The Quirimbas Islands [kiˈɾĩbɐʃ] (Visiwa vya Kirimba, in Swahili) lie in the western Indian Ocean off northeastern Mozambique, close to Pemba, the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado. The archipelago consists of about 32 islands, including Ibo, Matemo, Medjumbe, Quirimba, Metundo, Quisiva, Vamizi Island and Rolas Island all going up to the border of the Tanzanian region of Mtwara .[1]

Quirimbas Islands
Quirimbas Islands seen from space
LocationIndian Ocean
Coordinates12°8′48″S 40°34′21″E / 12.14667°S 40.57250°E / -12.14667; 40.57250
Total islands32
Major islands

History Edit

Originally home to Makonde fishing settlements, the islands' population grew around Swahili trading posts and declined under the Portuguese trading routes when it was known as the Ilhas de São Lázaro (Islands of St. Lazarus) during the 16th century. When the Portuguese started occupying cities in the islands such as Ibo, the Swahili merchants fled to other parts of the island to operate in.[2] The Swahili merchants refused to trade with the Portuguese, in which started an attack resulting in 60 Muslim merchants casualties and property being burnt down.[2] The island was in control by the Portuguese until Mozambique gained independence in 1975. Before independence, only four of the 32 islands were inhabited.[3] Today, many of the islands are inhabited. On May 23, 2014, a mudspill was reported off shore near the Quirimbas Islands which was caused by a drilling rig operated by Anadarko Petroleum.[4]

These islands are known for their diving sites, some up to 400 metres (1,300 ft). The Quirimbas National Park, spanning an area of 7,500 square kilometres (2,900 sq mi), includes the 11 most southerly islands, which are partly surrounded by mangroves. The park was established in 2002 as a protected area.[5]

World Heritage Status Edit

The Quirimbas Islands are currently on the tentative list for becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was submitted in 2008.[2][6]

Gallery Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Allen, Daniel. "Mozambique: island-hopping by dhow on the Quirimbas archipelago". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Briggs, Philip (2011-07-05). Mozambique, 5th: The Bradt Travel Guide. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 323–352. ISBN 9781841623429.
  3. ^ Duncan, Fiona. "Mozambique: a hide away in the Quirimbas Archipelago". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Mudspill in Mozambique waters". Independent Online (South Africa). Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Quirimbas Archipelago Islands". All Africa Safaris. Archived from the original on 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
  6. ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "The Quirimbas Archipelago - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Retrieved 25 September 2018.

External links Edit