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Vilanculos, Mozambique
Fast Facts
Scuba Diving
Market / Fair
Tourist Attractions
Kid-Friendly Hotels
Family-Friendly Tours
Points of Interest Nearby
Family Travel Tips

Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary


Photo by Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary

Vilanculos, also spelled Vilankulo, is more than a gateway to the Bazaruto National Park. Miles of white sand beaches, pristine coral reefs and over 300 species of birds have long attracted backpackers and caravaners. And with the opening of several new resorts as well as the creation of the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary in 2001, this once sleepy village is an up-and-coming beach vacation destination in its own right. Snorkel and scuba dive in crystal clear waters. Fish for marlin, sailfish, bonito and mackerel. Take a stroll through the market and shop for local crafts. Sail to one or more of the islands in the Bazaruto Archipelago on a dhow. Practice water sports. Or simply relax on miles and miles of unspoiled beach. And if you hurry, enjoy a family beach vacation that is off-the-beaten-path.
Getting There
Vilanculos is situated on the Indian Ocean coast in Mozambique's Inhambane Province. This small coastal town is more than 700 km (435 miles) north of Maputo. Pelican Air flies from Johannesburg in South Africa to Vilanculos twice daily, direct and via South Africa's Kruger National Park. LAM offers flights from Maputo. The small Vilanculos airport is located just south of the town.
Getting Around
For families traveling to Vilanculos by air, taxis offer the best way to get around. While it may be possible to rent a car through your resort or lodge it is not advisable to travel by road at night. Day trips to the Bazaruto Archipelago can be arranged through most upscale lodges and resorts. Sail Away, located in Vilanculos, is one of the few independent operators offering transfers and excursions. Make the necessary enquires before hiring a dhow.
When to Travel
In Vilanculos, the weather is characterized by a wet and dry season. The best time to visit Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago is from June to September when the average daytime temperature is between 22-30° C (71-86° F) and the chance of rain is minimal. The weather is hot and humid throughout the rainy season (November - April); the heaviest rains are in January and February. In October and November the temperature begins to climb and so does the humidity. Cyclone Favio caused damage to the islands and many of the lodges are closed temporarily.
Health & Safety
Traveler's diarrhea is the most common aliment afflicting tourists in Mozambique. Avoiding tap water is the cornerstones to prevention. Drink bottled water and eat cooked or peeled fruit and vegetables only. Malaria is prevalent throughout Mozambique and is a risk year-round.
Things to Keep in Mind
Water shoes are recommended at all times and fundamental at low tide.
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Travel Trivia
Which of the following is the capital of France: