760 km fromKomatipoort
- Vilankulo in the Vilanculos District of Inhambane Province, a small vibrant coastal town 700 kilometers from the Mozambique capital, Maputo. The town, with friendly people and a lively atmosphere, offers the perfect base from which to explore the picturesque Bazaruto Archipelago, idyllic offshore islands that make up a string of jewels in the Indian Ocean.
Vilanculos is a piece of paradise
with dazzling powder-white beaches, coconut palms, crystal blue waters, superb all-year round temperate climate and is the perfect hideaway for a holiday that offers a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. There is a wide variety of accommodation anywhere from camping and backpackers to sublime luxury hotels and private, self-catering homes.
Dining out is a pleasure as there are a handful of excelled
restaurants in Vilanculos
offering the freshest sea food among other delights and specialities in Portuguese fair.
For those who prefer
self catering in Vilanculos
, the local markets and fishermen have all that is necessary to do your own thing. Plus there are small supermarkets for all your little necessities.
Adventure comes in so many forms – best marlin fishing in the world, snorkelling, boating, diving, kite surfing and just good old swimming.
Vilanculos Dhow sailboat trips
and motorboat trips are offered by many to fulfill your adrenaline rush or provide the amazing opportunity of swimming with dolphins or sea turtles. The people are friendly and in no time at all, you would have made life-long friends.
is just pure bliss! Indulge yourself!
Vilankulo has an array of options when it comes bars (barracas), restaurants and accommodation, if local is more your flavor work your way from The Market in the center of town towards the main beaches of Vilankulo. If you prefer something a little more exclusive there is a wide variety of exquisite lodges which can accommodate you.
The town, with friendly people and a lively atmosphere, offers the perfect base from which to explore the picturesque Bazaruto Archipelago and the Bazaruto National Park. The marine reserve includes five islands – Santa Carolina (also known as Paradise Island), Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque and Bangue.
The Archipelago offers some of the world's best snorkeling, diving and big game fishing. The islands are pristine in their natural beauty and diverse ecologies. The coral reefs are profuse with a diversity of tropical fish and turtles, and are amongst the most pristine in the Ocean. Dolphins are seen year round and whales are seasonal visitors to the Archipelago. The park is also home to the last viable population of dugong on the east African coast.
There is an abundance of bird species, including the crab plover and olive bee-eater that tunnels its nest into the sand dunes. Large flocks of migrant waders visit the fertile mud flats from September to April, and the nomadic Greater Flamingo arrive around mid-October.
Getting There - BY AIR From South Africa. LAM offer schedules flights from Johannesburg and Maputo daily into Vilanculos.
BY ROAD From South Africa - The road from Komatipoort border to Vilanculos is tarred and you do not need a 4x4. Look out for potholes and roadworks. Follow the main toll road from Komatipoort to Maputo. Just before getting into Maputo, you turn left onto the National road EN1 to the North (Xai-Xai, Inhambane, Vilanculos, Beira). Vilanculos is ±700km from Maputo. Approximately 250Km's North of Maxixe you will see a turn-off to the right to Vilanculos. Vilanculos is approximately 18Kms from the turn off.
SUMMER: October - March
WINTER: April - September
April to September:
Cool warm and dry, a little rain is received in these months (less than 50mm a month for Maputo) and daytime temperatures on the coast range around 20° - 29° C, while in the interior temperatures are generally cooler (around 5° C lower). You can expect around 8 hours of sunshine a day. The further north you travel you can expect these figures to increase. This is the best time to visit Mozambique.
December to March:
Hot, sticky and rainy with storms usually in the afternoons, preceded by humid build-ups in the mornings. Rainfall of well over 200mm a month can be received. Temperatures generally range from 27° - 31° C while again it's less humid and cooler in the interior.
Best months to visit:
The cooler dry months, April to September, have excellent weather. November to December is normally best for birding activities. Remember summers are humid to very humid (tropical) in the north. When travelling in Mozambique what to pack in your suitcase can be quite confusing, below are the basics. Generally, casual comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year.
What to Bring - Most practical items to pack are:
* Light cotton tops and cotton trousers/shorts in summer, light shoes, hat/ cap a must.
* Long-sleeved blouses/shirts for boat cruises, which will protect you from the sun.
* Safari trousers, jeans or casual pants for evenings and cooler days. A fleece or sweater is required for those cool winter evening and mornings.
* Swimwear, snorkel, mask, fins ( most resorts have these for hire - if you have you own you are more than welcome to bring them).
* Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen (a tanning lotion and a high factor sunscreen for your face, neck, feet and hands).
* Sandals, to protect ones feet from the coral.
* Comfortable walking shoes.
* Camera film, extra memory cards and batteries, these are difficult to find in Mozambique and should they be available they will be expensive.