BAZARUTO ARCHIPERAGO NATIONAL PARK.
The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park was inaugurated in 1971, an archipelago of six islands off the Mozambican coast between Vilankulo and Inhassoro. The park was created to protect dugong and marine turtles, and their habitats. The islands’ flora and fauna, coral reefs and marine birds were also included. The largest island is Bazaruto Island and the others are Benguerra, Margaruque, Santa Carolina (Paradise Island), Banque and Pansy Shell Island.
The islands have a lush tropical climate and include huge dunes, forest and savannah, inland lakes and wetlands. They host several endemic terrestrial gastropods and lizards, as well as important aggregation of Palearctic migrant water birds. The archipelago is attractive to tourists who are interested in diving or snorkeling. The rich variety of marine life includes humpback whales, marine turtles, spinner, humpback and bottlenose dolphins, marlins and barracudas. BANP gives protection to the largest and only remaining viable population of dugongs in the Western Indian Ocean. The coral reefs are varied and said to be the least disturbed in this part of the Indian Ocean.
People Around Bazaruto Archipelago national park
The archipelago has about 3,500 residents in seven communities. They are mostly very poor and rely on harvesting natural resources to survive. 70% of households rely on small-scale fishing to survive, while others harvest sand oysters and other marine resources, grow crops and raise livestock. Resources may not be sufficient to maintain the population, leading to decreased catches of fish, reduced harvests and increasing poverty and food insecurity.
Conservation. And Tourism
The BANP is a popular tourist destination. As of 2011, the park had five hotels promoting high-value, low-impact programs. The hotels make an important contribution to the local economy through employment
The highlights of Bazaruto Archipelago National Park.
Bazaruto is the first marine park to fall under African Parks’ management. It spans 1,360 km² of productive seascape that is connected by a chain of five islands.
The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park hosts 141 bird species, 18 reptile species, 21 mammal species, five dolphin species and the last viable population of an estimated 180 dugongs in the western Indian Ocean.
With regular patrolling, improved capacity and the helpful collaboration of the Maritime Authority and the local police, our 53 rangers (16 of whom are women) have been able to help curb illegal activities in the park.
In 2020, scholarships were provided to 120 school children, along with learning materials and uniforms.
This area holds extraordinary potential for nature-based tourism. Nine tourism concessions have signed contracts with ANAC, bringing them under formal regulation and providing the park with revenue.
In 2020 a detailed code of conduct was developed for wildlife viewing, snorkeling and scuba-diving and more than 90 boat skippers from the tourism sector were trained on various aspects of best practices to limit negative effects on the environment.
ACTIVITIES DONE IN BAZARUPO ARCHIPERAGO NATIONAL PARK.
The archipelago’s coral reefs and clear waters offer some of the best diving in the world, dive sites are uncrowded and marine life is varied and abundant. With sites at a depth of 12 to 30m and visibility up to 40m you will discover protected reefs teeming with dolphin, hump back whales, whale sharks, sharks, manta and spotted eagle rays, green and turtles.
Experience the wonder of a traditional sailing dhow gliding through the Bazaruto Archipelago. The islands of Benguerra, Bazaruto, Margaruque and Santa Carolina are complete with azure waters, sandy beaches, palm trees and pristine coral reefs.
PADI Dive Resort center regular departures to Bazaruto and San Sebastian reefs and snorkeling areas phone contact Kyle or Nicole for all your activities during your stay in Vilanculos including special Accommodation packages
Game fishing – The area surrounding is ranked as the best Black Marlin destination in the Eastern Indian Ocean. The season runs from early October through to end of January each year. The Marlin come close in to the shallow waters around the Islands and can often be found feeding around the shoals of various species of tuna that frequent our waters during this time of the year. The Bazaruto Archipelago area also offers salt water fly fishing for the sought-after bonefish.
While offering an exquisite paradise, travelers may find accommodation on the islands prohibitively expensive, particularly with the closure of “Gabrielle’s”, the last reasonably priced accommodation, to make way for yet another luxury lodge. Fortunately, the government is monitoring the development of the islands, and are allowing ‘eco-friendly lodges’, not massive hotels. If you can’t afford these, Vilanculos offers a plethora of affordable places to sleep. And among tem include, Benguerra lodge, pestana Bazaruto lodge, Rani Resorts Indigo Bay, Archipelago Resort.
Sunburn can be a real risk on the islands, especially if on a day trip. Make use of the shade if you can find it during your lunch break, and bring a high SPF sunscreen.