The most popular tourist area in Mozambique, the archipelago consists of four main islands - Bazaruto, Benguera, Magaruque, and Santa Carolina. They are situated some 35 km off the mainland and are accessible by boat, or small aircraft, from the town of Vilanculos. High quality accommodation in this island of Mozambique attracts international visitors who, as well as swimming and sunbathing, can take part in a full range of water-sports that includes snorkelling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, salt water fly fishing, sailing and water-skiing.
Small antelope roam the islands alongside fresh-water crocodiles, mangrove crabs and samango monkeys while flamingo nest on the freshwater lakes. The islands are in fact home to over 240 varieties of birds including fish eagles, bee- eaters, harriers, ospreys and the elusive crab plover and green coucal. Bazaruto Marine Park now covers the entire Bazaruto Archipelago making this 1400 sq km reserve one of the largest in the Indian Ocean. In addition to humpback whales, dolphins, manta rays and five species of turtle, some 100 dugongs survive here - one of the very few viable populations on the East African coast.
Places to Stay on Bazaruto
Pestana Bazaruto Lodge
Azura Benguerra Island
Indigo Bay Resort Hotel & Spa
Quirimbas Archipelago Island of Mozambique, and a former Portuguese trading post, this beautiful island has been nominated for World Heritage status. Only accessible by boat from Pemba, it is well worth the effort as the island is steeped in history and ancient culture. A number of investors have identified this and community and conservation projects are underway to protect Ibo’s biodiversity.
The island prides itself on its three historical forts. The largest, St Jao Baptista on the northern side of the island, was used to imprison political prisoners from Portugal as late as the 1970’s. Today the fort is used for more peaceful work and is home to traditional silversmiths that practice their ancient art of hand made jewellery design.
Stay at Ibo Island Lodge
About 34 km out into Maputo Bay, Inhaca Island is accessible either by boat or light aircraft. The lovely island offers many different activities including a tractor ride to the lighthouse or a visit to the Marine Biology Museum. Scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, parasailing, windsurfing and surf or deep-sea fishing are just some of the more exciting activities. An excursion to neighbouring Portuguese Island or an escape to the ‘wild side’ of the island - with its crashing surf, deep blue sea and glorious wind - are also recommended. The abundant wildlife includes flamingo, pelicans and loggerhead turtles.
Stay at Inhaca Island Lodge & Resort
Ilha de Mocambique
(pronounced 'Ilya de Mozambique') this World Heritage Site, and former capital of Portuguese East Africa was a trading post, for gold, ivory and slaves for Portuguese ships plying the route to India.
The old part of the island is full of historical and architectural features. Numerous buildings, some constructed of coral, date back to the 16th century.
Consisting of 32 small islands, including Ibo Island, and stretching 100 km from Pemba to the Rovuma River on the border with Tanzania, the area boasts some of the richest coral reefs in the world and is home to an abundant array of marine life. Luxury lodges in Mozambique provide ample opportunity for relaxation while scuba diving, snorkelling, deep-sea- fishing, sailing, surf-casting and bird watching are just some of the activities on offer.
The southernmost of the islands, and a vast expanse of mainland forest, form the recently declared Quirimbas National Park. Elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo, wild dog and an amazing bird-life may be seen here while the marine fauna and flora includes sharks, sea turtles, humpback whales, the occasional dugong and over 50 types of coral.
Places to Stay throughout the Quirimbas
Azura at Quilalea
Matemo Island Resort
Medjumbe Island Resort
Guludo Beach Lodge