Bazaruto and the South Coast
The Bazaruto Archipelago consists of five sun soaked, tropical islands located some 30 kilometres off the coast of mainland Mozambique. The islands are reached by boat or light aircraft from the mainland town of Vilanculos, and their pristine beaches, tall palms and unspoilt nature have deservedly led to their being called “Crown Jewels of the Indian Ocean”.
The main islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago are Bazaruto Island, Benguerra Island, Magaruque Island and Santa Carolina Island. Benguerra Island lies just off the coast of Mozambique, between Bazaruto and Magaruque. At 10km long and 5km wide, it’s the second largest island of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Benguerra is famous for its stunning white sandy beaches, tropical vegetation and indigenous forest, while the coast is renowned for a sea that’s rich in coral and fish - superb for both scuba diving and big game fishing.
The whole of the archipelago falls within the Bazaruto Marine Reserve, which measures 1,400 km sq. and is one of the largest protected marine areas in the Indian Ocean. Its waters contain humpback whales, marlin, dolphins, manta rays, dazzling coral, five turtle species and one of world’s few viable populations of the endangered dugong.
At just over two hours by air from Johannesburg and half that time from the Kruger national park, these islands are a great place to wind down after a safari, and also make the perfect setting for an off-the-beaten-track Robinson Crusoe style honeymoon holiday.