The African nation of Mozambique gained independence from the Portuguese in 1975, subsequent to the wave of decolonisation efforts that were recognised by the United Nations in 1960. This colonial heritage, however, still remains visible in the country as the official language of Mozambique continues to be Portuguese. The state is also home to the Vumba Rock Paintings that depict hunters; thought to be over 8,000 years old it is further considered to be a site of great natural importance as it hosts the Bazaruto Archipelago, which is the single largest marine reserve in the Indian Ocean. Given this historical, cultural and natural importance, the state is gradually developing a reputation as a tourist destination and has resulted in luxury hotels Mozambique being established. Furthermore, world renowned chains such as Anantara Hotels, Resorts Spas have opened up properties on Bazaruto Island itself.

The Bazaruto Archipelago, one of the largest marine reserves in the world, hosts the Bazaruto National Park. This Park has been designated a protected area, given its rich biodiversity complete with marine turtles and dugongs, and received its status as a national park in 1971. The Bazaruto National Park hosts six islands including Pansy Shell Island, the famed Paradise Island and Benguerra.

The protected status of the Park comes as no surprise for it is home to a number of endemic species, as well as a number of migrant water birds. Furthermore, the Park hosts the last remaining community of dugongs in the region, along with humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, barracudas and a number of lizards. The presence of such species, combined with the natural beauty of the area which is replete with wetlands, forests and lakes, has made the Bazaruto National Park a popular tourist destination in Mozambique.

Shehera Fioni is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Catalina Forbes. Her content is based on many thrilling escapades offered to travellers across the world.