Bazaruto National Park is an archipelago of six islands, nestled just off the coast of Mozambique. This stunning seascape spans 1,430 km2 and provides a home to an unbelievable marine ecosystem, including many endemic birds, marine life, and reptile species. The park was essentially created to protect its flagship species—the dugong—as it boasts the last viable population in the Western Indian Ocean.
Of the six islands within the Archipelago, Bazaruto Island is the largest and defined by a tropical climate, dense forest and Savannah, impressive dunes, and pristine wetlands and lakes. Local attractions on the island include the National Park, Indigo Bay, and Two Mile Reef. These all provide a powerhouse of outdoor recreation and activities for any discerning traveller. Perhaps the most iconic drawcard is the exceptional diving and snorkelling on offer. With over 2,000 fish species, turtles, dugong, bottlenose dolphins, and the like, visitors will delight in this underwater paradise.
Visitors planning a holiday to Bazaruto Island or the other five islands within the Archipelago can book a scheduled flight from Johannesburg—OR Tambo International Airport—to Vilanculos. From here, various boat transfers take visitors to their designated accommodation. The islands offer amazing amenities and facilities that allow visitors to enjoy nature, as well as the creature comforts of home.
Easy to visit, the park is easily accessed via daily flights from Johannesburg International Airport, combined with a short transfer from Vilankulo Airport to any of the four island lodges or day visitor sites
Vilanculos, the nearest town, and departure point for the islands is 705km from Maputo and more than 1300km from Johannesburg.
It is recommended that you consider any of the following tour options - which include flights from Johannesburg and island transfers - if you wish to visit the Archipelago. If you have limited funds, try visiting the archipelago on a dhow cruise from Vilankulo, or come in low season, when some lodges offer special deals.
Yes, you do. Most hotels and other accommodation establishments have tour desks where you can pay the park entry fee.
Because Bazaruto and the other islands belong to Mozambique, there are various health checks and vaccinations required, It is important to check with your doctor before travelling.
Bazaruto National Park was formed in 1971 with the sole purpose of protecting its unique fauna and flora. With pristine coral reefs that are home to over 2,000 fish species, as well as iconic mega-mammals such as bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, marine turtles, and the island’s flagship species—the dugong—it’s clear why the island has long been a drawcard for tourists visiting Africa.
Additionally, freshwater inland lakes and wetlands dot the landscape and home to reptiles, exotic butterflies, and approximately 260 bird species, including the largest recorded concentration of the Bar-tailed Godwit in southern Africa. Furthermore, the coral reefs of the Archipelago are considered the least-disturbed part of the Indian Ocean, with the World Wide Fund for Nature providing a program to help local communities to protect their ecological resources, as well as the presence of African Parks in charge of managing the Bazaruto National Park.
Bazaruto Island boasts a tropical climate—meaning visitors can expect warm weather throughout the year. However, like any tropical-climate destination, there tends to a spell of tropical rain. The best time to visit is during the dry season, between May and November when the weather is a little cooler than the unpleasant hot months of December and January. However, those who enjoy hot and humid weather, there’s nothing stopping visitors from spending Christmas on an island.
Visitors to Bazaruto National Park and the island can enjoy a whole host of outdoor recreation and activities. Most hotels and other accommodations will collect the National Park entry fee from visitors before they enter. For the underwater adventurers, snorkelling and diving are among the most popular activities. The unspoiled seabed is home to pristine coral reefs, over 2,000 fish species, and iconic mega-mammals. Two Mile Reef is a popular spot as the area is a natural aquarium.
For something different, a Mozambique Dhow safari should be added to the list of things to do. The traditional dhows are made from Mozambican wood called Chafunta and are compliant with the Marine National regulations. This safari provides an amazing opportunity to admire the seascape between the islands. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy a day at the beach, sunbathe, sip on refreshing cocktails at a beachside restaurant, or book a sunset cruise around the bay.
Bazaruto Archipelago National Park and the island boasts a luxurious array Bazaruto Archipelago National Park and the island boasts a luxurious array of accommodation. From five-star hotels like the Anantara to stunning beachfront villas with self-catering services, there is something for everyone. The island offers modern amenities and facilities, all of which provide the unique opportunity to get back in touch with nature while enjoying the comforts of home.