The Bazaruto Archipelago is a tropical paradise just off the coast of Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. Warm year-round, it consists of six islands renowned for relaxation, diving, snorkeling, birding, canoeing, kitesurfing, and horseback riding. Together with more than 500 square miles of waters around it, the Bazaruto Archipelago been a marine national park since 1971.
The ocean here offers countless treasures, including one of East Africa’s largest populations of the endangered dugong. This marine mammal looks like a cross between a toothless walrus and a dolphin. It is also known as the sea cow because it spends its days grazing on seagrass. An estimated 100 to 150 dugongs live around the Bazaruto Archipelago.
Other marine megafauna in Bazaruto National Park include whale sharks, manta rays, leatherback turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and humpback whales. Dazzling species such as angel fish, banner fish, parrot fish, butterfly fish, Moorish idols, and surgeonfish dart among the coral reefs.
On land, saline lakes and tidal flats attract numerous seabirds and predators such as fish eagles. Antelopes such as red duikers and bushbucks can also be seen. If you like reptiles, keep an eye open for the Nile crocodile and the three species of skink endemic to the Bazaruto Archipelago.