The Quirimbas Islands lie in the Indian Ocean off northeastern Mozambique, close to Pemba, the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado. The archipelago consists of about 27 islands, including Ibo, Matemo, Medjumbe, Quirimba, Metundo, Quisiva and Rolas Island.
Originally home to fishing settlements, the islands' population grew around Arab trading posts and thrived under the Portuguese trading routes when it was known as the Ilhas de Sao Lazaro (Islands of St. Lazarus). Today, many of the islands are uninhabitated.
These islands are known for their high-quality diving sites, including phenomenal drop-offs, some up to 400 meters. The Quirimbas National Park, spanning an area of 7 500 km², includes the 11 most southerly islands, which are partly surrounded by mangroves. The park was established in 2002.
World Heritage Status
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- "Quirimbas Archipelago Islands". All Africa Safaris. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
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