Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park Parks & Reserves

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Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park in Mozambique

Learn more about the Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park in the Inhambane Province of Southern Mozambique

The following information is taken from our Bazaruto Islands page outside of Parks & Reserves

Five beautiful islands, unspoilt reefs, fresh water lakes, grasslands and bird watching what more could you want! Known as the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean' Bazaruto is the largest of five tropical islands in the Bazaruto Archipelago and is surrounded by the Bazaruto National Park. This is undoubtedly one of the world’s most stunning destinations, surrounded by magical coral reefs and perfect sandy beaches. This is certainly one of Mozambique’s perfect gems and the ideal location to shake off all the city stress. Bazaruto sets the perfect scene for an island style holiday for those who want to get away from it all.

Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park Accommodation

The Archipelago consists of five tropical islands: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangue, all situated within the Bazaruto National Park. The un-spoilt reefs and waters are protected, making this a dream come true for divers and snorkelers who can explore hundreds of species of tropical fish and coral.

The inland lakes are home to fresh water crocodiles and the tall palm trees and lush vegetation consisting of thickets and grasslands provide sanctuary to a wide variety of bird species and exotic butterflies. The ocean is a safe haven to humpback whales, whale sharks, leather back turtles, dolphins and manta rays and also provides wildlife lovers with the opportunity to spot the rare dugong which is threatened with extinction and for which reason the National Park was formed!

The islands all form a chain except for the small island of Santa Carolina which lies closer to mainland and to the west of the largest Bazaruto Island. Santa Carolina Island is famous for its deep water and big game fishing. South of Bazaruto Island lies Benguela Island, the second largest islands and South of Benguela Island is Magaruque Island and the very small island of Bangue which is uninhabited but explore-able.

Fun Fact:

Santa Carolina (One of the Bazaruto Islands) hosted the popular and well known TV Show 'Survivor South Africa' in 2010. Read more about Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park

The Bazaruto Archipelago has been protected by strict conservation policies since the 1970's therefore measures have been put in place to protect the marine biodiversity by limiting big game fishing to tag and release practices only.

Santa Carolina Island, Bazaruto Archipelago

Santa Carolina, otherwise known as "Paradise Island" is the Archipelago's smallest island situated between Inhassoro and Bazaruto Island along Mozambique's deep channel.

As Seen on TV

In 2010, Santa Carolina was chosen to host the popular TV show 'Survivor South Africa', so if you had followed the show back then, you would have had more than just a glimpse of this exotic and rocky island.

Ruins of the Abandoned Hotel

Boat excursions can be taken to the Santa Carolina Island which was once a very popular holiday destination for the rich and famous. Bob Dylan has said to have played on a piano in the retro hotel built by Jochim Alves in the 1960's. There were plans of restoring the once popular hotel to be open for accommodating tourists but those plans fell away, so you can still explore the abandoned ruins of the hotel. Alves also built a small chapel on the island.

Explore Life Under the Sea

Shallow, azure waters protected by on-shore reefs makes the island an absolute paradise for endless snorkeling activities where a remarkable diversity of colourful fish dart about, crabs, shrimp and eels take cover along beautiful coral reefs and where you'll see other larger fish like the grouper slowly drift along the ocean's current.

Renowned for world class big game fishing
Surrounding Santa Carolina Island are 3 main Coral Reefs, rich with marine life and a few deep channels which ultimately attract Big game fish and offer fishing enthusiasts a fishing story to remember!

Some common Big game fish that are caught around the islands, include:

  • Giant Trevally
  • Kingfish
  • Bonito
  • King & Queen Mackeral
  • Springer
  • Kawakawa.
  • Sailfish (popular between the months of April and August)
  • Marlin (popular between September and January)

Note: The Bazaruto Archipelago has been protected by strict conservation policies since the 1970's therefore measures have been put in place to protect the marine biodiversity by limiting big game fishing to tag and release practices only.

Benguerra Island, Bazaruto Archipelago

Welcome to the second largest Island (11km long - 5km wide) of the Bazaruto Archipelago Islands - Benguerra. Fresh water Lakes, Large Golden Sand Dunes, indigenous forests, savannah grasslands and wetlands. Yes, that's right, all within Benguerra Island of the Bazaruto Archipelago.

Why not come and escape to a tropical island and experience one of the worlds most beautiful destinations - white sand beaches surrounded by coral reefs that thrive in rich marine life below the warm, turqoise waters that lap almost at your doorstep! Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, you can pinch yourself as much as you want because Benguerra and the Bazaruto Archipelago islands are certainly dream holiday destinations for people who want to experience life in the tropics!

Because Benguerra and the other islands used to be joined to the mainland many years ago (seperated by the erosion caused the Limpopo river). They all have quite interesting and unique eco-systems. To the east of the island you will find massive golden sand dunes - which are great to walk up, and to admire the magnificent inland and extensive ocean views from the very top - not to forget to mention - a great Mozambique sunset! From here, if you look West, inland, you will notice some lovely freshwater lakes, that are still home to crocodiles.

Beyond the freshwater lakes and further inland, a combination of indigenous forest, savannah grasslands and wetlands eco-systems naturally blend into each other consisting of a diverse population of flora and fauna. This effectively makes home for a great variety of Birdlife on Benguerra. In fact Bird enthusiasts will be very happy to hear that over 160 bird species inhabit/visit the island.

Now you can get your list of "birds-to-see" and be prepared to "tick" off A few unusual "wanted" birds that can be spotted, such as: Crab plovers, Paradise Fly-Catchers, Mannikinsm Olive Bee-eaters, Bartailed godwits, Green Coucals, Green pigeons, Whimbrels, Narina Trogon, Prple banded and Black Sunbirds.

You will notice that Local residents make good use of the natural vegetation that surrounds them. Great souvenirs like baskets, hats and mats that are made from the leaves of Mlala Palm frons can be bought for very good prices. Liquor is also produced from the sap of the palms. Cashew nuts trees are found growing closer to the coastlines. The locals harvest cashew nuts to sell (MUCH cheaper than in supermarkets - so be sure to buy some) ... and once again liquor is also able to be produced, but this time, from the husk of the cashew nuts!

Sunsets in Benguerra, 14 kms from Mozambique's mainland are always well appreciated. At this time of the day, many Local fisherman silently drift by in their Dhows after a hard days work of dragging their nets in the ocean to catch fish - to ultimately sell and make a living! Not only are these Dhows, used to catch fish but also for tourists who would like to experience a little tour around the islands reefs and beautiful azure waters. A great opportunity to witness the very rare Dugong that inhabits these ocean depths. Many years ago, explorers would apparently mistaken the pale dugongs as "mermaids".

Benguerra Island Activities & Attractions

Scuba Diving / Snorkeling in Benguerra Island of the Bazaruto Archipelago

Benguerra is another haven in Mozambique for diving enthusiasts ... the island is surrounded by unspoilt staghorn coral reefs that spoils you with an abundance of beautiful marine life, waiting to be explored! Amongst the many reefs around the Bazaruto Archipelago islands ... is the famous 2 mile reef - North east of Benguerra Island. Not only is the diving here absolutely superb but there is also a huge protected pool for snorklers, called the Aquarium! Some of the exotic coral fish you can spot include: Blue Striped Snappers, Moorish Idols, tiny Clown Fish, Barred Sweetlips, Butterfly fish, Trigger fish, Moray Eels, Black-tipped reef sharks and much much more!

If you are not experienced at diving, then don't worry because there's a dive school for beginners. Learn how to set-up and control your diving gear, etc, etc! So what are you waiting for - go and explore some of the "treasures" the greedy Indian ocean has to offer!

Shells on the beaches of Benquerra Island

If you love collecting lots of different shells, then please do read on. The Archipelago islands are a paradise for shell collectors. During low tide, sand banks around the island emerge and are dotted full of exotic shells for you to exploit because believe it or not, some of the sandbanks you walk in at low tide are 10 metres undersea during high tide!! Wonder off to Pansy Island and you will inevitably find plenty of famous Pansy Shells to add to your collection.

Deep Sea Fishing in Benguerra Island of the Bazaruto Archipelago

Benguerra & the Bazaruto Archipelago islands are well renowned for world class big game fishing and Saltwater Fly fishing. Some of the common fish that are caught around the islands include: Giant Trevally, Kingfish, Bonito, King & Queen Mackeral, Springer and Kawakawa. Sailfish is popular between the months of April and August where as Marlin are popular between September and January. There are professional & experienced fisherman that can teach you a few things if you are new to the game as well as there are fully equipped deep sea fishing boats, ready to start their engines for another great days fishing. Flyfishing boats with fish finders are also available for the serious fishermen! If you are interested, there are Annual competitions held here for big-game fishing.

Magaruque Island, Bazaruto Archipelago

Magaruque is a beautiful little Island just below Benguerra Island of the Bazaruto Archipelago Islands. Collect Panzy shells, explore the ruins of a old fort and indulge beauty that surrounds you in island style. Magaruque is the 3rd largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago.

This is an island with plenty of potential and is definitly worth a visit! Theres an old delapidated hotel on the island that used to be popular and used by the Portugese in the colonial era. Plans of developing an upmarket lodge has been spoken about. The waters are fantastic for scuba diving and snorkeling, as the coral reefs can actually be swum to - no boat needed to take you there! Plenty of shallow and deep waters allow for a very interesting dive. On the island, you can do a little bit of exploring and hike up to ruins of a 19th centuary fort, otherwise you can take a walk around the beautiful coastline and admire the beauty that surrounds you.

If you love panzy shells, then please do read on... The Archipelago islands of Magaruque are a paradise for shell collectors. During low tide, sand banks around the island emerge and are dotted full of Panzy shells & other exotic shells for you to collect.

Trips to Magaruque can be taken from either Vilanculos or Benguerra.

Magaruque Activities & Attractions

Visit the ruins of the old Magaruque Hotel

Connecting to the airstrip on the South West end of Magaruque Island, is a dilapidated hotel.

Nearby Coral Reefs (no boats needed)

The waters surrounding Magaruque Island are perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling, as there are coral reefs very close by - in fact you can actually swim to the reefs without the need of a boat to take you there! Shallow and deep waters allow for an interesting dive whether you are scuba diving or snorkeling, the coral reefs around Magaruque Island is rich with marine life and tropical fish for you to spot.

Pansy Shell Haven

Hundreds of pansy sea shells are dotted all over the sand banks during low tide.

19th Century Fort

On the island, you can do a little bit of exploring and hike up to ruins of a 19th centuary fort.

Bangue Island

This little uninhabited beach island is the most southern island of the Bazaruto Archipelago with little vegetation, sparkling white beaches surrounded by crystal clear waters and lots of shells to find including those beautiful panzy shells. Spot birdlife perched on driftwood, wading through shallow beach waters where tiny crabs burrow into the beach sand.

Dhow and boat trips can be arranged from Bazaruto Island and Vilanculos.

Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park Accommodation
The area of Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park is characterized under: Beach Getaways Diving & Snorkeling Peace & Tranquillity Wildlife & Nature

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Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park Reviews thus far:

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The Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park

Five beautiful islands, unspoilt reefs, fresh water lakes, grasslands and bird watching what more could you want! Known as the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean' Bazaruto is the largest of five tropical islands in the Bazaruto Archipelago and is surrounded by the Bazaruto National Park. This is undoubtedly one of the worlds most stunning destinations, surrounded by magical coral reefs and perfect sandy beaches.

Read More

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Other Places of Interest:

Bazaruto Islands

Southern Mozambique

Santa Carolina (One of the Bazaruto Islands) hosted the popular and well known TV Show 'Survivor South Africa' in 2010.


Southern Mozambique

Visitors will be pleasantly treated with a game drive through the Maputo Special Reserve before reaching the Machangulo Peninsula. Spot various wildlife from elephants to giraffes, zebra, antelope, flamingos, crocodiles, hippos, birdlife among others ...


Southern Mozambique

Zavora is a beautiful beach renowned for its huge protective reef running 2km parallel and close to the shoreline. This reef acts as a natural tidal pool with shallow, calm waters, perfect for activities such as snorkeling, swimming and fishing

Island of Mozambique

Northern Mozambique

The Island of Mozambique has played an important role since the 10th century in intercontinental trade to the East, in the 16th century is was an established and wealthy trading port for ships sailing on monsoon winds and where cargoes of ivory, gold and slaves were traded for fabrics and spices from India and Arabia.


Southern Mozambique

Tofo Bay is ideally situated along the well renowned Manta Coast - a popular dive site region for all levels of diving experience with over 30 dive sites to explore.

Santa Maria

Southern Mozambique

Find beautiful pansy shells off the beaches of Santa Maria during a spring low tide, full or new moon.


Southern Mozambique

Ponta Falsa (the tip of Pomene beach) has some great rocky cliff features including the "whole in the wall" and a huge blowhole. Explore the ruins of the Old Pomene Hotel which was once the holiday home of Samora Machel where one can admire beautiful bay views

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Categories Explained

For better understanding, we have put together a brief summary guide of what each category means and to also give you an idea of what each associated icon refers to when you see them on listings & adverts.

Listed in alphabetical order

Backpackers Lodge:

Those who are on a tight budget should keep a lookout for this category icon. This type of establishment offers dormitory (shared) bedroom accommodation with other "Backpackers" generally using either single beds or bunk beds with a communal kitchen and shared ablutions.

Bar On-Site:

Meaning the venue has its own bar on-site with staff serving alcohol/non-alcohol beverages and perhaps "pub-grub" included. They may offer satellite TV for bar patrons to follow the latest sporting fixtures live and may also host live music on certain days / evenings.

Bed & Breakfast:

If an establishment has this icon, this means they either include breakfast in their rates or offer the opportunity for you to choose to include breakfast during your stay which is usually served to guests in an on-site breakfast room dinette or restaurant. Some B&B's offer basic / light (continental) breakfasts, Full English breakfasts or buffet style breakfast options.

Campsite / Glamping:

Either they offer camping grounds for you to pitch your own tent if on a tight budget and / or they have their own pre-setup tents for you to camp in, some offering private facilities (aka "Glamping") within their tents such as beds, a fridge, sofa and bathroom.

Conference Venue:

This means the establishment has a dedicated hall room specially arranged and equipped with most facilities to host important business meetings, teambuilding events or any other occasion alike.

Disabled Friendly Accommodation:

Goes without saying. Any establishment marked with this icon and listed under this category offers facilities for those who have reduced mobility. They may have basic facilities for these conditions or advanced. Kindly enquire with them directly for more information and/or specific requirements you may need.

Dive Charter:

These are dive centres who are a team of qualified dive instructors (PADI which means Professional Association of Diving Instructors) offering SCUBA diving lessons for clients and excursions to some of the best dive sites in the region for an unforgettable underwater adventure.

Eco Lodges:

Environmentally friendly establishments built by local communities using naturally sourced / non-toxic materials with the objective of protecting the surrounding habitat. These types of lodges range from rustic bush and beach to luxury accommodation. Not only does this movement protect the environment, but it also helps support local families.

Fishing Charter:

This means the associated business offers professional paid-for deep sea fishing charters / outings and excursions for those fishing enthusiasts (and for newbies). They generally have a fully equipped fishing boat and all the fishing gear ready for clients to bait up and cast a line. Their expertize, knowledge and experience will reward you with some of the best fishing spots for an action packed deep sea fishing experience.

For Sale:

If you're looking to invest or buy property in Mozambique, keep an eye out for this category for the latest in the property market.

Full Board Accommodation:

Full Board means breakfast, lunch and dinner (also known as "All Inclusive"). If a venue is listed under this category, then they either offer guests the choice of a full board meal plan during their stay or their rates by default include full board meals. a lot of these establishments will have private personal chefs serving guests top class cuisine.

Group Accommodation:

Because this is a popular search and request amongst many, we have created this specific category for exactly that - group accommodation which is very much the same as our Holiday Homes category. These are establishments that can cater and accommodate for large groups of 8 people and up in the same house / unit offering most self catering facilities as if you are "home away from home".

Guest House:

Similar to a typical B&B, a Guest House is usually a private house offering very few accommodation units all within the main building structure (or some seperately). Some serve home cooked meals within their in-house dining room specially catered to seat all their guests and offer a lounge area where fellow travellers can interact, socialize and share stories.

Holiday Home:

This type of accommodation is usually ideal for large groups of people going on holiday being a "home away from home" with numerous bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen for your self catering needs, lounge, toilets, braai/BBQ area, some with a swimming pool and some offering exclusive privacy.

Honeymoon / Romantic Accommodation:

Very self-explanatory. A venue will be listed under this category if they offer a specific luxury, private honeymoon suite or because our admin has "hand-picked" the establishment to be perfect for such an occasion based on their location and facilities offered. However, you are the best judge when it comes to planning that special getaway with your loved one anyway. Pssst ... and it doesn't have to be expensive either to enjoy, right?!


A hotel is generally a large premises that can accommodate a large amount of guests in many adjacent rooms grading from standard 2 sleeper units to "executive" luxury suites offering more in-room space and facilities. They generally have a restaurant and bar on-site for all day meals and drinks (quite often offered on a buffet dining basis). Other on-site facilities may include a swimming pool, gym, spa, in/outdoor entertainment area for kids, a conference / wedding room for meetings / ceremonies and a small shop.

Restaurant / Personal Chef(s) On-Site:

This indicates that the establishment has a small / large restaurant on-site for their guests (they may also accept walk-ins for non-guests) or they have on-board catering staff serving guests in their own private space or in a designated dining area.

Self Catering:

This type of establishment offers guests facilities required to cater / cook on their own terms whether it be within a holiday home for example or on communal grounds.


This means the establishment has spa facilities and services offered to guests who are looking for personal treatments during their vacation.

Tours & Safaris:

These business services can range from swimming with dolphins, horse riding, city tours, boat tours, island tours, dhow tours to game drives and more. You'll have to click on their advert to find out more and what they have to offer.

Wedding Venue:

This means, the venue has all the on-site facilities and catering services to host large or small weddings and ceremonies. Depending on the size of the wedding, some may have enough units to accommodate all wedding guests.