The second largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago. Benguerra Island Mozambique lies 14km from the mainland. While small, just 11km long x 5.5 km wide, the island packs a lot in and was made a national park in 1971! Benguerra consists of forest, savannah, freshwater lakes, and wetland ecosystems, home to a wide diversity of fauna and flora. Dry and sunny all year round, this is the perfect place to relax and indulge your senses and getting here is reassuringly straightforward — a beautiful relaxing end to a bush adventure.
But other than relaxing, there is a surprising amount to do and plenty to see in the "adventure haven" of Benguerra Island! Diving, sailing on dhows, fishing, riding, eating and enjoying cocktails in the warm African sun.
The island and the ocean here is a paradise on top or beneath the waves. The waters around the island form part of a protected marine conservation area. These waters are home to Africa's only population of the most unique and endangered sea cow; the rare dugong. The ocean here is a mecca for diving enthusiasts and snorkellers with perfectly and naturally preserved reefs. In addition to the massive draw of the dugong, the reefs are home to languid turtles, migrating whales, and playful dolphins, all alongside a wide variety of reef species. These include the sportfish spear-bill marlin, steel grey sailfish and tuna that call this home. Various fully equipped dive centres offer Benguerra Island diving adventures to suit and excite every guest, from experienced dive masters to novices seeking to see a whole new underwater world of wonder and beauty. Choice dive sites include the main dive site at Two Mile Reef, and trips to 5 Mile Reef, 9 Mile Reef, San Sebastian, and Margaruque Island can also be arranged.
Above the water, experience a beautiful, relaxing sail in a dhow. The wooden dhow is the traditional fishing vessel with a triangular sail that locals use. Climb aboard and enjoy a stunning cruise around the azure bay, seeing the island from the shore and watch the sun setting over the islands, cold drink in hand, listening to the quiet splash of the waves and swoosh of the dhow's sail, enjoying an African sunset.
The Bazaruto Archipelago is a world-renowned catch and release fishing destination; the island boasts excellent professional fishing guides at some of our favourite lodges, such as Azura Benguerra and &Beyond Benguerra Island Lodge, with fully equipped multipurpose fishing boats. Between the islands and the mainland are shallow flats providing an ideal breeding ground for bait fish, feeding the numerous species of game fish found in the waters. Fishing here comes in many options. For keen sports anglers, there's the opportunity to hunt the ocean's kingpin, the spear-bill marlin, or go after billfish, sailfish or tuna. Other more leisurely options include light tackle fishing in the bay and fly-fishing in the open ocean to depths of between 10 to 40 metres to catch king and queen mackerel, barracuda, the bonito and the crimson snapper.
Otherwise, there are options to take in the beauty of Benguerra Island on horseback, regardless of your riding capability! The island has a fantastic stable of horses and excellent horsing specialist guides who know each horse and gauge and plan your ride according to all levels of riding abilities. So anyone can see the island from the unique perspective of horseback at a comfortable pace for your own riding skill, or lack thereof. Join the horses and a dedicated guide to experience the adventure of the trails and marked pathways on a casual stroll or a gallop across the sands. Routes are never fixed with guides showing you the island's highlights, be they miles of open beach, rolling oceans of the north, exotic bush, or the happenings of local life on this island paradise. A real treat for horse lovers is to take to the seas on horseback!
Helicopter tours are available from some of our favourite Benguerra Island resorts for those wishing to see the island from the different perspective of peering at the coastline and the kaleidoscope of blues of the ocean from the air.
Getting here is from flights to Mozambique's Vilanculo coastal town via Johannesburg International Airport or one of two flights a week from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. As we say, a stunning follow-on to your Southern African safari adventure.
Contact Safari Guru to find out what other destinations work well with Mozambique for your ultimate bush and beach vacation.
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