Vilanculos, Mozambique

Vilanculos, Mozambique
Also known as the gateway to the Bazaruto archipelago, the region is a bustling mix of activities.

One of Mozambique’s main holiday destinations, the coastal city of Vilankulo – inside the region of Vilanculos – is a bustling mix of activities, some of which have been going on for centuries. The local fishermen still haul nets over the side of their boats and farmers still grow cashew nuts near the thatched villages while, on the other hand, tourists regularly flock in to enjoy the beaches and turquoise waters at the many lodges, resorts, hotels and camping sites.

Named after a tribal chief, Gamala Vilankulo Mukoke – with some of its suburbs named after his children – Vilankulo isn’t particularly large and spans roughly 5km from start to finish. The town acts as a gateway for those wishing to access to the charming and serene Bazaruto Archipelago, resulting in a regular stream of dhows sailing between the dock and the surrounding islands. During peak holiday season, it’s often packed with honeymooners, families and avid travellers who are passing through before heading to the private beaches.

But for those not wishing to leave the city, available activities include scuba diving and snorkeling, sailing charters, catch-and-release fishing, horse-riding, browsing through markets and trying out local seafood – truly, this seaside town is a beach lover’s haven.