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Bazaruto Archipelago

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Travel Guide Africa Mozambique Bazaruto Archipelago

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Introduction

The Bazaruto Archipelago is a group of islands off the coast of Vilanculos in Mozambique. The Bazaruto Archipelago consists of five idyllic islands: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangue. The Archipelago is truly one of the most beautiful destinations on the African continent. The area is now protected as a conservation area and national park, including the coral reefs surrounding the islands, making it the only official marine reserve in the country. The park is one of the largest in the Indian Ocean and a crucial achievement in global marine conservation. A nearly untouched paradise on earth, the archipelago has earned its reputation as the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean'.

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Sights and Activities

Sand dunes are found throughout the Archipelago and tidal flats and inland saline lakes support a wide variety of seabird species. Coral reefs are also home to thousands of fish and coral species and marine mammal species. The largest dugong population along the eastern African coast can also be found here.

Mile after mile of deserted sandy beaches also grace the island. The leeward side of the island chain is surrounded by calm turquoise waters while the windward side offers an even more isolated and untamed seashore with waves constantly pounding the coastline.

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Getting There

By Plane

Vilanculos and Inhassoro are the gateways to the islands. It is best to fly in either from Maputo, Inhambane, or Johannesburg.

By Boat

Daytrips by dhow or "Motor boat" can easily be arranged from the mainland by one of the operators listed below. If staying at one of the island resort contact them for a possible pickup in Vilanculos, and if coming to scuba dive or snorkel then you'll come on day trip using the fast dive boats.

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Getting Around

Between the islands boats are the only option, on the islands walking is the way to go

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Eat

Unless you're staying at one of the resorts you'll likely have to pack a lunch from Vilanculos. If taking a dhow trip they will usually have chefs on board that prepare delicious meals, from salads to calamari.

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Sleep

While offering an exquisite paradise, travelers may find accommodation on the islands prohibitively expensive, particularly with the closure of “Gabrielle’s”, the last reasonably priced accommodation, to make way for yet another luxury lodge. Fortunately the government is monitoring the development of the islands, and are allowing 'eco-friendly lodges', not massive hotels. If you can't afford these, Vilanculos offers a plethora of affordable places to sleep.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 11:09 on Mar 3, 15 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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