About 35 mi/55 km off the mainland and 380 mi/610 km northeast of Maputo, the Bazaruto Archipelago consists of five islands: Bazaruto, Magaruque, Santa Carolina, Benguera (Benguerra) and Bangue.
In 1971, the Portuguese bestowed national park status on the area to protect its precious marine fauna. Small herds of red duiker antelope still roam the islands, carving out a precarious existence alongside freshwater crocodiles and samango monkeys. The reefs are fertile breeding grounds for turtles, dolphins and dugongs.
The archipelago is home to several of Mozambique's top boutique-lodges, which offer excellent scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, sailing and island exploration. The islands are fringed by miles-/kilometers-long beaches and massive sand dunes. The sand is so soft it squeaks beneath your feet. The scrub-covered interiors are studded with freshwater lakes, which are nesting grounds for beautiful black-winged flamingos.
To get there, take one of the chartered flights from Maputo or South Africa, or go by dhow (Arab-style sailing boat) or helicopter from the mainland towns of Vilankulos and Inhassoro.
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