Vilankulo (or Vilanculos) is a coastal town situated in the Vilanculos district of Inhambane Province, named after local tribal chief Gamala Vilankulo Mukoke, and some of the "bairros" (suburbs) are named after his sons. Known as Vilanculos during colonial times, the name was changed to Vilankulo at independence.
Vilanculos is the gateway to the Bazaruto archipelago with Dhows and helicopters traveling between the town and the archipelago. The town itself is only about 5 km long and the airport is located just south of the town with flights arriving and departing on a daily basis from Johannesburg, Nelspruit and Maputo.
The small town has been growing extensively over the last decade, and has been the recipient of considerable inward investment into its tourism infrastructure. Some nice accommodation can be found here, from simple but well-run guest houses that mainly suitable for dive clients to midrange beach hotels to high end luxury resorts.
Vilanculos is a fantastic spot for dive and snorkel trips to the Bazaruro Archipelago, island dhow safaris, surfing and kite surfing. For information about the diving from Vilanculos please check-out our 'Diving & Snorkelling' section.
where to stay...
From our visits to Vilanculos, we have first-hand knowledge of the hotels and below you can find the ones we most commonly use. Those hotels include mainly our favourites sorted from low-key to deluxe, which are usually smaller hotels with very personalised service, but also some bigger places, if they are the best or only option available. Open, close, then open each tab again to display the images fully.