Whispers of Bazaruto’s beauty began slipping out of Mozambique 20 years ago, as the civil war ended and travel around the country resumed. Somehow the whispers never turned into shouts, possibly because so few people can visit.
The entire archipelago has only four lodges — among them andBeyond’s Benguerra Island. None are cheap. The five islands are small and sandy, unable to host much more. A national marine park protects them from further development. Walking the beaches shows how important that protection is. In Bazaruto, the coral lives in full, glorious color right into the shallows, unlike at more touristy beaches where it’s usually dead from overuse of the waters.
Not that the islands are isolated. About 1,500 people live in scattered fishing villages where dhow boats ply the clear blue waters every morning for the catch, sailing as they did hundreds of years ago when this was a southern outpost for spice traders.