The islands are Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Banque, Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island) and Shell. These islands have simply post-card perfect idyllic beaches, within a marine and wildlife sanctuary known for some of the best dive sites in the world.
One can dive with whale sharks and turtles, chase the waves with dolphins, and be enthralled by the vibrancy of the coral reef inhabitants and if you are ‘super lucky’ view the incredibly rare Dugong.
Another sought after past time in these waters is big game fishing, on a catch and release basis as you are within a marine reserve – world record 'big fish' include Marlin, King Mackerel, Bonnito, Wahoo, Sail Fish and the Giant Travelli, to name a few.
The lodges are few and are spread across the islands for that wonderfully remote and romantic island escape.
Holiday on Bazaruto Island - Bazaruto Lodge; Indigo Bay Island Resort & Spa
Holiday on Benguerra Island - Azura Lodge; Benguerra Lodge; Marlin Lodge
Holiday on Vilanculos San Sebastian Peninsula - Nyati Beach Lodge
* Although the San Sebastian Peninsula juts out from mainland Mozambique and is not an island as such, it is also a part of the Bazaruto Archipelago and wildlife sanctuary, and one can be quite fooled into thinking one is on an island as Nyati Lodge is situated right at the tip of the peninsula with almost 360 degree views of sea and lagoon.
Bazaruto Island – Indigo Bay Island Resort & Spa
Benguerra Island – Azura Lodge; Benguerra Lodge
Vilanculos San Sebastian Peninsula – Nyati Beach Lodge
Bazaruto Island – 7km Wide at its widest point by 37km long, a fairly large island that encompasses a variety of habitats – rolling dunes in the south, inland fresh water lakes that house crocodile and a myriad of birds as well as savannah grasslands to the west of the island.
Benguerra Island – 5km Wide at its widest point by 11km long. Here the tidal lows and highs differ by 10 metres, exposing long sand bars at low tide. Benguerra is a fascinating island with inland fresh water lakes as well as coconut palms and a wealth of fauna and flora that attracts a host of wildlife.
There are numerous flights into Vilaculos from South Africa, direct from Johannesburg as well as either via Kruger Mpumalanga International Aiport, also in South Africa (for that bush & beach safari), or one can fly Johannesburg, via Maputo or Beira to Vilanculos. Maputo is Mozambique's capital city and Beira within Mozambique provides access to Mozambique's up and coming National Park, Gorongosa, so another great bush and beach combination. Another of Mozambique's up and coming National Parks is the Niassa Reserve, which is also easily connected by domestic flights via Maputo.