MZ - Bazaruto

Bazaruto

Situated offshore of the popular resort town of Vilankulo, Bazaruto National Park protects the archipelago of five tropical Indian Ocean islands for which is named. Renowned for its rich marine biodiversity and sensational snorkeling and diving opportunities, the park is most affordably visited on a full-day boat excursion from Vilankulo, but a more attractive option is to stay at one of a trio of small and exclusive ‘barefoot luxury’ beach lodges on Benguerra Island, or the two larger resorts on Bazaruto Island.

Discover Bazaruto National Park

Bazaruto offers some of the finest snorkeling and diving anywhere in Mozambique. The top site is Two-Mile Reef, which lies between Benguerra and Bazaruto Islands. Here, a calm coral garden known as The Aquarium supports a dazzling variety of multihued corals and fish. The seaward side of the reef often reward divers with sightings of manta rays, whale sharks and marine turtles.

The Bazaruto Archipelago is home to what is to be the largest viable population of the endangered dugong – a bulky seaweed-eating marine mammal – on the east coast of Africa. These strange creatures are occasionally seen from boats heading out to Two-Mile Reef.

It is great fun to clamber up the immense dunes that rise from the southern shore of Bazaruto Island, and the views from the crest are exhilarating.

Guided drives around Benguerra Island offer some great terrestrial wildlife viewing. Look out for troops of blue monkey, the diminutive red duiker and suni antelope, and colorful birds such as African hoopoe, brown-headed parrot and lesser flamingo. The crocodiles that inhabit a freshwater lake near the island’s eastern shore survive from a time when the archipelago was a peninsula extending northeast from the mainland.

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