Offshore from mainland Mozambique the tropical waters around the Bazaruto Archipelago are home to coral reefs regarded as some of the most diverse and least disturbed in the Western Indian Ocean. Much of this area is now protected by the formation of the Bazaruto National Park.

Diving & Snorkelling in the Bazaruto

Diving Bazaruto

There are five main islands making up the Bazaruto Archipelago, Bazaruto Island is the largest of these and there are daily shuttles from Vilanculos for those staying at one of the two luxury lodges on the island. Between this island and the mainland at Inhassorro is the small island of Santa Carolina also known as 'Paradise Island'. South of Bazaruto Island is Benguerra Island, (or Santa Antóniao), the second largest of the islands and also with two luxury lodges. Further south still are the islands of Magaruque (Santa Isabel) and tiny Bangué island, neither of which currently have any accommodation options. You may also hear about Pansy Island or Pansy Shell Island popular for snorkelling, this is actually a moving sandbar which regularly disappears and reappears at a slightly new location.

Inhambane dive sites, Mozambique

The coral reefs in the Bazaruto area are regarded as some of the most diverse and least disturbed in the Western Indian Ocean. Two Mile Reef situated to the east of the park and between Bazaruto & Benguerra Island is particularly well known as a snorkelling and diving site internationally. Please remember that the flaura & fauna on land and in the ocean is protected and therefore may not be removed or tempered with. All visitors to the park need to pay park entry fees which must be obtained from registered operators or the WWF office in Vilanculos. National Park fees are excluded from many lodge rates and activities, so please check when booking.

Bazaruto Reefs: Water Temperature: 22 – 29 ° C

Two Mile reef

Level of dive: Open Water / Advanced (depending on section of reef dived) Depth: 1 - 21m

A large reef with several dive sites, as a general overview a whole mix of all types of coral, rocks, boulders, swim thru's, and overhangs. Turtles are common with 5 species in the area, large numbers of reef fish (Surgeon, Moorish Idols, Parrot, Angel and Butterfly fish to name but a few), Rays, Game fish and Nurse Sharks are just some of the wonders to see here.

Two Mile Reef Dive Sites

Some of the dive sites on Two Mile Reef include:

a. The Aquarium

Depth: 1 - 9m

This is an excellent area for snorkelling as well as diving, fields of Stag horn Coral in the shallows and lots of reef life, including curious Octopus.

b. The Surgery

Depth: 9m - 21m

Large Corals and rocky outcrops in this area are occupied by large numbers of Sturgeon, Honeycomb Morays, Devil Rays and huge Potato and Camouflage Grouper patrol the busy reef.

c. The Powder Box

Depth: 6 - 16m

A coral garden paradise, Large Table tops, towering Whip Coral, entwined with vibrant soft corals and Powder Blue Tangs dotted all around.

Clown Fish defend their Anemones while Crocodile fish (if you can spot them) lurk on the ocean floor, drift up and down the channels and let the macro life on the reef entertain you.

d. Coral Gardens

Depth: 8 - 19m

Coral heads and Green Branching Coral sprawl over this area, Damsel fish, Batfish and Kingfish are among the overhead circling fish, keep a look out for the occasional Reef Shark here, and check out the Blue Spotted Rays that nestle in the sandy patches.

e. Stingray Alley

Depth: 12 - 20m

The sandy floor of the reef is a great place to look for a good selection of Rays, smatterings of coral and plenty reef fish also drift around this area.

2. Manta Ray Reef

Level of dive: Open Water Depth: 12 - 18m

Another large reef, this flat coral reef is nearly 1km long, large shoals of fish like crescent-tailed big eyes, Neon Fusiliers and blue-banded snappers are regularly encountered, along with Brindle Bass, Job Fish and good sightings of Green Turtles. In the Summer Manta's can be seen in this area.

3. Turtle Ridge Reef

Level of dive: Open Water Depth: 12 - 14m

A lovely relaxing dive, great for photographers, a flat narrow coral reef excellent for Turtles lots of reef fish including Parrot fish and Snappers as well as game fish like Barracuda. A great dive for refreshing skills.

4. Greek Temple

Level of dive: Open Water Depth: 12 - 18m

A great dive with caves, overhangs and resembles a tumbling Greek Temple. Best dived at low tide allowing lovely light for photographers. Turtles and Rays flit around the 'ruins' and a myriad of reef life keeps you well entertained.

5. Rainbow Runner

Level of dive: Advanced (quick descent skills essential) Depth: 18 - 27m

Strong currents are common here so a quick entry and descent are essential but the rewards are large schools of Pelagic fish, Barracuda, kingfish, Tuna, Eagle Rays, Devil Rays, Rainbow Runners, Green Jobfish, Brindle Bass and even Zambezi Shark.

6. The Potholes

Level of dive: Advanced Depth: 11-12m

You can only dive here on a low tide. A great place for Black tail Reef sharks and Nurse Sharks, which hang around the caves, potholes and overhangs. Moving carefully around the site through the potholes and tunnels can be a test of your skills.

7. Brindle Bass Ridge

Level of dive: Advanced / Minimum 20 dive experience. Depth: 15 - 18m

Lined with dazzling soft corals this is a lovely dive featuring lots of caves and overhangs, but has a strong current. Large numbers of snappers, angelfish, rubber lips here and keep a look out for Brindle bass, reef sharks, Kingfish and Eagle Rays.

8. Zenguerema Point

Level of Dive: Advanced Depth: 15 - 30m

Providing habitat for spectacular reef fish including frogfish, crocodile-fish, stonefish, scorpion fish, lionfish, parrotfish and pipefish as well as Brindle Bass, Barracuda and Big-eyed Kingfish you can be sure there is always a surprise here.

9. Five Mile Reef

Level of Dive: Open Water / Advanced Depth: 8 -20m

Not as diverse as 2 mile reef but a good location for spotting the large Pelagics and Zambezi sharks. Interesting reef structures and all the usual reef fish.