Considered an ecological gem, the Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, let alone Mozambique. With its pristine sandy beaches, azure waters, palm trees, untouched coral reefs and tropical fish to discover and big game fish to catch, this area makes for a perfect getaway. The dive sites are not crowded and are home to Dolphins, Humpback whales, Whale sharks, Manta rays and even the mystifying, rare Dugong!
- Five picturesque islands creating an idyllic, untouched holiday setting
- Declared one of the largest National Parks in the Indian Ocean in 1971
- Known as ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’
- Crystal clear ocean home to an abundance of marine life
- One of the world’s finest diving and fishing destinations
The Bazaruto Archipelago (pronounced arki-pel-a-go) is actually a picturesque chain of six islands: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Maraque, Banque, Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island) and Pansy Shell Islands. Situated off the port of Vilankulo, these Mozambique Islands lie along the historical Mozambique Channel, as part of the Bazaruto National Park. This is a protected conservation area, an official marine reserve in Mozambique. Almost completely untouched, this paradise, the Bazaruto Archipelago, has earned a reputation as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”.
This tranquil holiday destination, with endless palm-fringed beaches and an astounding variety of marine life, is a true island paradise. Miles of sandy beaches grace the islands and their surrounding sparkling turquoise waters. Whether snorkelling or scuba diving between coral reefs, big game fishing far out at sea, or identifying interesting bird species, the Bazaruto Archipelago offers plenty of activities for all. The islands are home to healthy coral reefs and more than 200 species of fish including Moorish Idols, Parrot, Surgeon, Butterfly and Angelfish, to name but a few. Game fish, Devil rays and giant sea turtles are regularly seen, as is the elusive and endangered Dugong – for the lucky few who manage a rare sighting!
The crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean offer excellent visibility. When you dive, you will find dive sites which are not overly crowded, encouraging experienced divers to explore depths of up to 30 meters. Beginners can sign up for a range of starter courses with experienced dive instructors who will assist with training.
For fishing enthusiasts, mid-September to the end of December are the best times for Marlin fishing, while April to August are ideal months for catching Sailfish. There is a “tag and release” policy and all year round smaller game fish such as King and Queen Mackerel, Travelli and Bonito can be caught. The Bazaruto Archipelago is blessed with myriad marine animals and due to the conditions, most fishing is done close to the shoreline. Depths vary between five and 200 meters, not further than three to five miles from the coast with short and fast runs to the fishing grounds.
The Bazaruto Archipelago is also a birding haven and more than 160 bird species have been confirmed on the islands. Birders should venture to the various low tide areas for excellent sightings of gulls, waders and crab plover. Indigenous gardens and stately trees are home to the interesting flycatchers, pigeons and sun-catchers and a variety of others. Fresh water lakes are particularly good bird viewing areas. These impressive birds are found in various mind-blowing habitats, including coastal dunes and open grasslands.