Mozambique Locations

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Along the historical Moçambician channel, opposite Vilanculos on the mainland, lie a chain of 5 islands; Bazaruto, Benguerra, Maraque, Banque and Santa Carolina.

Benguerra is approx. 11Kms x 5Kms, and the forest, savannah and wetland eco-systems sustain a diverse population of flora and fauna on this idyllic island getaway, which was declared a National Park in 1971.

Originally named “Santa Antonio” by Portuguese explorers, it was later named “Benguerra” after a local Tribal Chief.

Bazaruto Island is 37Km long by 7Km wide, with flora and fauna abounding. Flamingos frequent the tidal flats, and the freshwater lakes on the island are home to many large crocodiles. The West of the island is savanna grassland and thicket whereas the East is composed entirely of enormous sand dunes that change colour in the different lights of the day.

The whole Bazaruto Archipelago is part of a Conservation project whose primary objective is to maintain the ecological and social integrity of the Bazaruto National Park by wise sustainable use of the resources.

On Benguerra Cashew nut trees are indigenous and grow on the seaward side of the island. The local residents harvest the nuts and the toxic husk from the nuts is used to brew very intoxicating liquor!

Wild orange trees abound as do sisal plants which are used in a manufactured form by the locals to repair their fishing nets. Mlala palms are everywhere and the leaves are used in the weaving of mats, baskets and hats which are good souvenirs of the Bazaruto Archipelago. The sap from the palms is used to brew a potent liquor.
The Bazaruto islands attracts nature lovers, sun worshippers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Activities include: Deep – Sea Diving, where there are numerous coral reefs and old wrecks to explore, Snorkeling on the inside of the reef, Saltwater fly fishing and above all Big Game Fishing. The Bazaruto Archipelago offers Big Game Fishing on a world class level. The best time for Marlin fishing is from mid September to the end of December. Sailfish fishing is from April to August and smaller game fish such as King Mackerel, Bonito, Travelli, Queen Mackerel are available all year round. “Tag and Release” fishing is the usual policy.

For birding enthusiasts, approximately 164 different birds have been identified and confirmed on the Bazaruto islands in habitats varying from the coastal dunes, open grasslands and fresh water lakes. More unusual birds to be seen are the green coucals, green pigeons, purple banded and black sunbirds, olive bee-eaters, mannikins, paradise fly-catchers, bartailed godwits, whimbrels and crab plovers. The Archipelago is a shell collector’s haven. At North Point, Pansy Island and numerous surrounding sandbanks, many of the famous “Pansy Shells”” can be seen. There are two types of these shells, one of which is endemic to Mozambique.

The Islanders’ cuisine relies heavily on freshly caught fish and shell fish with the exotic Portuguese flavours predominating.

The Quirimbas Archipelago stretches for 100 kilometers along the Mozambique coast. These tropical islands contain some of the richest coral reefs in the world and provide habitat for an abundant array of marine life. The Quirimbas Archipelago consists of 32 tropical coral islands stretching from Pemba (the capital of Cabo Delgado Province) to the Rovuma River, which forms the natural frontier between Tanzania and Mozambique. The area has never been developed and remains an unexplored tourist paradise.

These idyllic islands stretch from the quaint city of Pemba in the south to the town of Palma in the north. Some of the charming islands in the south include a vast expanse of enchanted forest in the Quirimbas National Park. The park was established in 2002 as an answer to the local community’s need to nurture and sustain their precious natural environment. Feeding and nesting grounds for the park’s delightful population of sea turtles, dugong, dolphins, sharks and whales are found here.

Pemba is the access point for the Quirimbas Archipelago. This Archipelago is another pristine destination, although more remote and less frequented than Bazaruto Archipelago.  Snorkelling, fishing and diving in these waters doesn’t get better than this!

The Quirimbas have enormous cultural and historical value, with a combination of Arabian, Portuguese, and African influences. The magnificent old fortresses on Ibo Island boast intriguing historical and fascinating sites. With mangroves, coral and palms, this island tells a story of slaves, pirates and ivory.

The impressive 1,500km2 marine area of Quirimbas National Park includes 11 coral islands stretching for 100km. These islands feature phenomenal vertical drop-offs, some up to 400 meters. These walls are abundant with coral covered caves and tropical fish ranging from gobies to mammoth Napoleon Wrasse and game fish including Kingfish and Spanish Mackerel.

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