Bazaruto Archipelago Marine National Park
Bazaruto Marine Park came about in 1971, now covers the entire Bazaruto Archipelago making this 1400sq km reserve one of the largest in the Indian Ocean. The area protects the few surviving dugongs and marine turtles as well as Fauna and flora, coral reefs and marine birds. Others including humpback whales, dolphins, and manta rays can also be found. The Bazaruto Archipelago consists of five big Islands, the Bazaruto is the biggest island and has a lot of luxurious resorts and lodges on it. It has a large covering of clear blue water and fresh water lakes where crocodiles, exotic butterflies and about 125 species of birds live.
The next big island after Bazaruto is the Benguerra Island, which is then followed by the Bangue, Magaruque, and the least is Santa Carolina. Just like the Bazaruto, these other islands also shows similar Landscape and wildlife. They are covered by large sand dunes and freshwater lakes, pink flamingos, freshwater crocodiles, red Duiker antelope and Samango Monkeys.
The islands are also known for game fishing, as most of the rural communities in Mozambique rely on agriculture and fish farming as a source of living. Rural communities with about 3500 inhabitants are few kilometres away from the ocean, the fishermen harvest marine species such as sand oysters and others, and the agriculturalists engage in growing crops and raising livestock. Most families engage in both trade since both are highly rewarding businesses.
All though Vilanculos Island is sometimes also considered as part of the Bazaruto Archipelago islands, it’s actually not related. Vilanculos is merely a fishing town and serves as the gateway to the Bazaruto Islands, separated from the mainland by an expanse of turquoise sea.
Other interesting aspect is the history of these islands ruins, where willing locals with big smiles and radiating enthusiasm share their knowledge on their beautiful Islands to visitors.