhythms. For those that cannot make the break completely, mobile phone connections will be available over the island together with satellite TV, a high bandwidth internet connection and an intercom link between your villa and the island village.
For your ultimate convenience, your personal majordomo will preside over your villa and will be available 24 hours a day to offer you warm hospitality and to care for your every need.
The unrivalled fish and marine resources of the archipelago and the bounty of the tropical African coast combined with the influence and fusion of European, Arabic and Oriental cultures provide a heady inspiration for our contemporary and exotic island cuisine.
Our dining concept is fashioned around the romance of island life, is suited to the climate and tropical heat, the seasonal availability of the freshest produce and the need for variety, simplicity, quality and particular caprice of our guests. Our Chef will attempt to gauge and inspire each guest individually and develop and choreograph daily menus based on guest preference and inspiration.
Guests may choose in-villa dining usually prepared by our sous chefs and served by your majordomo, or may even try their hand at preparing their own catch. Alternatively, join fellow guests for sundowners on the Battlement deck of the old fort and then to an exquisite dinner served in the romantic surrounds of our superb island restaurant. Light lunches and refreshments are served all day in the Bistro on the Piazza.
Romantic picnics will be prepared at guest’s request for private excursions or for serving at small, secluded “bandas” strategically sited around the island.
Whether you are a guest at Quisiva Island simply to getaway and relax, lie back and do absolutely nothing, or whether you would go there for the adrenaline adventure or merely to enjoy the miracles of nature firsthand, our aim will be to provide for every need. Quisiva Island will offer a wide range of motorized and non-motorized water-sport activities. Irrespective of the activity, Quisiva Island will be organized to deliver the best, personalized marine experience of any resort on the southeast African coast. We plan to operate the following fully equipped leisure craft for your sporting pleasure…
At Quisiva Island, you may obtain an official NAUI / PADI scuba diving accreditation or learn to kiteboard / kitesurf with our own qualified kiteboarding / kitesurfing instructor or learn new aspects and forms of deep-sea fishing / angling. We will stock a wide range of the finest quality fishing, scuba diving, kiteboarding equipment etc. to match your own personal level of skill and proficiency and you would be welcome try your hand at any of the following as often as you like…
All activities will be conducted within the rules of the Parque Nacionale das Quirimbas to ensure the smallest possible impact on the environment. Most fishing within the Park waters is on a “catch and release” basis. Jet or water skiing are not permitted within the Park.
Since your safety and enjoyment is our prime concern, you will be assigned your own personal gillie on arrival at Quisiva Island. Your discrete and friendly gillie is there to guide and assist you generally, to port your equipment and to ensure that you do not unwittingly stray into a dangerous situation. Our gillies will be recruited from the local Kimuane communities of Quisiva and Arimba who have traditionally fished, sailed and canoed these waters as a way of life for centuries. They are truly the “Bushmen of the Sea” and their unrivalled knowledge of the local weather, tides, channels and marine life is at your disposal to help ensure that your stay is a safe, fulfilling and enriching experience.
With ideal tropical weather, benign seas, a myriad of lee shores, safe anchorages and a location in the center of a vast realm of discovery, Ilha Quisiva will offer two luxurious Eleuthera 60 ft catamarans built in France by Fountaine Pajot. They are superbly equipped for fishing, diving and cruising charters in the Quirimbas Archipelago and Mozambique Channel islands. Sleeping up to 4 couples in private cabins in superb luxury and air-conditioned comfort. You are served by a hostess and a fully qualified skipper enabling us to offer the finest charter catamaran service available in southeast African waters.
Mayotte, Grand Comoros, Madagascar, the Spice Islands of Zanzibar, the southern islands of the Seychelles and many other exotic destinations are all feasible destinations for a sailing holiday of a lifetime.
Guests may charter the boat at the published rate or, as a fractional owner, participate in any of the charters scheduled from the resort each year.
Ilha Quisiva will be the first “international standard” marine resort of its kind in southern and eastern Africa offering you the opportunity to own a tradable interest (fractional ownership) and thereby share in a premium, 6-star eco island experience with full hospitality and assured use rights. With equity-based ownership of the resort land title and assets, coupled to owner use rights, privileged access to this exclusive marine vacation lifestyle crafted specifically for a discerning few will be yours. Two fractional ownership options are available.
In the first option, a number of the villas are reserved for a discerning few who seek an exclusive use-right to an ultimate marine vacation lifestyle. Fractional Owners will enjoy exclusive right to their villas and will be able to design and personalize many aspects of their experience on Ilha Quisiva.
In the second option, a shared use right to a villa is offered entitling you to impeccable service for 26 days of sophisticated island getaway per annum in your selected villa with full use of all facilities on the island. In addition, your dream of owning a luxury cruise yacht will be possible for a week each year, and you may cruise, dive, fish or simply relax at sea in these islands of ocean paradise.
Ilha Quisiva is conceived and planned to offer simple sophistication, superb luxury and impeccable, yet unobtrusive service. The entire concept delivers the most complete combination of relaxation, romance, adventure, excitement and sheer pleasure in absolute comfort. The range and depth of the possible vacation experience at Ilha Quisiva is designed to ensure fresh surprise and delight with each visit.
The developers are proud to be associated with a creative professional team with a great deal of experience in the design, planning and construction of exclusive private lodges in remote places.
Architects and Interiors (Villas): Design Workshop – Andrew Makin, Janina Masojada and Mark Horner.
Architects and Interiors (Island Village): Adventarch CC – Sylvio Rech and Lesley Carstens.
Environmental Engineers: PJ Carew Consulting.
Structural Engineers: Young + Satharia Consulting Structural & Civil Engineers.
Electrical Engineers: Joe Kilian & Associates Consulting Electrical Engineers.
Quantity Surveyors: Turner Townsend.
Land Survey: PW Newmarch Land Survey.
EIA: Strategic Environmental Focus / Salomon Lda – Mozambique.
Project Managers: MozChannel Holdings SA
Land Legal Consultants: MozLegal – Mozambique.
Brand Positioning: International Trend Consultants.
Sales, Marketing & Management: Seasons in Africa.
For more information on how to own a piece of Quisiva Island, please enable Java skript in your browser settings and view the flash version of our website.
Seasons in Africa
Ilha Quisiva Sales Office
11 Platt Road
Kloof, 3610, KwaZulu-Natal
Durban, South Africa
Mozambique is becoming an increasingly attractive tourist destination with visitor numbers increasing by over 7% annually. This is reflected in the increasing prominence that Mozambique is enjoying in the international travel media. The Quirimbas Archipelago and Pemba are becoming increasingly easy to access with the Mozambican national carrier (LAM) and three other regional carriers, including SA Airlink, operating scheduled flights (Boeing 737 or BAE 146) into the town of Pemba in Cabo Delgado province. Pemba is a port of entry to Mozambique and visitors may fly in directly from Johannesburg in South Africa, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. The tiny airport in Pemba is relatively efficient by remote African standards and car hire services, rudimentary shopping, mobile phone connections, banking and excellent accommodation is available in Pemba from various grades of establishments.
On arrival at Pemba Airport as a guest of Quisiva Island, you will be met by a staff member from Quisiva Island, who will ensure that your baggage collection and passage through the immigration formalities will be expedited quickly and efficiently.
For more information on where Ilha Quisiva is and how to get there, please enable JavaSkript in your browser settings and view the Getting There category on the flash version of our website. We also have a weblog at:
Ilha Quisiva Weblog - http://blog.quisiva.com
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Ilha Quisiva Sales Office
11 Platt Road, Kloof, 3610, KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa