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The Birthplace of the Bazaruto

The enigmatic Save River, the birthplace of the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique begins its colourful journey in Zimbabwe.

From its source near Harare, it flows south east from the Zimbabwean highveld to merge with the Odzi River. From there it turns dramatically south and drops over the Chivirira Falls in frothy mayhem before meandering down the western side of Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands. Joining the Lunde River it crosses the vast wilds of Mozambique to flow into the Indian Ocean just north of Nova Mambone.

Vast swathes of sand flow into the Indian Ocean at the Save River mouth which forms a delta surrounded by dense mangrove forests. It is said that the spectacular island chain of the Bazaruto Archipelago was formed from the sand deposited by the Save, barring one… Paradise Island or Santa Carolina which is a true rock island.

Historically the Save was a transport route for gold and trade goods between the coast and the hinterland occupied by the civilisation of Great Zimbabwe in the 13th and 14th centuries AD. Later on, it was used as a transport route for gold, ivory and slaves by the Arabs and the Portuguese.

The Save river, is one of my most favourite locations to fly as its ephemeral nature ensures that no one day is ever the same. The estuary stretches out into the Indian Ocean in opalescent bands of cobalt and cerulean that curl through the low tide sand shoals and form a perfect habitat for flocks of flamingos and other sea birds.

Small, thatched fishing villages dot the shores, and dhows flutter across the lagoons with multi coloured sails. It feels like you have been transported back in time hundreds of years, and in many ways, you have, as this is a place that has largely gone untouched or unchanged.


Here people live according to the changing moods of the ocean and the whisper of the monsoon breeze.

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