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Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
Fast Facts
Points of Interest Nearby
Family Travel Tips

Benguerra Island


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

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Nearly twenty years of civil war and a history of famine have kept Mozambique and its Bazaruto Archipelago -- one of Africa's most precious treasures - off-the-beaten-path. Not for long. Backpackers and well-heeled tourists alike are again traveling to Bazaruto to explore the archipelago's many wonders. A marine park since 1971, this chain of islands stretching south from Inhassoro to Vilanculos and situated between 10 and 25 km off Mozambique's coast offers access to Africa's most extensive and unspoiled coral reefs. And scuba diving is not the only family adventure on hand; excellent game fishing, snorkeling, sea life viewing and birdwatching are also to be had.

Settled by the Bantu speaking people around 500 AD and established as a trading post by Arab maritime merchants as early as the 10th century, the archipelago's famed amber and pearls were noted well before the arrival of the Portuguese. While these once sought after treasures have all but disappeared, there is still much for adults and kids to discover. Dolphins, turtles, whales and dugong are but a few.

The sea may be the main reason for a family beach vacation in this tiny corner of Mozambique yet the land-based spectacle is no less intriguing. A walk along the beach is nothing short of a trip to a gallery of shells. And at low tide you need not search far to find a Pansy shell, hundreds of these once fury sea urchins line the sand bars as well as the shore.

Don't forget to take a peek at the island's interior. The sand dunes, mangrove forests and inland lakes are home to 125 species of birds as well as a variety of mammals and even one or two crocodiles. And although it may seem impossible, three of the Archipelago's islands -- Bazaruto, Benguerra and Magaruque - were mainland sand spits less than 6000 years ago.

White sand beaches, towering sand dunes and one thousand shades of blue. Pristine coral reefs and sea life large and small. Yet what makes a family vacation in Bazaruto unique is the total lack of crowds.
History & Culture
A trip to Bazaruto Archipelago provides an opportunity to introduce the kids to the history and geography of this marine reserve. Learn about barrier island morphology and the archipelago's geomorphologic evolution. Find out how the islands were formed and read about the making of a marine park. Discover Farol do Bazaruto, the lighthouse situated on the northern tip of Bazaruto Island, one of two historical buildings in the archipelago.
Online maps are a great travel planning resource and a great way to get the kids involved in a family vacation. Use online maps of Bazaruto Archipelago to pinpoint your family travel destination and plot your route when you arrive.
  • Bazaruto Maps
Books are a great way to introduce younger children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. Learn more about Mozambique through guidebooks, novels and historical fiction and embark on a different kind of family journey. Discover age-appropriate children's literature. Get a complete list of Mozambican authors. Find recommended reading lists for adults and kids. Read book reviews from sources other than Amazon and get an 'African' view on Mozambican literature.
Music & Sound
Marrabenta, with its distinctive Afro-Latin beat, is the most popular style of modern dance music in Mozambique. But it isn't the only. Discover the wild rhythms of Timbila, wooden xylophones played by the Chopi people of southern Mozambique. Learn about traditional Tofu songs sung by the women of Ilha de Moçambique. Find out about the panpipe music played in the country's far north. And, of course, listen to Mozambique music online.
Read Mozambique newspapers online and brush up on Mozambican current events from politics to economics and sports to entertainment. Get Mozambique news and discover what Mozambicans are reading and gain an understanding of the country and the people.
Kids' Stuff
Online resources make learning about Bazaruto Archipelago lots of fun. Did you know that dugong, dolphin and sea turtles are often spotted on snorkeling and scuba diving trips? Learn about dugong, the large marine mammal with a downturned snout. Read up on dolphins and test your knowledge when you're done. Did you know that the leatherback turtle is the largest living turtle in the world? Get fun facts about sea turtles and discover which species frequent the waters of Bazaruto National Park. And if you are traveling to Bazaruto in winter, take note. Southern Right Whales can be seen in the deep water beyond the coral reef. Find out more about this type of baleen whale before you depart on a whale watching trip.
Associations and non-profit organizations can be a valuable resource as well as means to get involved. Find out more about a few of the organizations involved in the conservation of the Mozambique's marine life and coastal environment. Learn about new projects as well as ongoing initiatives that require support.
Travel Trivia
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