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Dive Review of Medjumbe Private Island Resort in

Medjumbe Private Island Resort, Aug, 2011,

by Leo Vindman, London, UK ( 1 report). Report 6285.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments I spent 10 days at Medjumbe Island resort (a private island off the coast in Northern Mozambique) in August, 2011. I am a relatively well travelled scuba diver and had come to Medjumbe specifically for scuba diving, which is being advertised as “some of the best in the world” and had spoken with Medjumbe representatives several times prior to arranging this trip. Unfortunately, while there were many nice aspects which I enjoyed there, scuba diving and snorkling was mediocre.

First the positive: Medjumbe is a small and charming private island located in Quirimbas Archipelago National Park in Northern Mozambique, which provides a feeling of total isolation. Multiple flight connections, including a small shore to island plane is required to get there. The beaches are wonderfull – mostly clear white sand and broken sea shells and the water around the island is a beautiful hues of turquoise blue. Hotel staff try to provide good service which exceeded my expectations for anything that I could have expected in Mozambique. The food was of good quality, often imaginative and changed every day. The chalets were small, rustic but comfortable and right-on the beach, just meters from the ocean. No televisions and very slow internet wifi in the lobby of the main building.

Now the negative. Unfortunately, much of the fish around the island, and perhaps around this area of Northern Mozambique is gone due to many years of overfishing. There are a couple small reefs around the island of relatively poor quality with very little fish to see while snorkling. Many of the snorkelers were therefore very disappointed.

I’ve arranged scuba diving at reefs further away including what is advertised as some of the best dive spots around Medjumbe, unfortunately we didn’t see much of any interest. A number of reefs closer to the island were destroyed by dynamite fishing. Even the areas further away - approximately 45 minite boat ride from the island, did not impress in terms of fauna. In terms of comparison, the scuba diving at Medjumbe was less interesting than in the Red Sea. I had also spoken with several scuba divers who stayed in the sister island – Matemo, and they also indicated that diving was not very good.

Moreover, the activities center which organises snorkling and scuba diving was managed incompetently. The activities manager – Jamie Lonsdale, was new to this area, young and inexperienced. Despite generally good weather conditions, most diving was intitially done at the same beginner level dive site close to the resort where there is a lot of dead coral and very little to see. I have had to plead to go elsewhere and after three days, Jamie took us to more interesting dive sites further away. However, something always went wrong on every trip. A resort regulator rented to one of the guests broke down, fortunately, above water. An oxygen pumping filter broke down on another day. One of the boat’s engines was broken for two days, so travelling between locations was very slow. Finally, Jamie lost his GPS navigator where he stored all the good dive locations around Medjumbe and so dropped us in the water, but often not where we were supposed to be. Generally diving is being done with small 10L cylinders, so the air lasts approximately 35 mintues at best and there is no NITROX.

So in summary, I would recommend Medjumbe as a beautiful beach destination, although a difficult one to get to. However, after spending a lot of time and money planning this trip and traveling there, the snorkling and scuba diving terribly disappointed.
Websites Medjumbe Private Island Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Sipadan Island Malaysia, UK, Cocos Island Costa Rica, Mauritius.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 24-24°C / 75-75°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 15-20 M / 49-66 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions All diving with Dive Master, given the total isolation. 10 liter air tanks available only.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales 1 or 2
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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