Is Bazaruto Archipelago Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On February 16, 2024
Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique is a collection of islands located off the coast of Mozambique.

The six islands are located off the southern coast, near the city of Vilanculos.

The area has 140 species of birds and rare marine life, including Dugongs and sea turtles.

It’s a tropical paradise with pristine beaches and sand dunes.

You’ll find luxury resorts, lodges, and villas.

It’s a great place to “get away from it all”, but is it safe to go to the Bazaruto Archipelago?

Warnings & Dangers in Bazaruto Archipelago

Overall Risk


Some areas of Mozambique are risky, and travel to these areas, including Cabo Delgado Province, isn't recommended according to the U.S. Department of State. However, the Bazaruto Archipelago is considered relatively safe. The State Department recommends exercising increased caution when visiting Bazaruto. There are concerns about health, crime, and natural disasters that you need to be aware of. Malaria is a major concern in Mozambique, and the health infrastructure in the country is very poor. Poverty and corrupt officials lead to an increased risk of crime in the country. It's also prone to some natural disasters.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Mozambique's public transportation system is not the best. You may encounter overcrowding and delayed schedules. Petty crime, like pickpocketing, is a concern when taking public transportation. Some of the buses and roads are not well maintained. Once you get to Bazaruto, public transportation is typically provided by shuttles, which are relatively safe. Some islands can only be reached by speed boats or helicopters. Piracy is a concern in the area, which poses another risk when taking boats. The best way to get to Bazaruto is to fly into Vilanculos from a major airport like Johannesburg.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpocketing and theft are very common in the city. It's a concern in Vilanculos. However, it's not very common in Bazaruto, because these areas are typically tourist-friendly and high-end.

Natural Disasters Risk


Mozambique is the third most vulnerable country in Africa when it comes to natural disasters. Flooding, droughts, and cyclones are the biggest concerns. Malaria, cholera, and other diseases are also common in the country. The Bazaruto archipelago's greatest natural disaster risk includes cyclones, flooding, erosion, and rising sea levels.

Mugging Risk


Robbery and violent crime are high in Mozambique. However, the Bazaurto archipelago has a low crime rate. You will need to use caution if you travel to other areas of the country, including Vilanculos. Muggings are more common in cities.

Terrorism Risk


Mozambique does have a high risk of terrorism in some areas of the country. However, the risk is very low in the Bazaruto archipelago. You will need to keep an eye out for civil unrest and piracy, but you can feel safe from terrorism in the area.

Scams Risk


While the risk of crime in Bazaruto is relatively low, you should watch for scams. Common scams include criminals impersonating officials to get bribes, steal your personal information, or clone credit cards. Counterfeit currency is also a concern in Mozambique.

Women Travelers Risk


Women travelers are at medium risk. Bazaruto itself is very safe, but other areas of Mozambique are more risky. Kidnapping and sex trafficking are concerns in some areas of the country, so women should use caution, particularly outside of Bazaruto.

Tap Water Risk


According to Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort, you shouldn't drink the tap water in Bazaruto. Some developed areas of Mozambique, including Vilanculos, have tap water that is safe to drink. If you are unsure about the water, avoid drinking it. You should also be sure that any ice you get in drinks is filtered or disinfected. Bottled water is expensive in many areas of Mozambique, but most Barazuto resorts provide complimentary bottled water.

Safest Places to Visit in Bazaruto Archipelago

Bazaruto Island is one of the can’t-miss places in Bazaruto.

It’s the largest island in the Bazaruto archipelago.

You’ll find stunning luxury resorts, including Anantara Resort.

Because it’s so popular with tourists, the area is very safe and visitor-friendly.

The island features soft white sand beaches, forests of palm and cashew trees, and large sand dunes.

Santa Carolina is a great place to visit. It’s also known as Paradise Island.

You can find deserted beaches and reefs full of fish.

You can get to Santa Carolina with a short boat ride.

If you are looking for a more authentic Mozambique experience, check out Benguerra.

It’s the second-largest island in the archipelago.

It’s similar to Bazaruto island and has beautiful beaches and inland lakes.

However, there are no large resorts here. Instead, you’ll find lodges and Mozambique-style villas.

Places to Avoid in Bazaruto Archipelago

There aren’t any places you should avoid in Bazaruto.

The nearest mainland city is Vilanculos, which is relatively safe.

Areas of Mozambique you do want to avoid are the Cabo Delgado province and Pemba.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Bazaruto Archipelago

  1. Malaria Prevention. Malaria is common in Mozambique. It’s transmitted by mosquitos. You can protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, particularly in the evenings, and using insect repellent or mosquito nets. It’s also a good idea to get anti-malaria medication before you go. You can do this by speaking to your doctor.
  2. Get Vaccinated. Many serious diseases are common in Mozambique. You should consider vaccination for Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, meningitis, polio, and rabies. Other diseases that you may encounter are commonly vaccinated for in the U.S., including measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox. You should be sure you are up to date on these vaccinations as well.
  3. Use Sun Protection. The strong sunshine is one of the reasons people travel to Bazaruto. However, you should use sun protection while you are enjoying the rays. Bring sunscreen and use it frequently. Sunglasses and hats can also be helpful.
  4. Take Food and Water Precautions. You should be cautious when eating and drinking in Bazaruto. Avoid drinking the tap water. Do not eat raw fruits or vegetables, and be sure any food you eat has been properly cooked. This isn’t a problem at resorts, but be cautious when purchasing from street vendors.
  5. Sign up for STEP. STEP stands for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. The program will connect you with the local U.S. Embassy. You’ll get health, weather, and security alerts. It also makes it easier for officials to find or contact you if there’s an emergency. The service is free, so be sure to sign up before leaving for your trip.
  6. Respect Local Wildlife. It’s very important to respect the wildlife in Bazaruto. There are a few dangerous animals, particularly in the water. Crocodiles, jellyfish, sting rays, and stonefish can pose a risk to humans. Don’t walk in rocky areas of the water, and don’t touch any coral. If you spot a jellyfish or other wildlife, just move away. Generally, marine animals won’t hurt you if you leave them alone.
  7. Know the Local Laws. Much of Bazaruto is a protected park. Some areas allow fishing, while others do not. Endangered animals, including Dugongs and sea turtles, are strictly protected. Harming these animals can result in serious legal trouble.
  8. Keep Your Valuables Safe. Theft isn’t much of a concern in Bazaruto. However, you should still take some precautions. Resorts typically have safes. Place your valuables, including travel documents, in the safe. Do not leave anything costly out in your room. It’s best to avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying other unneeded valuable items. If you travel to the mainland, be aware that Mozambique is a poor country, with nearly 50% of the population under the poverty line. This makes theft more likely.
  9. Be Aware of Your Surroundings. When in Bazaruto, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings. If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your instincts. It’s important to enjoy your stay, but you should keep an eye on what’s going on around you.
  10. Don’t Travel Alone. Bazaruto is relatively safe, but it’s still a good idea to avoid traveling alone. If possible, travel with at least one other person, or part of a tourist group. Be cautious when visiting areas with few people.

So... How Safe Is Bazaruto Archipelago Really?

Bazaruto is relatively safe.

However, other areas of Mozambique can be dangerous, particularly the Cabo Delgado province.

There’s very little crime in Bazaruto.

However, there are concerns about health and natural disaster risk.

You should avoid drinking tap water and follow health advisories, including malaria prevention when going to Bazaruto.

How Does Bazaruto Archipelago Compare?

CitySafety Index
Bazaruto Archipelago62
Quirimbas Archipelago68
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70

Useful Information



Visa requirements can change quickly in Mozambique and other South African countries. U.S. citizens can enter Mozambique with their passport as long as they are staying 30 days or less. You'll need to pay a fee when entering the country. If you are from some other countries, including Australia and New Zealand, you'll need a tourist visa. This costs $50, and is valid for 30 days once you get to Mozambique.



Most areas of Bazaruto will accept foreign currency, including American dollars. If you plan to travel to other areas of Mozambique, you'll need to exchange currency. The official currency is the metical. The metical is only valid in Mozambique, and you can't exchange Metical for other currencies, so you'll need to spend the metical while you are there. Resorts in Bazaruto will allow you to exchange U.S. dollars for the metical. If you need a bank, you'll have to go to the mainland in Vilanculos.



Bazaruto is located near the equator, so it has a tropical climate. The summer begins in November and ends in March. This is also the rainy season. April to mid-November is the winter season, with the coolest temperatures occurring from May to September. The temperatures average about 68 degrees in the coolest months, with lows around 60 degrees. In the summer, you can expect average temperatures around 80 degrees, with highs being near 90 degrees. You can expect lots of sunshine all year round, with intense rains or thunderstorms that resolve quickly in the summer. January through March is cyclone season.



Bazaruto Island Airport serves the Bazaruto archipelago. This is the simplest way to get to the Bazaruto archipelago. However, it's a small airport, so you'll need to connect from a larger airport like Johannesburg.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance isn't required in Mozambique, but it's strongly recommended. One reason for this is the limited medical infrastructure. If you get very sick or injured, you may need to be transported out of the country. This can be very expensive. Comprehensive travel insurance will cover these expenses as well as less serious mishaps like canceled flights or lost luggage.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Bazaruto Archipelago Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 28° C
Feb 28° C
Mar 27° C
Apr 25° C
May 22° C
Jun 21° C
Jul 20° C
Aug 21° C
Sep 23° C
Oct 25° C
Nov 26° C
Dec 27° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Mozambique - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bazaruto Archipelago62
Quirimbas Archipelago68

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