In order to familiarise yourself with the possibilities that BCSS, the Bazaruto Archipelago & Benguerra Island offer, please find below some Frequently Asked Questions.
BCSS is the only field marine station and laboratory run entirely on solar power in the Indian Ocean. We welcome volunteers, students, graduates, seniors, media and people of any background wishing to experience a unique and immersive environment alongside world-leading scientists and environmentalists. BCSS has capacity for up to 20 visitors and can provide boats, vehicles, offices, conference facilities, wet and dry labs as well as extensive equipment to ensure your program, project or excursion is a success.
We are located on the northeastern shore of Benguerra Island in the Bazaruto Archipelago of Inhambane Province in Mozambique. BCSS faces the Indian Ocean through the Bazaruto-to-Benguerra island channel and is in an ideal position for easy access to open ocean waters.
Visitors can fly to Vilankulos (VNX) with daily direct flights from Johannesburg (JNB) and Maputo (MPT). Upon arrival in Vilankulos taxis are available to the mainland beach shore. BCSS boats are available for transfers to Benguerra Island, typically a 20-minute journey. Alternatively, helicopters are also available at an additional cost for a 5 minute transfer to the island.
Yes, there is an entry VISA at Vilankulos airport (VNX) that you pay upon arrival ($50 cash), and a Bazaruto Archipelago National Park fee that depends on your nationality and VISA condition that you already paid in your invoice. Please check government websites to confirm current VISA amounts.
Visitors may stay as long as they wish via one of our Join The Action programs. BCSS offers something for anyone, regardless of background or knowledge level. If marine science is new to you, you are welcome at BCSS. We will endeavor to ensure visitors walk away with a wealth of new information on marine ecosystems, conservation and research.
This depends on the program – in general BCSS recommends bringing sunblock, sunglasses, short and long-sleeve clothing, snorkel and mask (if you have your own), 3 mm wetsuit (if you have your own), phone, laptop, chargers and plug adaptors (two holes EU-type). Outside of working hours, many types of leisure can also be enjoyed on Benguerra Island. We welcome kite-surfing equipment, fishing equipment or anything you may wish to spend your free-time with. BCSS is not liable for visitors’ personal activities or equipment.
Visitors must be aware that BCSS is located next to the Mozambique Channel and that its waters are home to sharks, marlins, tuna, whales, dugongs and much more. Care and attention must be taken at all times. On land there is low risk concerning local fauna, however snakes, scorpions, centipedes and ants live on the island. BCSS will inform visitors upon arrival of procedures that must be taken into account and they can read the BCSS Station Manual for more details before arrival.
BCSS provides an emergency evacuation plan, transporting visitors either by boat or by helicopter in case of urgency. Please be sure to arrange travel and medical insurance so you are covered for any incidents during your stay.
BCSS recommends medication against Malaria. Particularly during the rainy season mosquitos are present. First aid kits are available at BCSS.
BCSS has two (connected) laboratories that cater for most fieldwork situations and for the preparation of your samples. We are not a molecular or high-tech laboratory. Please check our website on Facilities & Labs for more details.
Yes. The Bazaruto Archipelago offers some of the most beautiful and untouched scenery on the African continent. Please Get In Touch to make the necessary arrangements for your stay.
Yes. BCSS maintains strong relations with leading laboratories worldwide to measure samples. Please Get In Touch to join our unique set of analytical facilities. Further, if you need to conduct project work around the Bazaruto Archipelago but you do not have time, please let us know and we could conduct the work for you.
Yes. BCSS is open for events and can host for a maximum of 3 to 5 days. We also offer accommodation, catering and essential services. BCSS welcomes you to a unique location to make your next event a memorable experience. Please see our Events & Venues page for further information.
Yes. BCSS is a PADI certified marine research station with experienced dive masters as well as scientific divers to train visitors to support your future career and personal endeavors. Please click here for further information.
Visitors are located in a pristine marine environment. Please discover the island, its beaches and surrounding waters. Horses are available to rent nearby, snorkeling and treks are on our doorstep. The islands are home to whales, sharks, dugongs, turtles and much more marine life. Year-round wind allows for kite-surfing and the Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the top three destinations in the world for black marlin and other big game fishing. Please Get In Touch for more recommendations.