Fort of São João Baptista

Northern Mozambique

At the island’s northern end is the star-shaped Fort of São João Baptista, built in 1791 and designed to accommodate up to 300 people. When Ibo was linked to the slave trade, the fort’s dark, cramped lower chambers were used as slave holding points. Today the fort is known for the silver artisans who have set up shop near the entrance. Much of the silver they use comes from melted-down coins and is often of inferior quality, but the distinctive, refined Swahili artisanship is among the best in the region.

Inside the fort is the small, slightly unkempt Museu Marítimo (Maritime Museum), focusing on local Mwani culture. Explanations are in Portuguese, but an English translation is available.

You can climb on to to the ramparts to enjoy perfect ocean views.

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