Wildlife Adventures launched a luxury safari lodge on Ibo Island in Quirimbas National Park, which is the second largest marine protected area in East Africa and poised to become a premier destination for international travelers.
The island, off the coast of northern Mozambique in the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa biodiversity hotspot, is home to some of the most pristine and unexplored island reef ecosystems in the Indian Ocean. It also provides refuge for 10 globally threatened bird species and five turtle species, including the Critically Endangered hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata
) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea
) sea turtles.
Verde Ventures supported WildLife Adventures, an ecotourism operator, through a $495,000 loan to develop the Ibo Island Lodge
, which opened in December 2006.
Due to the lack of employment on Ibo, the jobs provided by Ibo Island Safaris (a subsidiary of Wildlife Adventures) will be integral to the protection of local resources and reduction of economically driven threats, such as subsistence-based slash-and-burn agriculture and overfishing.
The establishment of this permanent center for sustainable ecotourism on the island will also bring a long-term means of generating income for islanders.
In addition, Verde Ventures collaborated with the United Nations Development Program's Equator Initiative to secure a grant for Wildlife Adventures through the Equator Ventures
The grant enables Wildlife Adventures to provide guide, language, and conservation training to the local community and to support micro-enterprises that provide services to the lodge in exchange for conservation stewardship by the local community. With this grant assistance, Wildlife Adventures will also establish a community trust fund to finance conservation projects.