Vilanculos FAQ, Mozambique

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Vilanculos FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Vilanculos in Mozambique

Is there a fuel station in Vilanculos?

Yes - Unleaded Petrol and Diesel. If you are venturing far from Vilanculos, remember to fill up!

Fuel is cheaper in their local currency (meticais) compared to rands (or dollars). We suggest you fill-up before entering Mozambique's borders and fuel is more expensive the further north you travel!

Do I need a 4x4 to get to Vilanculos?

No, you can drive a normal sedan car to Vilanculos. The roads are tarred and were improved in December 2010, though there are some bad stretches of road between Xai Xai and Vilanculos that may bring your speed right down to 40km/h or even less due to potholes. Take this into consideration when planning your journey to Vilanculos.

We always recommend you enter Mozambique in a 4x4 because you won't be limited to where you can travel as well as the possibility of getting stuck. Note: Some borders require a 4x4 to cross. Read more about the border you are travelling through here: Mozambique Borders & Times.

For soft / loose sand driving, we recommend you deflate your tire pressures to about 1.4 bar.

How far is the drive from Johannesburg / Durban to Vilanculos?

We advise if you self-drive, that you make it a 2 day trip, with your overnight stay either in Maputo or Marracuene. The drive from Johannesburg to Maputo is approximately 545km. The drive from Durban to Maputo is approximately 728km. The drive from Maputo to Vilanculos is approximately a 9 hour drive. As mentioned above, there are some bad stretches of road between Xai Xai and Vilanculos that may bring your speed right down to 40km/h or even less due to potholes and poor road conditions.

When travelling and calculating time, please consider the border opening times, queues and the time it may take processing documents at the border, speed limits, poor road conditions and unforseen weather conditions.

Are there flights from Johannesburg to Vilanculos?

Yes, Vilanculos has an International Airport and this is the easiest and fastest way to travel to Vilanculos. The flight is only 1 hr 45min with flights departing to / from Johannesburg and Maputo on a daily basis.

Great, do I need a visa to fly to Vilanculos?

South African passport holders do not require a visa to travel to Mozambique for leisure, however overseas visitors will have to obtain visas at the airports (approximately R200 / US$ 29.00 per person - prices are subject to change - please contact the airport for more information regarding visa prices).

Is it okay to drive at night?

We advise you not to drive at night.

Can I hire a 4x4 in Vilanculos?

Some lodges and resorts in Vilanculos do hire out 4x4 vehicles but it's important you confirm this with the lodge you're staying at prior departure and / or if this service is available elsewhere in the area.

You can Hire a 4x4 in Maputo. Contact Euro Rent / Imperial or Expresso Rent a Car for more information.

Are there Banks or ATMS in Vilanculos?

Yes, There are 3 major banks in Vilanculos: Barclays, BCI (Banco Comercial e de Investimentos) and BIM (Banco Internacional de Mocambique) Millennium which all have ATM machines for Visa cards (not always Mastercard). Banks are open from 08h00 - 15h00 on weekdays. Barclays Bank is open on Saturdays from 9h00 - 12h00.

Be prepared and withdraw a sufficient amount of money in the country you are travelling from to avoid inconveniences. Keep your money in a safe / discreet place.

Are there credit card facilities in Vilanculos?

We advise you confirm prior with the lodge you're staying at if they offer credit card facilities. Otherwise cash is only accepted in small shops and markets.

Is there a shop or market where I can buy groceries and supplies in Vilanculos?

Yes, 5km inland from all the beach resorts and lodges is The Vilanculos town itself - a busy / vibrant commercial village offering lots of fresh produce and vegetables at local markets.

We also advise that you buy and take your own vacuum packed meat from South Africa for the first night or 2 (if you are going to be self catering) in a cooler box with ice. Check with the lodge if they sell ice or if they have a freezer to store your meat during your stay.

Is Vilanculos a malaria area and do I need to take anti-malaria medication?

Yes, Mozambique as a whole is a Malaria risk Area / Country. We recommend you take precautions and visit your nearest doctor (you now need a prescription for Malaria Tablets) to prescribe you with what's recommended.

Be prepared and take other prophylactics like insect repellent sprays, mosquito coils, light long sleeve tops and bottoms to further prevent bites.

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The bay waters are clear, calm and relatively shallow between mainland and the islands providing ideal conditions for kitesurfing and safe bathing. Diving, snorkeling and big game fishing is extremely popular within the Bazaruto Archipelago and is renowned as one of the best fishing regions off Mozambique's coast for black marlin.

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