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Bazaruto’s main attractions are the white palm-lined beaches and clear waters for snorkeling and diving amongst exceptional marine life. This is a place for chilling and relaxed exploration from April to October. Marine turtles, humpback whales, bottlenose, spinner and humpback dolphins are frequently spotted around the islands. Rare dugongs (related to manatees) can be found in the waters here.
Six small and sandy islands make up the Bazaruto Archipelago, 15 to 25 km off the southern coast of Mozambique. Accessed via Vilanculos on the mainland, the archipelago is a national park protecting diverse marine ecosystems.
Bazaruto Island and Benguerra Island are the two inhabited islands, both renowned for white palm-lined beaches and clear waters.
This is one of the best places for diving and snorkelling in Mozambique but this is really a place for chilling and relaxed exploration. Marine turtles, humpback whales, bottlenose, spinner and humpback dolphins are frequently spotted around the islands. Three types of turtle nest on the beaches, including the loggerhead, one of the rarest turtles in the world.
To the south of Bazaruto are some large freshwater lakes supporting small breeding colonies of freshwater crocodiles - just one of the 45 reptile and amphibian species found on the islands.
The islands are comparable to the Indian Ocean Islands of the Seychelles, Mauritius, Réunion and Madagascar, with white palm-lined beaches. home to suni antelope, red duiker and samango monkey. Bazaruto Island also supports an endemic variety of butterfly. Around 150 species of bird have been recorded here including green coucal, sand, crab and Mongolian plovers, olive and blue-cheeked bee-eaters, as well as a variety of petrels, gulls and waders.
Vilanculos and the Bazaruto archipelago are linked directly from Johannesburg and Kruger National Park providing the best option for combining southern Africa’s tropical beaches with a southern safari during the high season from July to October.
If you’re looking for beaches and relaxation on idyllic tropical locations Bazaruto ticks all the boxes.
Good safari combinations with Bazaruto
South Africa’s best and easiest guarantee of the “big 5”. The south can be VERY busy and full of wildlife with densities decreasing as you move north. You’ll pay a hefty price for the private game reserves to the west with small crowds, exclusive rights, luxury lodges and superior guides. An unlikely first choice for seasoned safari hands but a good call for first-timers on a tight budget.
Home to some of Africa’s largest elephant herds and renowned for its wild dog population Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest safari wilderness. Predators are common, buffalo and other big game is exceptional, rhino are present but elusive. This massive national park is easily accessed from Victoria Falls. It’s a year round option, at its very best in the dry season from August to early November.
The Zambezi River separates Zimbabwe and Zambia right here. A World Heritage Site, Africa’s Adventure Capital and southern Africa’s most important hub for wildlife safaris into Hwange, Mana Pools, the lower Zambezi; the Okavango, Chobe, Kalahari in Botswana; Zambia’s Kafue and Luangwa valley; Namibia’s Etosha and Namib Desert. An easy hop from Johannesburg.