The Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park includes 5 islands, Bangue, Benguera, Margaruque in Vilankulo district and Santa Carolina and Bazaruto in the Inhassoro district. The protected marine area is 1430 km2. The park was proclaimed to protect dugongs, sea turtles and their habitats. It also covers the vegetation of the islands, coral reefs, waterfowl and all the fauna of the park. The park was proclaimed to protect dugongs, sea turtles and their habitats. It also covers the vegetation of the islands, coral reefs, waterfowl and all the fauna of the park. The BANP is an important ecological site because it currently has the largest population of dugongs on the West coast of the Indian Ocean, estimated at more than 250 individuals. (Source: https://www.bazarutopark.org/ )
We woke up on a misty Friday morning. There was a little bit of a chill in the air, but nothing like you would expect of winter.
We once again stayed at Eden Bay Eco Lodge, you can read my review of the lodge here >> Eden Bay Eco Lodge
We agreed on leaving with the boat at 8h30 but ended up just waiting for the mist to lift to start our trip to the Bazaruto Islands.
10 minutes after our original planned time we took the walk down to the boat, with our picnic bag, swimwear and towels and reef friendly sunblock. (If you don’t know what reef friendly sunblock is, please read my article here>> Reef Friendly sunblock)
When you stand on the Vilanculos beach the islands looks deceivingly near as if you could walk or swim there, but when you get on the boat, you realize they are a bit further than what you expected. On our way to the islands, we got a huge surprise with a school of dolphins swimming around us! It was absolutely breathtaking and also an icebreaker for my 2 ½-year-old daughter who was a bit scared of the boat and the wind and noise. The dolphins captivated her and she forgot that she was actually scared.
Shortly after that, we arrived at our first stop, Bazaruto Island. We got off and climbed a dune to enjoy an almost 360-degree ocean view. It is hard to describe the beauty and the colours and the pictures don’t do it justice. We sat on the dune for a bit and then took a walk to what is called Pansy Island.
We took a walk to admire the beautiful pansy shells and the millions of other shells that have washed out on the islands.
Once we finished our pansy walk we took off to go snorkeling at 2-mile reef. I have done this snorkel in 2013, and I could remember that it was magical, but nothing prepares you for how magical until you put your goggled-face underneath the turquoise waters again. It was and is breathtaking! My pictures cannot possibly do it justice, but I was glad to have a little underwater camera this time around.
This trip around proved to be a bit more challenging with my daughter with me, but one of our skippers never left our side. He looked after my husband when he was with our daughter and then stayed with me when I had her, to make sure we were completely safe. When I started to get a little tired he fetched me a life-jacket and I could float on it for a while longer with the extra support while holding my daughter. Unfortunately, she was a little too small to snorkel or even hang in the water with goggles on, but it is a skill we will practice with her in swimming pools so she can hopefully enjoy the fishes with us next time.
I compiled a short video with clips I took underwater. I don’t have the steadiest hand, so please excuse the shakiness.
When we were done snorkeling our skippers took us to a spot on Benguerra island where they set up chairs and a shade-cloth and we had our packed picnic and they also surprised us with a bowl of delicious popcorn.
After a memorable day, we made our way back to the mainland with fresh memories and pictures to take with us.
We went on the island trip with Bazaruto Encounters follow the link for enquiries.