It is the northern most Province of Mozambique, to the north is the river Rovuma which limits the border with Tanzania, to the south, the river Lúrio separating it from the province of Nampula, to the east the Indian Ocean and to the west the province of Niassa.
Three main ethnic groups inhabit Cabo Delgado: the Macondes, the Macuas and the Mwani.
The biggest urban centre is Pemba, an important tourist centre and a historical city situated on the bay with the same name.
This bay is the third lar-gest in the world. To the North, along the 200 Km of coastline, extends the Archipelago of Quirimbas.
It consists of 32 islands, and perhaps the best known, in terms of historical interest, natural beauty and magnificent beaches is the “Ibo Island”, which was in the past an important commercial centre first controlled by the Arabs and later by the Portuguese. Regular daily flights connect Maputo and Pemba.
How to Get There
Regular daily flights connect Maputo and Pemba. The Pemba airport receives regional traffic, from Tanzania and South Africa for example. It is also possible to reach the region by the road from Nampula, covering a distance of about 440 Km.
What to Visit
Great attractions to visitors are the marks left here by the different peoples and cultures that visited the Northern Coast of Mozambique in the past. The idyllic beaches and magnificent landscapes are of course, not to be missed.
The Archipelago of Quirimbas, with its magnificent white sandy beaches, where in the Quirimbas National Park one can see marine turtles, dolphins, Dugongos, elephants, leopards, etc.
Another point of interest is the Fort of S. João Baptista, built on the “Ilha do Ibo” by the Portuguese to ensure their control over local trade.
When visiting the old part of the city of Pemba it is easy to see evidence of Arab influence.
Pollution free white sandy beaches and warm transparent waters are an irresistible invitation to swimming, snorkeling and total relaxation.
Amongst the innumerable beaches that stretch along the coast perhaps the most well-known are the Wimbe, Farol, Mecúfi, Mocímboa da Praia, Chuiba, Quilálea, Matemo, Palma and Pangane.
Snorkeling and scuba diving by the coral reefs is a great attraction. Fishing at São Lazaro, about 42 nautical miles from the coast attracts many visitors, not only for the size of the fish but the number of different species. For photography lovers, the Quirimbas reserve which includes the Quirimbas archipelago and the frontier coastal zone abounds in magnificent landscapes, marine mammals and exotic birds. Hunting is permitted in Lugenda and Negomano.
Where to Shop
In Pemba and “Ilha de Ibo”, in bazaars and open air markets, very artistic local handicraft is available for purchase. Of special interest are the stalls on the sidewalks where local artisans craft articles in silver and also the intricate and bizarre sculptures carved in black ebony wood by the Macondes, an ethnic group living in the higher interior regions of the Province.