Uninhabited islands of white sand are strung along the coastline, dolphins swim in the channel and many varieties of bird inhabit the dense dune forests. This is one of the most beautiful of the Mozambique Islands.
This protection was increased for Bazaruto & Benguerra islands when they were declared a National Park. It is hoped that the surrounding area will be included in this designation in the future, in the meantime partners including WWF, the Southern African
Nature Foundation and the Moçambique based Fundacao Natureza em Perigo are working together to ensure the sustainable management of the archipelago.
The islands of Bazaruto, Benguerra and Magaruque were once joined in one long sand spit, this 70km long stretch of sand separated into three separate islands around 6000 years ago. The smallest island, Santa Carolina, is the only genuine rock island in the archipelago.
This area offers a range of unique and important ecological ecosystems, from pristine coral reefs and clear blue waters to white sand beaches, dune forests and freshwater lakes. The isolation of the islands has also ensured protection for the inhabitants.
The huge variety of wildlife species found here include freshwater crocodiles, turtles, small antelope, rodents, snakes, falcons, frigate birds and one of the last remaining viable populations of the enigmatic dugong. The waters are also perfect for game fishing and keen visitors may be lucky enough to catch species such as marlin, sailfish, king, queen & Spanish mackerel.
The mainland town of Vilankulo is the closest to the islands and offers an airport, hotels, markets and restaurants serving wonderful seafood. The village of Inhassoro is 94km north of Vilankulo and is a small, sleepy fishing community.