Bazaruto Archipelago – The Next Destination For An Indian Ocean Getaway
Comprising of six islands is The Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique, near the mainland city of Vilankulo. The islands include Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Banque, Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island) and Shell. Nyati Island locates in further south. The islands were formed from sand deposited by the Save River.
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.
Strung out in the Indian Ocean, the two smaller islands are uninhabited, while the others have a few small villages scattered amongst wild orange and cashew nut trees. These are places to relax, to escape and to explore. The archipelago became a National park in 1971 in a bid to protect the exquisite marine life.
Tourist attractions include sandy beaches, coral reefs, and opportunities for surfing and fishing. The two largest islands are Bazaruto and Benguerra. Benguerra island was named Santa Antonio by Portuguese explorers and it has about 55 square kilometers. The Magaruque island has area less than 2 square kilometers, Santa Carolina Island is just 3km by 0.5km.
There is a wide abundance of reef fish, surgeon, Moorish idols, parrots, angel and butterfly fish to name but a few. Sea turtles, game fish and devil rays are regularly seen. Various endangered marine megafaunas, such as whale shark, manta, leatherback turtle, cetaceans including humpback whale.