Vilanculos, Mozambique (or Vilankulo), is a town on the east coast of Mozambique and is popular with travelers as the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago, a national park designated in the seventies.
Vilanculos is located seven hundred fifteen kilometers northeast of Maputo on highway one and five hundred forty kilometers by road south of Beira; apart from an interesting and colorful market, it's all about the sea as far as tourism is concerned. Vilanculos is popular for its water activities. Diving, snorkeling, and boat cruises are the order of the day here. There are a number of dive shops around town and dhow cruises are also very popular. All these activities are centered on the six islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago. There is also kite surfing in the north of town and horse riding tours.
Diving and snorkeling around Vilanculos is especially rewarding with sightings of sea turtles, devil rays, parrot fish, angel fish, and the possibility of leatherback turtles, dolphins, whale sharks, manta rays, and humpback whales. If you are really lucky, you may even see the rare and elusive dugong. The isolation of the islands and its protected status, have also encouraged wildlife. Red duikers, bushbucks, and Nile crocodiles are common as well as dozens of bird species including flamingos and African fish eagles.
It is possible to stay on the islands, but this is incredibly expensive, as they are home to inclusive resorts, so budget travelers are restricted to Vilanculos town. There are a couple of hostels in Vilanculos, Mozambique, offering cheap dorm beds. The hostels in Vilanculos, Mozambique, also offer all the trips and tours you're likely to be interested in, including diving, snorkeling, and dhow or boat cruises. The Vilanculos, Mozambique hostels also have their own small restaurants, as Vilanculos is a bit thin on the ground for eating out options. Accommodation in Vilanculos sells out during South African holidays, so it's worth booking ahead if you want to secure one of the cheaper hostels in Vilanculos, Mozambique.
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