3 Best Places to Visit in the Bazaruto Archipelago

The Bazaruto Archipelago is a remote cluster of islands located in picturesque southern Mozambique, and is considered to be the ‘Galapagos’ of the Indian Ocean. But how do you get to the Bazaruto islands? They are easily reached by boat, plane or private helicopter from the mainland of Mozambique, in Vilanculos – where you could spend a night or two in this sleepy seaside town.

For most visitors where to go in Bazaruto is the sandy shores of Bazaruto or Benguerra Island: both are known for their beautiful beaches, warm sea, coral reefs and handful of luxury lodges. It’s hard to beat the diving and snorkelling because the coral is pristine, and it’s a haven for loggerhead turtles, dolphins (spinner and humpback) and the endangered dugong.

1. Vilanculos: Mozambique Mainland

This large coastal town on Mozambique’s mainland is becoming increasingly popular with travellers, not only because it’s the main gateway to the magnificent beaches of Bazaruto Archipelago, but also because there is a lively night life and excellent lodges and hotels which offer good value. There are some excellent restaurants in town, ranging from cheerful Bohemian-style cafés to superb eating houses with finely carved furniture and a rich Moorish feel, offering great seafood at very reasonable prices. It’s the ideal starting point for an unforgettable Bazaruto vacation.

2. Bazaruto Island: A Magical Indian Ocean Adventure

Bazaruto in Mozambique is the largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago, with towering dunes and large inland lakes frequented by many water birds. But the island’s best feature is its soft sandy beaches, fringed by thick forests of casuarinas, coconut palms and cashew trees and gently sloping down towards the tropical ocean. There are various reefs along the coast, where you can see clouds of colourful fish, and have a good chance of swimming with turtles or even dolphins. If you’re after something even more remote; take a boat trip to the nearby Paradise Island (Santa Carolina) for a day of sun, snorkelling and a picnic on a deserted beach.

3. Benguerra Island: Where Time Stands Still

Benguerra, the second largest in the string of Bazaruto Islands, is less than a kilometre south of Bazaruto Island. Like its neighbour, it also has high dunes, inland lakes and long wide stretches of sand – perfect for a Mozambique vacation spent on the beaches of Bazaruto Archipelago. There are no big resorts on the island, instead there are luxurious lodges and Mozambique villas which open onto the soft sand and turquoise sea.