The Bazaruto Archipelago is a group of six islands in Mozambique, near the mainland city of Vilankulo. It comprises the islands of Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Banque, Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island) and Shell. Nyati Island locates in further south.
The group belongs to the Vilankulo and Inhassoro districts of Inhambane Province. The islands were formed from sand deposited by the Save River, which has since shifted its course. The island, also known as Paradise Island for obvious reasons is regarded as the ‘gem’ of the islands forming the Bazaruto Archipelago which is a proclaimed marine national park that boasts sensational beaches and magnificent scenery. There is a wide abundance of reef fish, surgeon, Moorish idols, parrots, angel and butterfly fish to name but a few. Sea turtles, game fish and devil rays are regularly seen. Various endangered marine megafaunas, such as whale shark, manta, leatherback turtle, cetaceans including humpback whale, and the dugong. Bazaruto’s dugong population counts about 120 individuals, making it the largest of remnant populations in Mozambique. Tourist attractions include sandy beaches, coral reefs, and opportunities for surfing and fishing.