As I made my way to the pier the rest of my group was waiting for me outside the Governor’s Museum at the north end of the island. Mozambique Island is absolutely stunning but after three days of exploring the historic buildings and engaging with the local culture, I felt like I had exhausted most of what there is to see and do on the island. Thankfully, Mozambique Island is strategically located a short boat ride away from some of most beautiful islands and beaches in the world. After speaking with the staff at Rickshaws Pousada e Café they quickly made arrangements for my group and I, (for $100 total, not per person) to hire out an old world dhow boat for the entire day. I didn’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime experience!
My group and I saw we had chosen the perfect day for a boat adventure. While pulling away from the pier we saw that the water was as smooth as glass. As someone who gets seasick from simply looking at the ocean for too long, I was extremely grateful. With a refreshing breeze at our backs we made our way to destination number one, Ilha de Goa (Goa Island). Named for its position along the sea route from Goa (India), the tiny island is about five km east of Mozambique Island. As our boat cruised toward Ilha de Goa, a red and white striped lighthouse came into view. Built during the 1870s, the lighthouse still operates today and according to some of the locals on Mozambique Island, is run by a family who has lived on Goa for more than twenty years. Thirty minutes after departing the pier, our group had reached the shore. Except for the lighthouse family, we had the entire island to ourselves. I was immediately struck by the coastal juxtaposition of the island. As I gazed westward a picture of tranquility, nothing but a calm blue and green ebbing tide. To the east, waves crashed violently against the rocks, sea foam hanging in the air. Due to the changing tides there is only a brief window in which you can explore Goa each day, but thankfully our boat captain had timed it perfectly. After walking the length of the island and snapping a few photos, it was time to make our way to our next destination, Iha de Sete Paus (Seven Sticks Island).
After another thirty minutes of gliding along the crystal blue water, we arrive on the white sandy beaches of Sete Paus. Once again we had the island to ourselves, our private slice of paradise for the day. While most hotels on Mozambique Island will happily arrange a boat trip for their guests, Rickshaws went the extra mile and surprised our group with a complimentary picnic lunch and snorkeling equipment. For the next several hours our group felt like we had stepped inside the cover of a travel magazine. The kids in our group had a cannonball competition off the side of boat, the adults snorkeled and a few even took a nap under the shade of some palm trees.
As the sun began to set, we set sail back to Mozambique Island. As our group rounded Fort São Sebastião, we saw the sun dip below the horizon illuminating the sky the brightest shades of red, orange and purple any of us had ever seen. I looked around and although we were tired, big smiles were on all of our faces. The trip was a memory our group will cherish forever!