Benguerra Island Beauty

Benguerra Island in Mozambique has the title of being the second largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago and broke away from the mainland thousands of years ago. The Bazaruto Archipelago is a group of five islands in Mozambique, near the mainland city of Vilankulos. Portuguese explorers gave the island the name Santa Antonio. It's the enviable beach life, soft white sand and turquoise waters entice so many to this beautiful island, right in the middle of warm Indian Ocean.

A boat pulled up onto the beachCourtesy dmitri_66 (flickr). Some rights reserved.

Benguerra Island is made up of forest, savannah, freshwater lakes and wetland eco-systems fringed by golden beaches. This makes it a natural wonderland for a diverse range of fauna and flora. With approximately 140 bird species alone, it was declared a National Park in 1971. Benguerra Island is only about 55 square kilometres and that is divided into 11km long and 5.5 kilometres wide.

Mozambique is well known for its perfect climate, hence the reason for it being the perfect beach holiday. Benguerra Island is blessed with hot and sunny weather year round, with little to no rainfall through most of the year. The prevailing trade winds do bring some refreshing breezes.

Crab on Benguerra Island beach Courtesy Hans-Peter Keller (flickr). Some rights reserved.

Benguerra Island is the epitome of exploration. The coral reefs are teeming with marine life and is the ideal location for swimming and snorkelling, with water temperatures at a glorious range of 24 to 30 degrees plus. These premier diving sites also play home to the Africa's only population of the rare dugong.

These curious looking creatures are closely related to elephants and they are often called "sea cows" because of their penchant for sea grass. Dugongs have long been associated with myths and legends, one being early sightings by sailors that led to the belief of mermaids. The deep Mozambique Channel, which runs alongside the island, is world renowned for its game fish and Benguerra Island offers some of the best catch-and-release deep sea fishing and fly fishing experiences.

Dhow boat Benguerra IslandCourtesy Hans-Peter Keller (flickr). Some rights reserved.

If you're not in the water, you'll be exploring the Island. Horse riding trips and island expeditions take place both on the coastline and the interior. Learning traditional culture at the local village and climbing soaring sand dunes are firm favourites when on this beach holiday. While away the time on a traditional sailing boat, a Dhow, while sipping a cocktail or take a trip to Pansy Island in search of a rare intact one.

Mozambique and Benguerra Island are often paired on travels with a safari combining a bush adventure with a beach holiday. Benguerra Island assures privacy and demands relaxation far removed from the madding crowd.

Feature photo by dmitri_66 (flickr). Some rights reserved.

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