Discover the gems of Mozambique’s
exotic coastal destinations
As one of Mozambique’s exotic coastal destinations, Vilankulo has much more to offer than meets the eye, & is best described as an undiscovered gem – therein lies it’s beauty. Despite the development that has taken place in this coastal town over the last 10 years, it has maintained it’s charm, traditions, mixed cultures & overall natural beauty.
Add to this the fact that Vilankulo is a dhow trip away from the magnificent Bazaruto Archipelago islands with their untouched, white powder beaches, clear turquoise water, coral reefs & marine life to tempt the most experienced diver or snorkeler.
The archipelago, Mozambique’s only underwater National park comprises of 5 islands – Bazaruto, Benguerra, Margaruque, Bangue & Santa Carolina (commonly known as Paradise Island) & hosts the last viable population of dugongs on the east African coast. Dolphins & whales are often seen. There are 4 species of turtles & 2000 fish species, with 80% of Indo-Pacific species occurring here. The coral reefs attract a rich diversity of tropical fish and other marine creatures, and are regarded as some of the most diverse and least disturbed in the Western Indian Ocean. Over 180 bird species, including the crab plover and olive bee-eater that tunnels its nest into the sand dunes are found here. Large flocks of migrant waders visit the fertile mud flats from September to April. The nomadic greater Flamingo arrive from their mainland breeding sites around mid October.
Whale watching is popular between July and October & a trip out to sea usually ensures a sighting of these magnificent creatures.
Some of the most amazing deep sea fishing opportunities in the area are available along this coastline too & it is a firm favorite with experienced anglers. The flow of the currents heralds in a huge array of fish – some of those available are mackerel, marlin, dorado, tuna & red snapper to name a few.
One can feel the pulse of Vilankulo in the captivating mixture of cultures, languages, music & traditions. The local market contributes to the flamboyant ambience, and here one can find anything from colorful sarongs to fresh produce!
Restaurants, sports bars & beach bars serving the much-loved local Mozambican beer have popped up quickly in the town, and there are a couple of popular nightclubs which stay open until the early hours for the intrepid traveler!
Quick Facts about Vilankulo
Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland Malawi & Tanzania, all countries require a visa to enter Mozambique. It is essential to get your visa well before your intended stay at your local Embassy.
• April to September – dry season, with coastal temperatures reaching 28°C
• October to March – hot & rainy, with highs reaching 32°C on the coast. January, February, March & December usually see the most rainfall.
• Warmest month: January
• Coolest & driest month: August
Approximate exchange rates are:
• 35:1 MTS:US$
• 3:1 MTS:ZAR
• 40:1 MTS:EURO
At the moment there are no vaccinations required on entry to Mozambique.
There are regular flights from Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, Inhambane & Pemba on LAM, the national carrier.
LAM airlines fly daily from Johannesburg International airport (OR Tambo) to Vilankulo International Airport. Direct flying time is 2 hours. SA Airlink is now flying from Johannesburg to Vilanculos daily.
SA Airlink schedule:
Johannesburg – Vilanculos DAILY FLIGHTS
Departing Johannesburg 11.30, Arriving Vilanculos 13.10
Vilanculos- Johannesburg DAILY FLIGHTS
Departing Vilanculos 13.45, Arriving Johannesburg 15.30
From The Kruger:
These flights facilitate the popular “beach & bush” combination.
Starting initially with 2 flights per week (Thursday and Sunday) the Kruger- Vilanculos flights serve to further enhance Airlink’s current flights operating between Johannesburg and Vilanculos, with daily direct departures between Vilanculos and Johannesburg.
The Kruger to Vilanculos flights will depart Nelspruit at 11h35 and will arrive in Vilanculos at 12h50 and depart from Vilanculos at 13h45 and arrive in Johannesburg at 15h30, flights will operate on one of Airlink’s 12 Embraer ERJ135 regional jets.
Tour Operators and African Safari specialists have welcomed the introduction of this route, which enables them to promote bush and beach combination packages giving travelers the freedom to enjoy an early morning game drive and then later that same day to enjoy a sundowner on the beach.”
Driving directions available on request.
Otherwise, the growth of the town has heralded new restaurants, beach bars, a sports bar & more casual eateries – bakeries & pizza places.
The colorful local market stocks just about everything from food & drinks to sarongs, (traditionally called capulanas), beach wear, dresses…you name it!