The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park is the first marine reserve to fall under African Parks’ management. In 2017, the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) invited African Parks to manage its oldest national marine park, giving us the opportunity to protect this gem in the Indian Ocean. Declared a protected area in 1971, Bazaruto is made up of five islands, three of which are inhabited by 5,000 people. The archipelago boasts iconic megafauna, including whales, sharks, sailfish, manta rays, dolphins, marlin and nesting marine turtles, as well as the region’s last viable population of dugongs.

The sheer beauty of this seascape, along with the diversity of wildlife, has made Bazaruto a sought-after tourism destination. However, the historical overuse of natural resources, illegal fishing practices and poorly regulated tourism activities negatively impacted the area’s biodiversity and the livelihoods of those who live here. But over the last four years, the results of effective management have begun to crystallise and relationships with communities, tourism operators and government partners are helping to secure a more sustainable future for people and wildlife. The park’s management team has grown, infrastructure has improved, security has been enhanced and illegal activities have been curtailed. Bazaruto Archipelago has shown that its role is not only to safeguard biodiversity, but also help protect the wellbeing of its people.

Bazaruto Highlights

  • Bazaruto is the first marine park to fall under African Parks’ management. It spans 1,360 km² of productive seascape that is connected by a chain of five islands.
  • The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park hosts 141 bird species, 18 reptile species, 21 mammal species, five dolphin species and the last viable population of an estimated 180 dugongs in the western Indian Ocean.
  • With regular patrolling, improved capacity and the helpful collaboration of the Maritime Authority and the local police, our 53 rangers (16 of whom are women) have been able to help curb illegal activities in the park.
  • In 2020, scholarships were provided to 120 school children, along with learning materials and uniforms.
  • This area holds extraordinary potential for nature-based tourism. Nine tourism concessions have signed contracts with ANAC, bringing them under formal regulation and providing the park with revenue.
  • In 2020 a detailed code of conduct was developed for wildlife viewing, snorkelling and scuba-diving and more than 90 boat skippers from the tourism sector were trained on various aspects of best practices to limit negative effects on the environment.


In December 2017, African Parks signed a 25-year management agreement with ANAC to restore, develop and manage Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, and revitalise it to become one of the leading and most productive marine protected areas in eastern Africa.

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