Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Lost Island of Ibo

Ibo Island lies in the Quirimbas Archipelago along the coast of Mozambique in southern Africa. Its rivals more famous islands such as Zanzibar and Lamu for its beauty and unique charm and yet remains relatively untouched. Here is the article from Tourism Review, explaining this very thing:

Ibo Island -- One of Africa's Best Kept Secrets

Ibo Island belongs to the Quirimbas Archipelago located in the Indian Ocean, off northern Mozambique. It once flourished as one of the most important trading ports in the area and for centuries was one of the major centers for trading slaves, gold and ivory. However, those days are long gone and the island’s economy has struggled significantly. It may seem at first sight that Ibo has not much to offer, nevertheless, tourists who have a sense for adventure will disagree.

Ibo became a trading port as early as 600 A.D. when the Arabs settled in the area. However, the Portuguese influence became inevitable and gradually, the Arab community was driven away. The Portuguese established a military bastion here in 1791 to fight off the Dutch. Since then, it has served as a slave house, a prison and today, it belongs to the most recognizable structures on Ibo. Even though there is a slightly ‘lonely’ feel to the island, it still retains a very modest charm. The nature here is simply marvelous, with warm crystal clear seas, coral reefs swarming with marine life; kayaking and snorkeling are definitely worth to try – especially adventurers who are keen to see turtles, rays or even sharks. There are several protected species of rare birds and many tourists head to Ibo for bird-watching.

Ibo island features also a very well know community of silversmiths. In fact, their craft is so impressive; many tourists come here just to see them work. They are welcome to bring anything silver and watch the skilled craftsmen turn it into a piece of truly fine jewelry. Even though the accommodation facilities are a bit challenging, Ibo is a charming island which has lots to offer.

Photos are courtesy of Ibo Island Lodge. To learn more about visiting the Island, click here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bonaire Goes Sustainable

From Tourism Review:

"Bonaire, a Caribbean island of reputed beauty and charm, is about to become a first of its kind – as of 2009, it will have completed the first and most important step toward being completely powered by sustainable energy.

Bonaire has often been referred to as one of the best diving destinations in the world. Unlike many other Caribbean islands, it has not yet been ‘discovered’ in the true sense of the word. Even though tourism is the major source of income, visitors do not come in hoards and there is still a very pleasant intimate atmosphere about. What makes Bonaire truly exceptional is the island’s attitude toward environment. Soon, it is to be powered by 100% sustainable energy.
The ambitious project took several years to complete. A new energy system was launched, featuring an 11MW wind farm, 14MW biodiesel plant and a 3MW backup battery. The first wind turbine has already been installed and another 12 are about to be put in place. All together, these turbines are estimated to create nearly 44% of the island’s energy. The biodiesel fuel will be produced from algae and the plant is expected to generate the remaining 56% of energy. If everything goes according to plan, within five years, the island will be entirely powered by sustainable energy.

The island authorities are proud of their achievement. Protecting the environment is becoming a very crucial part of our future and Bonaire sets the perfect example. The island itself features a very unique natural environment. The coral reefs help preserve an exceptionally rich marine life and scuba diving in local waters is an unforgettable experience. Windsurfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking, mangrove kayaking or nature-themed tours are only a few examples of the diversity of the island’s potential. A considerable part of the island is a protected natural park and local population of flamingos also belongs to the many highlights of the wonderful Bonaire

See what all the fuss is about first-hand with a visit to Bonaire. Your trip could be complete with world-class diving, amazing land adventures, and beautiful accommodations. Contact Great Expeditions to learn more. 1-888-SNORKEL