Having been born and brought up in Malawi and worked for many years in Botswana, Nigel Crofton is not only a great friend of Turquoise, but an expert when it comes to travel throughout Africa. His most recent venture was to the barefoot island of Mozambique, family in tow, for a journey to discover the northern Quirimbas archipelago. Nigel and his family spent the first four nights aboard a fully crewed traditional Dhow and the final three nights at the stunning Ibo Island Lodge. We caught up with Nigel to find out his top tips on family travel to Mozambique and his favourite memories from the holiday.
Traditionally, Mozambique hasn’t been a go to destination for UK families, but increasingly we are seeing more interest. What do you think it is about Mozambique which makes it such a fabulous choice for families?
The sense that Mozambique is different, off the beaten track, that you are experiencing a country and environment that only a few lucky people will ever know
Would you recommend Mozambique to families of all ages?
To really get the most out of it, I would say families with children older than 5 would enjoy it the most
We absolutely love the mobile Dhow Safari & Ibo Island lodge itinerary, what is the accommodation like on the Dhow?
The accommodation on the dhow and on the islands is simple but romantic and memorable for its simplicity. We slept under the stars on deck on very comfortable Australian style swags. Accommodation on the islands is in large dome tents with again very comfortable mattresses. Showers are simple safari style showers with ‘thunder box’ style loos.
Which islands and activities were your family favourites?
Snorkelling, beachcombing, shell hunting, rock pooling, jumping off the dhow, fishing, climbing the mast were all huge hits. Every island was memorable, each for a different reason
What is the food like on the Dhow is there lots of choice for the kids?
The food was exceptional with delicious fresh ingredients and seafood. The children loved every meal.
Some of our clients may be a little worried about safety on the Dhow, are the children well looked after by the crew, or were you constantly on watch out?
The crew are wonderful and a highlight of the dhow safari, but their role is to sail the dhow, cook and generally keen the dhow safari operational. They are not babysitters, or child minders, so parents need to take a fully active role in looking after their children
Ibo Island Lodge is the perfect end to a four night Dhow Safari, how long would you recommend at the lodge? Is three nights enough?
With scuba diving, dolphin safaris, an historic island to explore, kayaking, a spa one could easily stay longer than three nights, but for those pressed for time 3 nights would give you a full experience of Ibo Island
Finally – could you give us your top tip on travelling with families to Mozambique?
Come with a sense of adventure and fun and leave any mobile communication device at home