Conservation and Discovery on Vamizi Island
5 Nights / 6 Days
Set among the Quirimbas Archipelago, in a marine conservation area off the coast of northern Mozambique, the idyllic coral island of Vamizi beckons to lovers of sun, sand, and azure waters. Blessed with a tropical climate and offering immaculate powder-soft beaches that rival those of the Maldives, Vamizi is the perfect escape for families and groups.
The waters surrounding Vamizi Island boast some of the most significant and endangered habitats and wildlife in the western Indian Ocean, with over 180 species of pristine coral and over 400 species of reef fish. They have been deemed one of the healthiest coral reef ecosystems in the world, drawing in diving enthusiasts from around the globe – most notably to Neptune’s Arm, which features as one of the ultimate dive sites to explore. The island is also a sanctuary for mangrove forests, one of the earth’s most threatened habitats.
- Stay in one of the beautiful Vamizi villas
- Get involved with conservation activities
- Vamizi Island and Water Sports
Day 1: You will be warmly welcomed by a representative on your arrival at the remote and pristine Vamizi Island. Once you have settled into your sublime villa, and familiarised with the breath-taking natural surroundings, you have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy at your leisure – we highly recommend heading straight to the beach for a glorious dip in the ocean. A brief orientation session and presentation will be hosted in the evening to prepare you for your next few days. Additionally, enjoy a short presentation and discussion on the importance of mangroves and estuaries; what the threats are and how we can be a part of the solution.
Day 2: After a delicious breakfast, (tide dependent) make a splash as you embark on a kayak excursion in the Vamizi Estuary. Gain insight into the importance of estuaries and mangroves, and the role coastal ecosystems play in absorbing CO2. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch and then meet up with the Vamizi Conservation Team to peruse the vast expanse of beach – clearing debris and litter, and seeing the effects of beach erosion. Gain an understanding about some of the key conservation challenges faced by tropical islands, and global marine life, and interact with a group of women from the local fishing village to better understand their needs and challenges.
Visit a school in one of the communities, learn about their alternative income projects and their island life. In the evening enjoy a discussion on reef ecology and learning the techniques to survey a reef.
Day 3: Immerse yourself in the kaleidoscopic depths of the ocean today. Learn about turtle conservation at Vamizi Island and do an early morning turtle nest survey, understanding why this is important for these turtles to breed, flourish and ultimately survive. Then grab your snorkel gear and jump on to a boat for some time in the sparkling water, putting into practise your reef surveying techniques for the day. Learn how the measurements are done and recorded and the importance thereof. Learn how to compare a damaged reef to a pristine reef. The coral reef systems are vitally important to sustaining marine life and creating fish breeding habitats. However, with climate change, these systems are under threat.
After your day of being a marine biologist, sink into absolute tranquillity on a sunset dhow cruise followed by a presentation on traditional fishing methods, and the impact of industrial fishing and how we need to protect our waters – and the inhabitants populating them.
Day 4: Learn about fishing conservation or go diving on pristine reefs today. Wake up early to head out with the local Fisheries Council and Vamizi Conservation team, on a fish tagging expedition in the marine sanctuary. The local Fisheries Council established a Marine Sanctuary, surrounding much of the eastern side of the island. Continuous research is conducted to monitor the positive impact this has on growth in terms of size and abundance of fish species.
Alternatively, for the advanced divers in the group, a diving expedition to Neptune’s’ arm is a must-do experience. Named among the top dive destinations in the world this exquisite reef features beautiful drop-offs, canyons and pinnacles. Gain insight into the Vamizi reef system and also some of the challenges faced by marine research projects.
A fresh, delicious lunch awaits you at your villa, and an afternoon of sun, sea and serenity, or you can opt to enjoy a fascinating community visit. To have a real impact on conservation, the communities that are dependent on the eco-systems are vital to their protection. Spend time with the women that live on the island and visit a school, learn about their alternative income projects and their island life. This afternoon is yours to relax, go for a snorkel, a second dive, or explore the island at your leisure.
Following your adventure, sit back and enjoy the thought provoking screening of the documentary ‘Cradle of Coral’. This documentary was filmed to showcase the sublime beauty and diversity of the marine eco-system, and the immense danger to the fragile reefs, due to coral reef bleaching.
Day 5: A day of exciting adventures awaits you as you venture into the great watery unknown! The evening before you will be given you bearings, coordinates, distance and a selection of fuel, equipment and food, with a task attached. Your thrilling expedition begins by being whisked away to a remote island about 2-hours away from Vamizi. You will be required to put into practice the knowledge and skills you have learnt over the past few days – don’t worry, you will be supported throughout your journey by your guide and capable Vamizi team! Participate and engage in fun and significant tasks along the way, and feel like you have been luxuriously shipwrecked as you enjoy a delectable castaway picnic lunch served a pristine beach.
Day 6: Time to depart on your homeward journey, taking home your learnings to hopefully share how everyone can be part of the solution, and the critical action that needs to be taken.