Bazaruto Archipelago

Republic of Mozambique

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    The Bazaruto Archipelago is a group of five islands in Mozambique, near the mainland city of Vilankulo. It comprises the islands of Bazaruto,Benguerra, Magaruque, Bangue, Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island) and Shell. Nyati Island locates in further south.

    The Bazaruto Archipelago is easiest to approach from Johannesburg. There is at least one flight each day from Johannesburg to Vilanculos which takes a couple of hours; from there, some lodges are reached by air, others by speedboat.

    The small, sandy islands of Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago lie just a few kilometres from the sleepy mainland town of Vilankulo, where there are sand-floor bars and simple thatched lodges and campsites. The archipelago itself is in a protected marine park and consists of just five islands: skinny Bazaruto, the largest in the group with a 30km phalanx of dunes running down its spine; Benguerra (about half its size) and then, smaller and smaller, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and tiny Bangue.

    The Indian Ocean here is fabulously warm and rich in marine life, with plentiful manta rays and whale sharks, schools of dolphins and loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles. It is also home to about 200 dugongs, Africa’s last sustainable population of the big grey mammals thought to have given rise to the myth of the mermaid.

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