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Mozambique Fantastique ~ Bazaruto Archipelago

September 19, 2009

By Dian Hasan | September 19, 2009

bazaruto archipelago

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique. Photo: flickr member yobosayo

Each time we hear the name Africa, images of safaris and animals in the wild always conjure up. Wide open plains with roaming giraffes, zebras, gazelles, and rhinos grazing about amid the natural splendor. And of course the lions lurking in the bushes contemplating their next dinner, and the majestic elephants blowing their horns. Seldom do we associate Africa with glorious-looking beaches with azure waters and a colorful underwater coral gardens. And sun worshippers basking under a thatch roof parasol. These are more akin to South East Asia, Mexico or The Caribbean. But such idyllic tropical settings do exist, as they do here on Mozambique‘s Bazaruto Archipelago.

bazaruto archipelago

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique. Photo: flickr member André Pipa

Halfway up the Mozambique coast lies a chain of five islands making up the Bazaruto Archipelago. Form from sand deposited by the Limpopo River, fine beaches and coral reefs come naturally; and having long been a national park, so does the wildlife. Bazurato, Benguerra andMagaruque are the largest islands, with Santa Carolina and finally Bangue coming in on the small side.

bazaruto archipelago

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique. Photo: flickr member yobosayo

Thanks to their protected status and relative isolation from the ravages of war, nature has been free to flourish here. Bazurato Island itself is 37 km ling, and there gaudy pink flamingoes strut the tidal flats, while large Nile crocodiles lurk in the inland freshwater lakes. The west is cloaked in grassland and thicket while the east coast is built entirely of impressive sand dunes.

bazaruto archipelago

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique. Photo: flickr member Brad Hunter Surrey Vancouver BC

Banguerra is about 11 km long and its blend of forest, savanah and wetlands provides rich pickings for local wildlife. Cashew nuts are native to the island and grow mainly on the seaward side.
Wild orange trees and sisal trees abound, as do mlala palms – whose leaves are woven into mats, baskets and hats. Nature lovers, sun worshipers and water sorts enthusiasts alike are drawn to the natural beauty. It may be said of other places, but this is a true tropical paradise with clear turquoise waters and endless palm-dotted beaches. Everyday you can snorkel and surf and run coral pink sand through your fingers. There are no roads, no shops and no tourist attractions, just the nature and the lovely everyday sun.

bazaruto archipelago

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique. Photo: flickr member darrenornitz

When to go: Year-round but avoid the cyclone season in February. Little rainfall between April and November.
Population: 3,500.
Getting there: Flights into Viklankulo with connections onto the archipelago.
You should know: The locals use the husks from the harvested cashews to make very intoxicating liquor.

Inspiration: Wayfaring

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 1, 2009 5:01 pm

    Benguerra Island is a beautiful island in the Bazaruto Islands with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, offering stunning snorkeling, good fishing, relaxing beaches for you to enjoy. You can now combine beach with safari too in Mozambique, so you can enjoy both of what Africa is good at.
    Sandy

    • uniquetraveldestinations permalink*
      October 1, 2009 5:14 pm

      Hi Sandy, LOVE your website!! Especially since it also features Sustainable Tourism, which I follow through my other blog http://www.endangerededen.wordpress.com. Where are you based? Any chance we can become your affiliate partners? My other website is http://www.uniquetraveldestinations.net/blog. Sincerely, dian

      • October 1, 2009 5:21 pm

        Hi Dian – how virtual are we?? I’m enjoying that I just posted and then you replied in almost real time! Thank you for your kind words, I love following both your blogs. We would love to work with you and become partners! Thank you!

      • uniquetraveldestinations permalink*
        October 1, 2009 5:32 pm

        Hi Sandy, Awesome! Yep, I’m still baffled (to this day) by the speed and connectivity of the internet via blogs. I just started blogging a few months back, and am attempting to focus essentially on Green Travel (it’s all lumped under this term, coz there’s a plethora of terminologies these days: from Responsible-, Eco-, Philanthropic-, Reality-, to Sustainable-travel & tourism. And there’s SOOOO MUCH out there to cover and write about. I’m fascinated by some of the latest uber chic luxe safari lodges in South Africa and Namibia (and one or two in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia). Green hotels never were this chic, stylish, cool & exciting. Chile is the other country that’s doing amazing things in the eco-chic (I call it Green & Chic) area. And don’t even get me started on Asia, they’re just beginning to wake up to the (marketing) power of “Green Tourism/Hotels”, and that would complement the world-class renowned service quality of Asian Hospitality!! Half of me hails from Indonesia, so I’m very familiar w/ that part of the world, Bali is HOT as always, and Thai’s islands (other than Phuket) are popping up on the map. India is another behemoth just waking up….. My other half is Czech (strange combo, I know), and of course I can’t start talking about Prague’s magic without being biased (was born there!).
        Ha.. ha.. look at me the blabber mouth, connecting with a total stranger!! Just kidding, us bloggers are all deeply connected via our joint passion in specific areas. Pleasure to be talking to you. Let’s stay connected. ciao, dian (San Diego)

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