Wetlands form the principal habitat of water birds, and The Sanctuary is fortunate in having an array of wetland types forming one of its most outstanding features.

The diversity of these in such a small area is significant and, as such, migratory species have evolved in using it as a flyway to exploit this rich resource. The Bazaruto Archipelago is one such vital (East African) flyway through which vast numbers of migratory birds move from their breeding to non-breeding grounds, and the estuary serves as a resting and feeding spot. It also provides wintering grounds for some species of Palearctic migrants.

Several breeding colonies of Olive Bee-eaters – the second largest breeding occurrence in Africa, locate near the office in season and the Southern-banded Snake Eagle, a near-threatened raptor, can often be spotted perched in a large tree or flying along the estuary or eastern Ocean View road. The endangered Plain-backed Sunbird can regularly be heard in the tangled moist dune forest on the eastern Ocean View road. A small group of Pink-backed Pelicans, the only pelican species to roost in trees, can almost always be seen in the outermost mangroves at Pelican Bay. The Msasa dominated woodland of the Sanctuary is fairly homogenous and thus species poor, but once in the more mature Miombo woodland, Dune Forest, community open ground and the magnificent freshwater wetlands, interesting and ‘icon’ species can be seen.

Click here to view The Sanctuary’s comprehensive Bird Check List. Please report your unusual sightings or records to sanctuarymanager@mozsanctuary.com or christine@everard.co.za.