At Lodge 12, you can unleash your adventurous spirit as its coastline allows guests to watch dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and a colour palette of tropical fish and coral while diving or snorkelling.

Exciting things to see:

  • Whale season: August to November
  • Turtle nesting season: November to January
  • Manta ray and whale sharks: All year around
  • Humpback dolphins: All year round
  • Bioluminescence

Marine Activities (permits are required / paper work to be submitted prior to activity)

If you’re looking for the best scuba diving and snorkelling in Mozambique, book your holiday at Lodge 12 today.

Two Mile Reef is a flat-topped barrier reef renowned for its fantastic snorkelling at sites like the aquarium and exciting dive sites on the outer edge. The dives vary from 6 to 21 metres in depth (65 feet). Highlights include various hard and soft corals and many schools of reef and pelagic fish passing through. The reef caters to different skill levels depending on what section is dived.

While Five Mile Reef is not as popular as Two Mile Reef, it has an interesting bottom structure and reaches depths of 10 meters (32 feet). Qualified open water and advanced divers will enjoy this reef.

Lodge 12 guests are spoilt for choice with numerous snorkelling spots. You can put on your mask and fins and snorkel straight from the beachfront or take a short five-minute walk and snorkel with many different species, including box fish, parrot fish, emperor fish, lionfish, stone fish and many other species of schooling fish under the jetties.

What is Bioluminescence?

Certain creatures on land and sea can produce light through chemical reactions within their bodies, known as bioluminescence. Bioluminescence results from a light-producing chemical reaction, also called chemiluminescence. Certain types of chemicals, when mixed, produce energy ‘exciting’ other particles on vibration and generate light causing the glow. The chemicals involved in making plankton glow are broadly termed luciferins, and the light is produced by a series of oxidation reactions set off by a catalyst called luciferase. The bioluminescence in plankton is very high in several forms of plankton and is a form of cold light or luminescence.

Plankton consists of any drifting organism (plant or animal) inhabiting the oceans and provides a vital food source to larger aquatic organisms like fish. In addition, a vast range of plankton, both zooplankton and single-celled animal plankton, are known to be bioluminescent.

Lodge 12 guests can experience bioluminescence first-hand when swimming at night. It is something that should be witnessed at least once in your lifetime.

Alternatively, you can go on a fully guided island-hopping excursion where guests explore the coastline fringed by tropical islands. Our team will conjure fresh seafood and snacks to take onboard, where guests can choose where to picnic for a truly fantastic day out.

The Bazaruto archipelago comprises six idyllic islands off the Mozambique coastal town of Vilanculos: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Paradise, Bangue, and Pansy Shell islands, all accessible from Lodge 12. There are also numerous sandbanks to explore.

From closest to furthest

The Spit (20-minute boat ride): A small white sandbank offering sheltered calm waters on one side and ocean waves on the other. Collect beautiful shells while visiting The Spit and enjoy the beautiful sea view.

Bangue Island (25-minute boat ride): Between Bangue and Magaruque, you might see the elusive and critically endangered dugong.

Magaruque Island (40-minute boat ride): A walk around the island is approximately seven kilometres. On the island, you will be spoilt with scenic views, dunes, abundant vegetation, and closeby reefs. Don’t forget to bring along your snorkelling gear.

Benguerra Island (45 – 55-minute boat ride): Benguerra Island is the second largest island in the Bazaruto archipelago. The island comprises forest, savannah, freshwater lakes, wetland ecosystems and magnificent beaches.

Pansy Shell Island (1.5-hour boat ride): Pansy Island is a small island off the southernmost tip of Bazaruto island. You can enjoy some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling in Mozambique here. The shoreline is covered with beautiful pansy shells and is a real treat for those who enjoy walks on the beach.

Bazaruto Island (1.5-hour boat ride): Bazaruto Island is the largest island in the Bazaruto archipelago. The island has a beautiful coastline and impressive dunes to climb for breathtaking views. There are several scuba diving spots in this area as well as snorkelling opportunities.

Paradise Island (2.5-hour boat ride): Paradise Island, also known as Santa Carolina, is the only completely deserted island in the Bazaruto archipelago. It has some of the best snorkelling in the Bazaruto archipelago, off the boat and directly from the shore. There are many open sandy beaches with shallow water pools to enjoy. You may also see the humpback dolphins or dugongs on your boat ride out this way.

For fishing enthusiasts, you can try deep-sea fishing or fly fishing and spinning outside the marine protected areas demarcated by orange buoys.

Deep-sea fishing: The waters offshore from the Sanctuary are among the best deep-sea fishing waters on Africa’s East Coast. Numerous trophy species can be caught here, including marlin, sailfish and swordfish. Permits for fishing are required and must be organised with Lodge 12 before the fishing excursion.

Fly fishing and spinning: Fly fishing and spinning are permitted in the main channels beyond the marine protected areas.

safari drives

With 30 000 hectares of protected area to explore, you will be spoilt for things to see on a game drive at Lodge 12. The Sanctuary has several game species such as Livingston’s eland, sable, blue wildebeest, kudu, nyala, bushbuck, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, red duiker, suni, steenbok, common duiker and bush pig. Our game drives will take you through the bush to the different viewpoints, watering holes, and bird hides. During your stay with us, a picnic in the bush, morning coffee and rusks, and sundowners can be arranged at your leisure.

Guide: As an optional extra, Lodge 12 can provide a local guide to share expert knowledge of the surroundings, accompany you on game drives and hikes through The Sanctuary and nearby islands, and show you all the best spots and activities.

Feel free to discover The Sanctuary’s reserve by arranging one or more of the following activities. Be mindful of the tide as it comes in extremely fast and unsuspecting walkers may be overtaken by a rising tide. Plan your walks carefully and avoid trying to walk between the sand spits on a rising tide.

Hikes/Walks

  • Beach walks: Take a morning or afternoon stroll along the beach. Each walk offers something different as the tides move the sand every day. Look out for the seabirds, starfish, crabs, octopuses and shoreline invertebrates.

Trail Runs

  • Choose your favourite trail to run every morning before breakfast. Look out for the unsuspecting game on the trails and the beautiful sights you will see. We have a mix of beach/mangrove/bush trails that navigate The Sanctuary.

Birding

  • The Bazaruto Archipelago region is a vital East African flyway through which vast numbers of migratory birds move from their breeding to non-breeding grounds, and the estuaries in the Sanctuary serve as a resting and feeding spot. It also provides wintering grounds for some species of Palearctic migrants. Some of the special bird species that can be found here are; Olive Bee-Eaters, Southern-banded Snake Eagle, Plain-backed Sunbird, Pink-backed Pelicans and flamingos.

A relaxed sunset cruise aboard a traditional dhow provides the ideal opportunity to celebrate life’s special moments in a truly magnificent experience.

The waters surrounding Lodge 12 provide excellent conditions for sailing with wide expanses of water at high tide, deep channels and moderate winds. Glassy calm open expanses of water offer perfect conditions for water skiing, wakeboarding and tubing. On windier days kite surfing may be your activity of choice. And for those that enjoy quieter activities you can go for a paddle on one of the Lodge12 kayaks (One single and one double).

Beach wear

Costume, sarong, hat, slops, wind breaker, water shoes, rash vest.

Hiking wear 

Trail sneakers, shorts, light breathable top, warm top for the cooler days).

Lodge wear

Slops, shorts, t-shirt, dresses for the daytime. Light long pants and long sleeves cotton shirts or a scarf are advised at night. In the winter season you may need a light pull over or warmer top.

Whether you’re exploring untouched coral reefs whilst island hopping or game viewing on safari, Lodge 12 offers a luxurious holiday destination for the discerning travellers.