The Bazaruto Archipelago has clear, turquoise waters filled with colourful fish, and offers diving, snorkelling and birding. It makes a fine upmarket holiday if you’re looking for the quintessential Indian Ocean getaway.
The archipelago consists of five main islands: Bazaruto, Benguera (also spelled Benguerra, and formerly known as Santo António), Magaruque (Santa Isabel), Santa Carolina (Paradise Island or Ilha do Paraíso) and tiny Bangué.
Since 1971 much of the archipelago has been protected as Bazaruto National Park. You’ll see dozens of bird species, including fish eagles and pink flamingos. There are also red duikers, bushbucks and, especially on Benguera, Nile crocodiles. Dolphins swim through the clear waters, along with 2000 types of fish, plus loggerhead, leatherback and green turtles. Most intriguing are the elusive dugongs.
If you have limited funds, try visiting the archipelago on a dhow cruise from Vilankulo, or come in low season, when some lodges offer special deals.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Bazaruto Archipelago.