The Bazaruto Archipelago is a beautiful string of islands off the coast of Mozambique in the peacock blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Groves of fragrant orange and cashew trees strewn with delicate white blossoms grow along the unspoiled beaches. The exquisitely diverse ocean life, including dolphins, whale sharks, humpback whales, manta rays and green sea turtles, is protected in the waters of a marine national park that encircles the archipelago. From the edge of the dhows dip below the ocean surface to explore the pristine coral reefs teeming with life, or snorkel among Africa's largest population of manatees as they float lazily along. Enjoy a round of challenging angling in pursuit of some of the thousands of species of fish, including the Black Marlin. A wide array of seabirds are wonderful to watch throughout the sweeping sand dunes, tidal flats and salty inland lakes. For a glimpse into the mysterious history of the area, the little known Vilankulo Ruins are wonderful to explore away from the usual tourist crowds. It is believed to have once been a trading post between Mozambique and the ancient Great Zimbabwe empire.

Hidden amid the aromatic forests and sandy beaches are a handful of lodges and resorts that offer secluded accommodation for those hoping to sink into the slow, relaxing pace of island life. There is something for every type of traveler from wonderfully private hideaways for honeymooners to charming places perfect for families. Despite being part of Mozambique, the archipelago is best accessed by a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa. Once into the Vilankulos Airport, travel to the rest of the islands is via light aircraft transfer or speedboat.

Hidden amid the aromatic forests and sandy beaches are a handful of lodges and resorts that offer secluded accommodation for those hoping to sink into the slow, relaxing pace of island life. There is something for every type of traveler from wonderfully private hideaways for honeymooners to charming places perfect for families. Despite being part of Mozambique, the archipelago is best accessed by a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa. Once into the Vilankulos Airport, travel to the rest of the islands is via light aircraft transfer or speedboat.