The Quirimbas National Park was declared in June 2002. In an unusual move, the park was created at the request of the local communities and stakeholders. They now work together to protect the region. This is founded on the understanding that conservation is only effective when it involves the local communities. The park is home to rich marine life and is one of the last refuges of the endangered Dugong. Several species of turtles and three species of Dolphins occur in the park. The main goal of the Quirimbas National Park is to protect the regions great ecological diversity so that they can be used productively by both present and future generations. Tourism is of great benefit to the region, but can also damage this fragile eco-system and thus is managed carefully.
Now we had located a suitable accommodation, very close to the beach, free take off to US and Europe and within the price range. Next, we started to communicate with the accommodation on electricity, internet availability, permission to erect antennas on the compound, etc. This was all OK, but with the remark that we should also request permission from the local authorities. This was obviously a more challenging task.
In the meantime, Johannes had arranged the licenses for the operation and we had received the callsigns C8X and C81G. For the permission of the local authorities we first ask the INCM to write a letter to the Delgado District (which Ibo Island is part of) that our license was also valid for Ibo Island. The other initiative was to ask our Dutch embassy to reach out to the local authorities and inform them about our scheduled operation. This was a more challenging task. Finally, we were able to get the letter sent to the Administrator of Ibo Island. We were actually conscious that it was unlikely that we would get a written permission, but anyhow, we did inform them.
Initially we had a plan to both of us traveling to Pemba and from there to go together by car to Tandanhange and from there taking a public boat. The trip to Tandanhange would take 2.5-4 hours and next getting all our luggage on a crowded boat. Finally, we decide to take a bit more comfortable and predictable route and hired a boat to bring us from Pemba directly to Ibo Island, a trip of about 100 km and would take 3-4 hours.
Logistically Johannes and I had to meet each other somewhere in Mozambique. The closest destination I could get by plane was Pemba (via Nairobi). Consequently, Johannes had to travel from Beira to Pemba and decided to go by car, which was a distance of 1,500 km and would take two full days. The advantage was that he had not weight limitations and could bring whatever he thought was useful (other than the necessary stuff). That was exactly what he did and ended up with a pickup truck fully loaded (only the driver seat was available).
Since I was traveling by plane I carefully selected the needed equipment and materials and packed it as efficient and economically as I could, resulting in 3 cases of checked luggage and two pieced of hand luggage with a total weight of about 75 KG.