Highlights and main attractions of Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago
The sleepy seaside town of Vilanculos is the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago, a series of five islands – Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangué – scattered along the southern coast of Mozambique. Known as the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’, the archipelago is the quintessential tropical paradise; renowned for its white palm-fringed beaches and warm, azure seas.
Most of the archipelago lies within the marine protected area of Bazaruto National Park, established in 1971 to protect the endangered dugong and its habitat. The coral reefs that surround the island chain offer unparalleled snorkelling and diving opportunities, with dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, whale sharks and over 2000 fish species inhabiting the crystal clear waters, while flocks of flamingos and pelicans fly overhead.
The pristine beaches and diverse reefs of the Bazaruto Archipelago are among the best in Africa.