Download GPX file for this article
-2235.3166667Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Vilanculos [formerly dead link] (Vilankulo) is the Mozambican capital of water sports. It's a popular beach resort area with accommodation from economy to 5-star barefoot luxury. The gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique's only underwater national park. The dry season is from March to November with temperatures around 15 to 23 °C. Bring a sweater for the evenings, The "rainy season" can be hot with temperatures ranging between 23 and 34 °C.

Get in


Vilanculos, has many options options with excellent coach service from Maputo or Beira and small 15 seater vans from Inhambane. Vilanculos International Airport is serviced by Airlink, LAM and by Federal Air, from all major airports (stopover in Johannesburg or Maputo may be nesserary, road transport is less expensive. Charter flights are offered ay competitive prices from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

By road:

From South Africa a good asphalt road 730 km north of Maputo Follow the EN4 to the outskirts of Maputo then take the EN1 to Xai Xai, always go straight on, once you pass Xai Xai the highway signs will direct you to Vilanculos turn-off which is 18 km from Vilanculos town (The total distance from Johannesburg to Vilanculos is Approximately 1,378 km

From Zimbabwe a good asphalt road from Forbes Border Post Mutari approximately 584 km to Vilanculos. Follow the EN6 on the Beira road, turn right (south) on the EN1 for 384 km to the turn-off to Vilanculos.

From Maputo expect a 12 hours Coach ride leaving at 4 AM, one way ticket costs 1500 MTs as of January 2024.

Get around


The town is compact and walkable.



South Beach Vilankulo



The Bazaruto Archipelago comprises five islands which are within the Bazaruto Archipelago. From north to south, these islands are: Bazaruto, Santa Carolina Known as Paradise Island, Benguerra, Margaruque and Bangue. There are a number of dive sites around the islands, generally on the seaward side. Other dive sites are located on the seaward side of San Sebastian (south of the islands on the mainland peninsular), A point jutting out in line with the islands. From San Sebastian, the mainland curves south west to form a large bay which is protected from rough seas by the point and the islands. Travelling northwards up the bay, Archipelago Resort looks out to the south of Margaruque Island.

Horse Riding

  • Mozambique Horse Safari, +258 842512910, . Pat & Mandy specialize in custom-made horse safaris and day rides along the Vilanculos coast and on Benguerra Island in Mozambique. Enjoy long stretches of untouched white sand beaches and magnificent views overlooking the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago. The area is suitable for riders of all levels of ability.
  • Horse Volunteer, +258 842512910, . Mozambique Horse Safari offers you a Volunteer Programme which is aimed at gap year students and adult volunteers who are looking to develop their riding skills, discover the culture of Mozambique and make a difference in Africa helping horses. In addition to working with horses you will be able to volunteer out at the local orphanages in Vilankulo where you will experience poverty and the problems that are faced by the people of Mozambique.

Dhow Safari


Experience the wonder of a traditional sailing dhow gliding through the Bazaruto Archipelago. The islands of Benguerra, Bazaruto, Magaruque and Santa Carolina are complete with azure waters, sandy beaches, palm trees and pristine coral reefs.



Explore the archipelago on board a fully crewed yacht.

Game fishing


The area surrounding is ranked as the best Black Marlin destination in the Eastern Indian Ocean. The season runs from early October through to the end of January each year. The Marlin come close in to the shallow waters around the islands and can often be found feeding around the shoals of various species of tuna that frequent our waters during this time of the year.

Scuba diving


The Bazaruto Archipelago is nearby, an offers some excellent scuba diving on daytrips from Vilanculos. 2-tank dives are the norm, and snorkellers are also welcome. The archipelago's coral reefs and clear waters offer some of the best diving in the world, dive sites are un-crowded and marine life is varied and abundant. With sites at a depth of 12 to 30 m and visibility up to 40 m you will discover protected reefs teeming with dolphin, hump back whales, whale sharks, sharks, manta and spotted eagle rays, green and turtles.


  • Machilla Magic, +258 823 933 428. Monday to Friday 08:00-16:00, Saturday 08:00-12:00. A community based projerct working with Local Mozambican artists and their families to create unique, sustainable crafts.




  • Kilimanjaro Coffee Shop, 22M Eduarod Mondale Avenida, +258 842563932. Nice atmosphere and friendly staff, Wifi, coffee and tasteful meals




  • [dead link] Dolphinn Dhow Accommodation, +258 824624700, . Overlooking The Bazaruto Archipelago offers exclusive beach front accommodation and fine dining in the vibrant coastal town of Vilanculos. Rooms feature private bathrooms and air-conditioning, and there is also deck with sea views. From R150.
  • [dead link] The Beach Village, +258 29382049, . The Beach Village is on the Mozambican coast of the Indian Ocean surrounded by the majestic Bazaruto Archipelago in the town Vilankulo just a few steps from the sea, 5 bungalows, dormitories, swimming pool, beach-bar, bar & restaurant with high-speed WiFi access From US$12.
  • Baobab Beach, +258 82 7315420. Head south for about 5 minutes from the center of town. A large place overlooking the beach with many huts and a few that serve as dorms with about 8 beds each. Also good for campers with tents. It's a little quieter up here than the northern end of town.
  • Casa Chibububo Lodge, Bairo du Airporto, Stand 10, +258 8 826 516 556. Casa Chibububo Lodge offers double and twin room with refrigerator, beds with mosquito nets and balcony. Its facilities and services include restaurant, bar, airport shuttle service and babysitting service.
  • [dead link] Josef & Tina's, +258 29382140. It is a small and affordable beachfront lodge with one guest house, three suites, three chalets, camp site and bar/restaurant
  • [formerly dead link] Smugglers, +258 293 82253. Popular with a range of options in various blocks of rooms. Hot water in the shared bathrooms, and a sports bar with satellite TV and pool table with weekly competitions. Tuesday and Thursday are volleyball night. Swimming pool with a pool bar. Come here if you like to party R150-525.
  • Turtle Suites, +258 828236190, . Very nice suites on the beach with air-con, Wifi, full self catering kitchen and swimming pool with a bar for a reasonable price
  • Varanda, +258 828612540, . on the beachfront. Venue with view of the Bazauto islands. The cuisine is a mix of Portuguese and Mozambican. 2 suites with private toilet. 1 studio on the top offering an incredible view. suites US$70, studio US$100..
  • Zombie Cucumber. To get here walk a few minutes south of the town centre. Dorms Mts 360 Chalets Mts 1100. Swimming pool and internet.


  • [dead link] Pescador, Beach Road, Vilankulo, Mozambique, +258 293 82312. All rooms have ocean views and air conditioning. There is also an a la carte restaurant and wifi with ADSL access US$100-130/person/night.
  • Hotel Massunguine, Av. Eduardo Mondlane, +258 293 382707. Very good hotel. Has 27 en-suite rooms with air-con. The manager is British/South African and very helpful. Restaurant serves very good food. MTS 1800.
  • Archipelago Resort, +258 293 84022, . 18 Indonesian styled casas that sleep up to 6 comfortably. On site restaurant. Horse riding and deep sea diving. US$150 per casa per night or US$40.00 per person sharing.
  • [dead link] Aguie Negra, +258 293 82387, . A lodge right at the beachfront.
  • Casa Guci, +258 82 868 6540. A German owned resort with 3 chalets, 2-4 beds in each and fully equipped kitchens. Has a small swimming pool and a restaurant that serves European and local food, including good pizzas €60/R480/person for self catering or €85/R680/person for full board.
  • [formerly dead link] Beach chalets, South Beach, +258 29384252, . sea and garden view chalets with Restaurant and swimming pool on South beach US$40/50 per person sharing per night or $150 per unit/night.
  • Casa Rex, +258 293 82048, . Terrace and swimming pool with views over the harbour. US$95-130/person/night.
  • Deacra, +258 293 84076, . self catering as well as B&B accommodation, the houses each comprise of 3 twin bedrooms all with bathrooms en-suite and a private swimming pool US$350/person/night.
  • Hotel Ancora, +258 293 82444, . Step out of your room and you are on the beach. Business centre and restaurant. All rooms include ensuite bathrooms, TV (DSTv) with films/sports/news, air-con, free breakfast and free wifi. Single US$105, double $170.
  • Vilanculos Beach Lodge (at the northern end of Vilanculos), . R850-1050/night.
  • 1 Casa Jardim (Garden House), Rua De Chibune (Follow the turnoff to the South 3 Km before town for 6 Km.), +258847250140. Check-in: 14h00, check-out: 12h00. Three bedroom guest house. Tropical garden. Self-catering holiday house. 180.00 $.


  • TDM and the Tourist Information in the Town centre have computers offering internet access as well as some of the resorts and restaurants.
  • Vodacom 4G network works fine in Vilanculos.

Go next


Fly out of here to:

This city travel guide to Vilanculos is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!