About the Bazaruto Archipelago

The Bazaruto National Park is a protected area in the Inhambane Province of Mozambique on the Bazaruto Archipelago and covers a large expanse of ocean and six islands. The Bazaruto Archipelago is a group of six islands in Mozambique, near the mainland city of Vilanculos. It comprises the islands of Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Banque, Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island) and Shell. Nyati Island is further South. The islands were originally formed from sand deposited by the Save River, which has since shifted its course.

People of the Bazaruto Archipelago

The first inhabitants of what is now Mozambique were the San hunters and gatherers who were the ancestors of the Khoisan peoples. Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from the north through the Zambezi River valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas.

Today, many of the island residents are relatively recent arrivals who sought haven during the war years, but some are descendants of the people who dove for and traded the famous pearls and ambergris of the islands, and some the descendants of a thriving coastal dhow trade. All the islands except Bangué are inhabited.

Weather Overview

The climate of the Bazaruto archipelago, located in the south-central part of Mozambique, is tropical, with a hot and rainy season from November to March, and a dry season from April to mid-November.

From December to February it rains more than 100 mm (4 in) per month. From November to May, there are occasional cyclones.

There is sunshine all year round, even in the wetter months and the sea temperatures do not go lower than 24 °C (75 °F).

Travel Information

Cards vs Cash

Credit cards are usually accepted at more upmarket hotels, but apart from this your credit card will be of little use. MasterCard and Visa are the only accepted methods of credit card payments at most large resorts and lodges in Mozambique.  Most smaller lodges do not have credit card facilities and prefer cash payment. Rural areas and the islands typically accept cash only.


Credit cards can be used in ATMs displaying the appropriate sign or to obtain cash advances over the counter in many banks; Visa and MasterCard are the most widely recognised. While ATM’s are spreading across the popular locations they are not usually available in the rural areas.


Mozambique uses the Metical (MZN or MT) which is divided into 100 centavos. While US$ and British Sterling and South African Rands are widely accepted, you will need Metical when travelling the islands. Travellers cheques are often very hard to exchange.

Banks and foreign exchange bureaus in Mozambique will change all major currencies into Metical the local currency, South African Rand and US dollar are also widely accepted.

Mozambique has made it possible for all international travellers to obtain a dual-entry visa on arrival in Vilanculos. The visa costs $50 (U.S.) and is valid for 30 days.  Not all visitors to Mozambique require a tourist visa.  To find out whether you will need a tourist visa you can click here and select your country of origin.

Outside the capital of Maputo, there is extremely limited WiFi.  Some lodges offer limited range WiFi at relatively low speeds, but this is not guaranteed.

Local SIM cards can be bought for data use or voice or both. Remote Places Photography will provide you with your own Mozambican SIM card upon arrival.

However, in many areas, especially many of the remoter places we will be travelling, there are no, or very unreliable connections and connectivity cannot be guaranteed.


Like all cities, the main cities of Maputo and Beira experience some crime, although it is limited. Vilanculos is safer than most but if you want to explore after dark, please ask RPP for advice on safety.

Safety at sea is paramount. Your Dhow captain and crew are highly experienced and will advise you on safety matters. Qualified and experienced snorkellers will advise on safe snorkelling when you are in the water. RPP cannot be held responsible if you ignore safety regulations on board or in the sea, and the Dhow captains and snorkel experts reserve the right to offload anyone who ignores safety regulations.


It is generally advised that you are up-to-date with diphtheria, hepatitis A and tetanus.

Other vaccines to consider are:
Hepatitis B
Rabies typhoid

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers arriving from countries where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

Scroll to Top