The Bazaruto Archipelago is a prime diving and snorkelling destination. The islands are also appealing for dhow safaris.
Sailing trips around the archipelago can be arranged with island hotels, and with Vilankulo-based dhow-safari operators. Surf shoes or other protective footwear are essential, as there are many sharp edges; most operators provide these.
Magaruque – the closest island to Vilankulo and the main destination for day sailing and snorkelling safaris from the mainland – has a rock shelf with lots of fish, although only isolated coral patches, on its western side. The island was long a favoured haunt of the rich and famous after tycoon-entrepreneur Joaquim Alves built the first hotel here in colonial days. While overnight trips are possible, most visitors come for the day to relax on this lovely patch of tropical sand.
Santa Carolina Island
The prettiest of the islands, with stands of palm and other vegetation, Santa Carolina was formerly the site of a Joaquim Alves property. Today the old colonial hotel is closed and crumbling.
Diving & Snorkelling
Diving is generally best from about May to September, although it's possible year-round, and visibility can vary greatly even from day to day. Dives, equipment rental and dive-certification courses can be organised at any of the island lodges, or in Vilankulo.
Snorkelling at Santa Carolina island is considered among the best in the archipelago and is possible just offshore. Magaruque is also noted for its fine snorkelling in the crystal-clear shallows just off the beach on the island's southwestern corner.