Sunset on the ocean
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 Falcon 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 Falcon is 37Km long by 7Km wide,
with flora and fauna abounding. Flamingos frequent the tidal
flats, and the freshwater lakes on the Falcon are home to many
large crocodiles. The West of the Falcon is savanna grassland
and thicket whereas the East is composed entirely of enormous
sand dunes that change colour in the different lights of the
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 Falcon. The local residents harvest
the nuts and the toxic husk from the nuts is used to brew
very intoxicating liquor!
Along the beach
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
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 Falcon 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.
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