The Quirimbas in
March

The Quirimbas Archipelago is found off the north coast of Mozambique in Africa and is a scattered collection of islands that are still relatively unexplored by travellers. With plenty of beautiful beaches, unspoiled coral reefs and a wealth of culture and history to discover, this is a part of the world that deserves far more interest than it currently receives.

The islands in the Quirimbas Archipelago vary in their size and the facilities available, but many are now geared up for holidaymakers of all kinds with luxury beach resorts, private villages and more budget hotel accommodation options all on offer. Visiting the islands in March will mean you arrive during the tail end of the area’s rainy season, but you’ll still receive plenty of sunshine during your stay along with off-season prices and a lack of other tourists. 

Reasons to Visit The Quirimbas in March

People on Ibo Island
  • It’s the off-season for tourism in March on the Quirimbas, meaning that it will feel like you have many of the islands all to yourself
  • The weather in the Quirimbas in March is hot and humid, so it’s a great place to come on holiday if you’re looking to escape the colder weather in the northern hemisphere
  • Despite the high chance of rain, storms on the Quirimbas don’t tend to be very long-lived so even though it is the rainy season, you’ll still get to enjoy a good amount of sunshine

The Quirimbas in March

Mozambique Island

The weather on the Quirimbas Islands is tropical all year round, with a rainy season between December and April and drier, hotter weather between June and August in particular. March isn’t as wet as the winter months on the islands, but still carries with it a risk of rain and tropical storms which you should be prepared for during your trip.

Temperature

The average high temperature across the Quirimbas is 31°C in March, which can feel even hotter because of the humidity when you are inland. The temperature usually only drops down to about 23°C overnight, so be prepared for warm weather the whole time you are visiting and check that your accommodation has air conditioning!

Sea Temperature

The sea temperature around the Quirimbas Archipelago in March is 29°C, which is ideal for swimming during the day as the water will feel very warm. You shouldn’t go swimming when the weather is bad, but when the sun is out there’s no better way to cool down. 

Clouds and Rainfall

March is part of the rainy season on the Quirimbas, and so you can expect quite a lot of rain if you visit during the month – between 10 and 13 days. The good news however is that any rain showers tend to be sudden, heavy and short, so you’re unlikely to experience any days that are fully wiped out by the weather.

Sunshine Hours

The average day in the Quirimbas Islands in March is likely to see short periods of heavy rain and storms followed by hours of bright sunshine. There are 6 hours of bright sunshine each day on average, with the sun rising at around 5.20 am and setting at 5.30 pm.

Where to go in The Quirimbas in March

Vamizi Island

Vamizi Island is a popular destination within the Quirimbas Archipelago because of its incredible natural beauty. The island itself is 8 miles long and almost entirely covered in jungle and edged by beaches, making it a prime spot for those who really want to disconnect and unwind in a tropical paradise. 

Once you’ve recharged your batteries and had your fill of sunbathing, there are plenty of exciting outdoor activities to enjoy on Vamizi Island as well. The surrounding ocean is known for being home to an incredible range of underwater species, so snorkelling and scuba diving are top of the list for things to do when you visit.

Ibo Island

Ibo Island is part of the Quirimbas National Park and is perhaps the most popular destination in the entire archipelago for travellers. This is because the island has managed to maintain a wild and authentic atmosphere over the years, despite its popularity as a holiday destination, making it a fascinating island with a lot to offer its visitors.

The history of inhabitants of the island includes Chinese, Arab, European, Portuguese and Mozambican residents, which provide an incredible cultural heritage and mix of cuisines and architectural styles everywhere you go. As well as typical tropical island activities such as days on the beach, swimming and snorkelling, there are also several historical attractions to be enjoyed on the island as well as its silversmith legacy. 

Things to do in The Quirimbas in March

Scuba Diving

Explore the Coral Reefs

The Quirimbas Archipelago is known for its incredible marine biodiversity and is surrounded by amazing underwater landscapes that include incredible coral reefs that remain almost entirely undamaged by pollution. Unsurprisingly, snorkelling and scuba diving are the most popular activity for visitors to the islands, and it is highly recommended that you go out and explore the waters at least once on your trip.  

Go Island Hopping

Whilst only a couple of the Quirimbas Islands are established holiday destinations, there are 32 islands in total in the archipelago that can be explored by boat either for the day or overnight if you can find somewhere to stay. You can organise for a local to take you out in their boat if you’re looking to travel between islands, or those with sailing experience can plan a route themselves and explore under their own steam.

Eat Like a Local

The Quirimbas have a real mix of inhabitants that have massively influenced the local cuisine on offer, and you’ll likely encounter a real range of food if you’re eating out during your holiday. One of the best ways to get a truly authentic experience is available on some of the larger islands, where you can arrange to visit a local family’s house and share a meal that they have prepared to get a real taste of what dining in the Quirimbas is like.

Crowds & costs

March is one of the quietest months of the year to visit the Quirimbas Archipelago, as the two rainiest months of the year have only just ended. Most people plan their trip later in the year when the temperature is higher and there is less chance of a storm, but if you’re happy to spend time indoors in the event of bad weather on one of the islands, March is an excellent time to visit.

The lack of tourists to the islands in March also means that it’s one of the cheapest months to visit, as flights and hotels will be offering off-season prices, especially at the start of the month. It’s a great time of the year to visit one of the luxury holiday resorts on the island and snap up a bargain deal, and you’ll also find most places very peaceful without their usual throngs of other holiday goers. 

Quirimbas Coast

Frequently asked questions about The Quirimbas in March

How many islands are in Mozambique?

There are many different islands off the coast of Mozambique, which include the Quirimbas islands. 4 islands belong to the Bazaruto Archipelago and 32 are part of the Quirimbas Archipelago, with both offering travellers a great range of accommodation, landscapes and holiday experiences. 

How do I get to the Quirimbas islands?

The closest airport to the Quirimbas Archipelago is Mozambique’s Pemba airport, so most visitors to the islands will fly here from their home countries. You can then either reach the islands by boat, or some resorts offer charter plane rides to transport their customers directly to their accommodation.

Summary

Many tropical islands have been largely taken over by tourism and have become either exclusive retreats unsuitable for the majority of travel budgets or busy holiday destinations crammed full of tourists and devoid of any authentic atmosphere or attractions. The Quirimbas islands remain blissfully unbothered by any of these problems, providing a natural paradise in which you can unwind amongst totally unspoiled scenery and experience this beautiful part of the world without having to fight for space. 

Don’t be put off by the risk of rain that comes with visiting in March; it is well worth the benefits of having the islands almost entirely to yourselves and making the most of off-season prices for travel and accommodation. If you’re looking to truly get away from it all this spring, the Quirimbas are exactly the destination you’ve been looking for.

Want to find out more about the top destinations in Africa to visit in March? Read our guides to Morocco and Tunisia, or take a look at our rundown of Where to Go in March.

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