The Bazaruto Archipelago contains out off 5 main islands. All islands form a huge Maritime and National Park since 1971. I find that extremely encouraging for Mozambique’s future. About 10000 Years ago, these islands were connected to the São Sebastiáo Peninsula further south.
There are luxuries expensive lodges on the islands, most people opt for day trips. Needless to say that the Bazaruto Archipelago is a popular tourist destination, as these sandy islands couldn’t get any more idyllic.
There are plenty of tour operators here ranging from cruisy dhow sails to faster speedboat options.
To sail to Bazaruto takes about 3 hours one way. The faster speedboat includes snorkeling along the eastern shores of the islands, over the reef. Impossible to manage on a dhow filled with tourists.
Svenja and Finja found a local tour guide by the name of Mino for a tour over to Bazaruto island. I met them briefly whilst staying in Tofo and we bumped into each other again at ‘Baobab Beach Backpackers’. Two young German girls bussing up Mozambique’s east coast.
I was up early again, capturing another stunning sunrise.
Capturing the palms, dhows, and the people.
The sun reflections on calm waters are just mind-blowing.
Early dhow fishermen sailing of already, whilst others still preparing.
Besides, I will be cruising inland from here and won’t be seeing any saltwater beaches until I reach Namibia on the west coast.
Mito arrived on time and after a short briefing and snorkel and fin check, we were on our way. I sat in front of the speedboat, enjoying the view through clear shallow waters. Dolphins, turtles, and dugongs call these waters home, but I didn’t see any.
A good hour later, we shipped into a calm bay overlooking gigantic sand dunes in crystal clear waters. The message from the Park warden was clear! Take photos only, leave only footprints behind.
Even an eco-toilet had been built to reduce impact. We had about an hour to climb up these impressive sand dunes, to enjoy the view over islands and ocean.
Clear blue skies gave the perfect opportunity for close up photos.
Jumping of sand dunes, or just digging into the sand. It felt like walking in the Sahara desert.
The view over the ocean was just as stunning. Sandbars were clearly visible through the island channel, the large reef a bit further east. Tricky boating conditions.
The perfect backdrop for group photos.
We chilled a while on the edge of the sand dunes.
Whilst watching other tourists arriving.
Returning a different way one could see the size off the never-ending sand island. Clear blue skies on turquoise waters.
Mito and the rest of the crew were busy preparing lunch to enjoy after our snorkel adventure. And that it was. This channel is nicknamed ‘the washing machine’, for good reasons. We were soaked before we reached the more swell protecting reef. But even snorkeling had his challenges. Sadly, a lot of coral had been destroyed over the years. We spent a good hour snorkeling these waters. I was hoping to see a shark, or turtle, or maybe a larger pelagic swimming by. None of the above.
Lunch was ready by the time we returned to Bazaruto island, we all were hungry. A freshly cooked rice dish with a tomato base, grilled Spanish Mackerel, and chicken, fruits for dessert. Yumm.
After a lengthy siesta break, we moved on to Benguerra Island. A few resorts line the shores, on this popular sandy island. The calm waters attracted other tourists, which dhow fishermen know.
One boat caught plenty of garfish, as well a fair number of ‘Bonito Tuna’.
Soft sand and crystal clear, calm waters opted for a perfect photo.
Most people just relaxed and enjoyed the view of dhows passing in the distance,
through sun glared waters.
Returning back to Vilankulo, a game of football was held in between dhows. Perfect pitch, perfect time, perfect surroundings.
Svenja, Finja and I joined Mito and his crew for a few farewell beers and a game of pool with local friends. It was an amusing affair with loud Reggae and … been played. Players danced around the tables, others chatting, a really cool vibe. I wasn’t going to have a late, drunk night, but Mito kept twisting my arm and the beers coming. We went over to ‘Mambo Jambo’s’ by the beach were more local folk enjoyed the Friday night.
A brilliant solo guitarist played great songs of the local genre. I met more and more friendly locals, chatting away about anything. One invited me for a bbq on Saturday, but I will be leaving early morning. I farewelled Mito and wished him all the best for future outings. With his positive attitude and friendly nature, no doubt he will be ok.
For me, it was time for bed. A perfect ending for a perfect day with Mito Obrigado.
For a great day around the islands, get in touch with Mito