The Bazaruto National Park
This is the only marine park in the country and was proclaimed by Decree nº. 46 of 25th of May 1971 and its limits revised by Decree nº. 39/2001 of the 27th November.
The park was created in order to protect dugong and marine turtles and their respective habitats. Due to their significance the vegetation of the islands, the coral reefs, marine birds and the fauna of the park were also included.
Situated in the Inhambane province on and along the coast of Vilanculos and Inhassoro districts, the park covers a large expanse of ocean as well as the five islands of the archipelago with an area of 1430 km2.
The park has three camps (Sitone and Zenguelrmo in the island of Bazaruto and Chizungune in the island of Benguerua) and monitoring posts in the islands of Magaruque and Santa Carolina. At Vilanculos there is also a park support camp.
Location: The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park (BANP) is situated in the districts of Vilanculos and Inhassoro in Inhambane Province. Comprises 5 islands in the Bazaruto Archipelago, 20 km from the coast of Vilanculos and Inhassoro.
Area: 1,400 km 2
Access: Either by road or plane to Vilanculos or Inhassoro and later on by air or sea into the islands.
Best viewing season: Throughout the year.
Accommodation: Pestana Bazaruto Lodge, Benguerra Lodge, Indigo Bay Lodge, Marlin Lodge, Sabay Bay Lodge, Zenguelema Campsite, Magarruque Island, Gabriel’s Lodge.
Attractions: It has a wide range of marine species diversity and it is considered one of the world’s major dive centers. Beaches with transparent and clear waters and an avifauna rich in species.
Fauna: Dugongs, various species of whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, rays and over 240 varieties of birds, including the flamingo, the rare crab plover and green coucal.
Viewing Hours: The BANP, can be visited daily from 7h30 to 16h30.
Particularities: The BANP has a sea and road component. It was availed to protect sea fauna species namely dungongs, marine turtles and dolphins and also the weak ecosystems of the islands. It is worth stressing that the 150 dugongs found here are one of the major populations of East Africa.