Spanning 1,430 km² of productive seascape and five islands off the coast of Mozambique, Bazaruto Archipelago encompasses terrestrial and marine habitats of unique ecological value.

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 globally 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 1,430 km² of productive seascape that is connected by a chain of five islands.
  • The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park is home to the largest viable dugong population on the eastern coast of Africa. Ongoing research on the Bazaruto subpopulation aims to significantly improve conservation efforts for the species.
  • 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.
  • Over 240 school children have been provided with scholarships as well as learning materials and uniforms.
  • Nine tourism concessions have signed contracts with ANAC, bringing them under formal regulation and providing the park with revenue. And in 2021, Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards ranked Bazaruto as the best island destination in Africa.
  • A detailed code of conduct has been developed for wildlife viewing, snorkelling and scuba-diving and more almost 100 boat skippers from the tourism sector have been 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.

View Partners