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The Uembje Lagoon provides for a variety of fun and action packed activities! The popular village of Bilene is an approximate 2 ½ hour drive and lies just under 180km northeast of Maputo. This fabulous beach “resort” is renowned for its calm and clear waters fun activities for all ages.
Bilene lies on the edge of the Uembje Lagoon (or Sao Martinho as it was known in colonial times). This natural salt water lagoon runs roughly 27km parallel to the Indian Ocean and stretches 5 to 8km across – The lagoon reaches depths of 50 metres, but its shallow, clear and calm waters near the shore provides a perfect bathing area for children. Water sport enthusiasts can enjoy water skiing, parasailing, kite-surfing, wake-boarding, wind-surfing, kayaking and of course, snorkelling. It is a true family getaway and one where travellers of all ages can enjoy the serenity of this beautiful inland lake area.
As with most destinations in Mozambique Bilene won’t leave birders disappointed. The unspoilt thick vegetation and Miombo woodlands lining the lagoon provide ample opportunity to spot Rain birds, Loerie’s and the Burchells Coucal. The lagoon and inland lakes are home to many water birds and where large flocks of Black Winged Flamingo gather during the summer.
The Uembje Lagoon is separated by a huge sandbar which was created by the Mozambique current which runs close to the shore. The lagoon itself, and various other lakes in the area offer excellent fishing, and the shallow reefs close to shore on the ocean side of this magnificent lagoon provide anglers with excellent surf and deep sea fishing opportunities where they can test their skills on big game fish such as Yellow-Fin Tuna and Barracuda. The shallow reefs also provide snorkelling and dive sites which are said to be some of the best in the world!
Well known for its turtle and whale watching, a 1.5km walk from the lagoon mouth takes you to Turtle Cliff where you will be treated to a panoramic 360° view. This view point offers sightings of whales, turtles and dolphins and is a perfect vantage point during “whale season” (usually June to October) where the Humpback and Southern Right whales can be seen migrating down the coastline to the warmer waters to mate and calf. Between November and March the Loggerhead and Leather-back turtles clamber up the beach after dark to lay their eggs – the eggs incubate for approximately 2 months after which, if you are really lucky, you can witness the new born emerge and scramble down to the water’s edge to begin life in the ocean!
The village of Bilene offers a number of restaurants and cafes, a bakery, curio shops and a vibrant market. Here you will find the local folk selling cashew nuts and locally caught fish, crabs and prawns. Beach bars have a great vibe and are a great place for the young at heart over the weekends with good music and local drinks to enjoy. Both petrol and diesel are available in Bilene.
Bilene is well known for its close proximity to Johannesburg and is very popular with South Africans due to the leisure options that the lagoon offers.
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