One of the most popular destinations for visitors is Vilanculos, a small coastal town in the southern province of Inhambane. The small beach town has preserved both its culture and beautiful landscape.
On a harshly hot February day we decided to make our way from Tofo to Vilanculos. Using chapas in Mozambique are common, as private taxis are extremely expensive and renting a car isn’t that popular.
We stumbled into backpackers well after noon, dusty, sweaty and exhausted. The ride had taken six hours to go a rather short distance. That would be typical situation in Africa. There is days spent lounging in a hammock and then there are days like this when you get so frustrated, you want to rip your hair out.
The next day we moved to a beautiful beachfront accommodation and I forgot all about yesterday’s unpleasant adventure.
Pristine, palm fringed beaches and transparent blue waters are the biggest draw. Giving an easy access to the Bazaruto Archipelago, Vilanculos offers world-class diving and snorkelling excursions without massive crowds. With several tiny islands around, there are incredible high-end resorts available, with costs shooting over thousand dollars per night.
If you are traveling for extensive time like us, however, you may have already broken the bank, which means you’re likely looking for cheaper option that still gives a wow factor.
Casa Rex was an excellent solution, located right on the beachfront hill in Vilanculos. This place creates a perfect home away from home feeling in one of the furthest corners of the world. Our room had a beautiful ocean view and so long awaited AC! The pool was just outside our balcony, where we spent half of the day enjoying the views and sipping Pina Coladas.
Casa Rex also has a number one rated restaurant in Vilanculos, offering delicious freshly cooked seafood, served in a terrace overlooking the beach.
We’ve spent one night in this beautifully exclusive place, just to treat ourselves for Valentines Day and escape ‘travellers life’ just for a short while.
When the tide goes low, there are miles and miles of sand patches left. Beach always looks so peaceful and empty, with a few kids kicking a ball or dogs chasing each other. You can indulge yourself in exploring the coast for hours or you can rent a kayak and see the town from far away. You also have an option to go on a day trip to Bazaruto Archipelago. Trip can be booked at the place you’re staying, or simply head to the beach and negotiate with a dhow owner. Just make sure they have a license, otherwise you might get in trouble once reaching the park.
If you were looking for a budget place to stay, Baobab would be your best option. They’re right on the beach with accommodation ranging from dorms or camping to private casitas.
Around the corner from Baobab is Loepoldina’s restaurant, serving delicious home- made Mozambique cuisine- a must visit! Make sure you try their curries, they’re finger licking and portions are massive!
Our visit to Vilanculos was extremely well timed, as we escaped a massive cyclone just in time. It still caught us up here, spitting enormous amounts of rain for two days with winds threatening to lift from ground; but nothing as bad as in Tofo. Apparently, many houses lost roofs there!
After a full week spent in this little paradise, it was time to go back to Tofo beach and hit those waves for some surf practice.
Disclaimer: our night at Casa Rex was sponsored by Sol Resorts, as always opinions remain my own.