Benguerra Archipelago – Benguerra island & Bazaruto island
The Benguerra Archipelago comprises the large islands of Bazaruto island and Benguerra island, as well as several smaller ones. It lies just off the Mozambique coast near Vilanculos (with its daily flights from Johannesburg). Here you will find empty white sandy beaches, lush vegetation, superb dive sites and an azure blue sea for swimming amongst the rich coral life. These idyllic island retreats are laid-back, romantic and peaceful. Most of the focus is on enjoying the unspoilt marine environment.
Choose either Bazaruto Island (Anantara Bazaruto) or Benguerra island (Azura Retreat or Benguerra Lodge) if you are looking for a relaxing romantic holiday or honeymoon. These small beach resorts or lodges complement the personalised experience of a luxury safari camp. Even the busier mainland resorts (see below) offer a glimpse into a slower, less commercially pressured way of life. Here time is measured by the moon and tides and happiness is a good catch!
Diving and Fishing off the Bazaruto Archipelago
The protected reefs surrounding the Benguerra and Bazaruto Islands support dolphin, game fish and giant lobster. The shallow, crystal-clear waters offer spectacular safe snorkelling and diving. All protected by the dazzling soft coral reefs. Thrill-seekers can experience the exhilaration of big game fishing, fighting marlin (between October and March) as well as barracuda, kingfish, tuna and sailfish amongst others. The archipelago is also one of the last remaining habitats of the endangered Dugong. This pale, voluptuous sea mammal is fabled to have made mariners believe in mermaids.
On both Benguerra Island and Bazaruto Island a mosaic of forest, savanna and saltwater lakes sustains a diversity of flora and fauna. Birders will not be disappointed with over 125 species recorded. This includes the rare crab plover, olive bee-eater, green coucal, narina trogan and Paradise flycatchers.
There are no shops, no real roads and very few vehicles on Benguerra Island – only a couple of fishing villages surrounded by wild cashew nut and orange trees. If you want a cosmopolitan bustling resort experience, then Benguerra Island or Bazaruto Island is not for you!
The Bazaruto Archipelago versus the Quirimbas?
Choose the islands of Benguerra or Bazaruto if you:
- Don’t have many days and so need to get to your beach lodge with relative ease.
- Want to combine diving with other activities… island visits, dhow cruises, deep sea fishing
Mozambique Beach Resorts on the mainland
We have also included some mainland resorts here, such as Dugong Beach Lodge and Villa Santorini. These offer some of the ambience of the islands at a lower price tag. But overall the experience is quite different with more focus on simple R&R and less on snorkeling and diving.