Top 10 Things To Do Near Vilanculos Mozambique
Jun 20, 2023 By Sean William

Welcome to Vilanculos, the jewel of Mozambique. Known for its stunning beaches, crystal blue water, and tropical paradise feel, Vilanculos truly has something special to offer. Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an adventure-filled day out on the sea, Vilanculos has it all.

We will explore some of the amazing things to do in this Mozambican city to help you make your dream trip come true. From lounging on pristine white sand beaches and snorkeling with dolphins offshore to exploring markets brimming with the vibrant local culture, there is plenty for visitors of all ages and interests in this diverse destination.

Vilanculos – Location, Population, and Culture

Vilanculos is located on the coast of Mozambique, just off the Indian Ocean. The city has approximately 40,000 people and is known for its vibrant culture and unique blend of African and Portuguese influences. Traditional music and dance are popular amongst locals, and fishing plays an important role in the local economy.

Things to Do in Vilanculos – Beach Activities &'' Exploring Local Culture

Vilanculos boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa - making it a great destination for beach lovers! Spend your days swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking around its picturesque coastline.

After your sea activities, explore Vilanculos's charming streets and visit some local markets. Here you'll find various traditional Mozambican products like handcrafted baskets, colorful fabrics, and fresh fruit.

If you want to taste Vilanculos's cultural side, head to one of its many museums. The city is home to several interesting galleries, including Museu de Resgate da História de Vilanculos, which documents the area's history through artifacts and photographs.

Other great places to learn about Mozambique include the Mozambican National Museum and Estúdio Kalungano Art Gallery.

Natural Wonders to Discover Gorongosa National Park &'' Inhaca Island

Vilanculos is also excellent destination for nature lovers. The nearby Gorongosa National Park has various wildlife, including elephants, zebras, and giraffes. There are also plenty of hiking trails and rivers for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.

Inhaca Island is another great spot for nature lovers - the small island off the coast features some stunning beaches, mangroves, and lagoons that are a haven for birdwatchers.

Here you can go on guided boat tours or participate in more adventurous activities such as kayaking, diving, and fishing.

Local Cuisine &'' Shopping Experiences to Enjoy

Regarding food, Vilanculos has plenty of delicious local dishes to try. From seafood and African dishes, such as piri-piri prawns and mata pa, to international favorites like pizza - there's something for every taste.

Shopping is also popular in the city, with a wide range of stores selling everything from music cassettes to traditional fabrics. If you're looking for souvenirs, head to Mafalala Market - here, you'll find all sorts of handcrafted items, including wooden sculptures and jewelry.

There are also several designer boutiques for those looking for something more luxurious.

Maputo City Tour &'' Ponta Do Ouro Dolphin Trip

No trip to this area of Mozambique is complete without a visit to the bustling city of Maputo. You'll find many attractions and activities, including the famous Iron House Museum, the Praça dos Trabalhadores, and Maputo's lively nightlife.

For something different, head down to Ponta Do Ouro for an unforgettable dolphin-watching tour. From here, you can take an afternoon boat ride across the Indian Ocean and see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Diving and snorkeling

If you're looking for a more adventurous activity, why not try diving or snorkeling in Vilanculos? The crystal clear waters off the coast teem with abundant sea life - making it an ideal spot for diving enthusiasts. You can head to the local dive center or hire a boat and explore the surrounding reefs yourself.

Horse Riding near Vilanculos

If you're looking for a more land-based activity, why not explore the area by horseback? You can book horse riding tours that will take you along Vilanculos' pristine coastline, through traditional African villages, and even out into the bush. This is a great way to get an up close and personal look at this beautiful region of Africa.

So whether you're looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an adventure-filled day out - Vilanculos has something special. With its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and many activities, it truly is the jewel of Mozambique.

Local Cuisine and Food Culture

The cuisine of Vilanculos is a unique mix of Portuguese and African flavors, with a variety of seafood dishes available. Freshly caught fish is a local specialty, often served grilled or stewed.

Other popular dishes include peri-peri prawns and mata pa (a coconut and cassava dish). Regarding drinks, the locals love their beer - particularly 2M and Laurentina lagers, both produced in Mozambique.

Kite Surfing in Vilanculos

With its pristine white sand beaches and warm waters, Vilanculos is an ideal destination for kite surfers. The town boasts some of the best spots in Africa to practice this adrenaline-filled sport, and plenty of operators offer lessons - from beginners to experienced riders.

When the wind picks up, head out to Benguerra Island, a great spot for kitesurfing thanks to its strong onshore winds and shallow lagoon.

Picnic on the beach

No trip to Vilanculos is complete without a beach picnic. Pack a traditional lunch, pick up some freshly caught seafood from the local market, and set off for an afternoon of relaxation on one of the city's many beaches.

Popular spots include Benguerra Island, Barra Beach, and Praia de Catembe - all offering stunning views and plenty of space to spread your blanket. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen.

For local snacks, head to one of the many street food stalls where you'll find everything from deep-fried sweet potato chips to freshly made sandwiches. For something more substantial, try out one of the city's restaurants. Most offer delicious set menus featuring traditional Mozambican dishes.

Take In The Local Crafts And Artifacts

Vilanculos is a great destination for purchasing handmade goods and artisanal crafts. Visit one of the local markets, such as Mafalala or Tofo Markets, where you can find everything from locally produced fabrics and baskets to jewelry and wood carvings. Be sure to spend time haggling with the friendly vendors - it's all part of the experience.

The city also has several museums dedicated to preserving Mozambican culture and history. Head to Museu de Resgate da História de Vilanculos or Estúdio Kalungano Art Gallery for an interesting insight into this vibrant and diverse region.

There are also plenty of shops for those looking to buy souvenirs. From one-of-a-kind wood carvings to local fabrics and jewelry, you'll find plenty of unique items to take home with you.

When it comes to shopping, Vilanculos has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for traditional crafts or modern souvenirs, plenty of options are available.


How can I get to Vilanculos?

The easiest way to get to Vilanculos is by plane. There are daily flights from Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, and regular flights from Johannesburg and Nairobi.

What is the weather like in Vilanculos?

The climate in Vilanculos is tropical. The temperatures range from 22°C to 30°C with warm, humid weather year-round. Rainfall is heaviest in March through May.

What is the best time of year to visit Vilanculos?

The best time to visit Vilanculos is between June and August when the weather is warm and dry. This is also peak season for visitors, so be sure to book ahead of time if you plan on visiting during this period.


From the pristine beaches to the sparkling Bazaruto Archipelago, the paradise of Vilanculos is an enchanting array of activities for locals and tourists alike. Not only are there various things to do, but it is also an affordable adventure for those on a budget.

Whether you're looking for an adrenaline rush with activities such as skydiving or fishing, peace and serenity within the Bazaruto National Park, or picture-perfect sunsets over white-sand beaches, this destination has something to offer any traveler.

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