The Benguerra Archipelago comprises the larger 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.
Stay on either Bazaruto Island (at Anantara Bazaruto) or Benguerra island (at Azura Retreat or AndBeyond Benguerra Lodge) if you are looking for a relaxing romantic holiday or honeymoon. These small beach resorts complement the personalised experience of a luxury safari camp. Even the mainland resorts (see more 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 Benguerra Island and Bazaruto Island support dolphin, game fish and giant lobster. The shallow, crystal-clear waters offer spectacular snorkelling and diving, 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. 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. So if you want a cosmopolitan bustling resort experience, then the islands are not for you!
The Bazaruto Archipelago vs the Quirimbas?
Choose Benguerra or Bazaruto Islands if you:
- Don’t have many days. So you need to get to your beach lodge with relative ease.
- Want to combine diving with other activities. Such as island visits, dhow cruises, deep sea fishing
- Want to fly directly from your private safari lodge in the Kruger to the islands all in one day. No need to overnight in Johannesburg!
Mozambique Resorts on the mainland
We have also included some mainland resorts under our Bazaruto island region, 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.