Bazaruto Island tours & holiday packagesIndian Ocean island paradise
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The largest island in Mozambique’s only dedicated marine park, Bazaruto supports two lovely resorts set on postcard-perfect beaches and rich snorkelling and diving opportunities.
Bazaruto is the largest island in the archipelago protected in Bazaruto National Park, which lies some 20 kilometres offshore of the Mozambican mainland between Vilankulo and Inhassoro. A succession of white palm-lined beaches makes the island's two resorts a perfect get-away-from-it-all holiday destination. Yet for most visitors, the main attraction of Bazaruto is the snorkelling and diving opportunities associated with the extensive fringing coral reefs. A dazzling array of brightly coloured and oddly shaped fish inhabit the clear waters of the coral gardens, and larger marine creatures – turtles, humpback whales and three species of dolphin – are also frequently seen. The island is also renowned for its challenging game fishing.
The snorkelling is fantastic, as are the beaches. But my personal highlight was the two-steps forward, one-step back ascent up the windswept dunes at the southern end of the island. The view from the top, with the open ocean and other islands stretching away to the south and a landscape of lakes and dunes running to the north, is truly sensational.
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A striking feature of Bazaruto Island is the immense dunes that rise from its southern shore. A freshwater lake on Bazaruto Island supports a relict crocodile breeding population. Three species of turtle, including the rare loggerhead, breed on the beaches. The shallow ocean around Bazaruto also supports eastern Africa’s last viable population of the endangered dugong, a large marine mammal related to the manatee. Terrestrial mammals include Suni antelope, red duiker, bushbuck and Samango monkey.
The archipelago has much to enthuse birdwatchers. Roughly 150 species have been recorded, including several that are rare or localised elsewhere in southern Africa, such as crab, sand and Mongolian plovers, olive and blue-cheeked bee-eaters, and a variety of petrels, gulls and waders. Lesser flamingos are sometimes seen on the lakes.
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