A boat sailing along the coast.
Called "magical, mystical, and historical," the luxury Ibo Island Lodge in Quirimbas National Park, Mozambique is an outstanding example of how tourism, economic growth and conservation can go hand in hand.
With the African tour operator Wildlife Adventures, CI established the island ecolodge in 2006. Ibo is home to some of the most pristine and unexplored island reef ecosystems in the Indian Ocean and provides refuge for 10 globally threatened bird species and five globally threatened turtle species. But poverty among the island’s 4,000 residents was driving slash-and-burn agriculture and habitat loss, unsustainable fishing, and illegal hunting of marine turtles and sharks.
IN DEPTH: Learn more about Indian Ocean hotspots for biodiversity.
The opening of the ecolodge presented numerous new jobs and a viable economic alternative for Ibo Island’s community. It helps enforce national park regulations and engages community members in park patrolling. Additionally, through funding from CI’s Verde Ventures program and the United Nations Development Programme’s Equator Initiative, Ibo’s community trust fund encourages and supports entrepreneurial projects by local people.
Known for its silversmiths, coffee farmers, agriculturalists and fishers – not to mention its historic buildings, Portuguese forts and ghostly ruins – responsible tourists to Ibo Island have much to gain from their travel and much to give back.
IN DEPTH: Explore more ecotourism destinations.