Ideally located as the gateway to the six pristine islands that make up the Bazaruto archipelago, Vilanculos Beach Lodge is the solution for holidaymakers who want to spend a few days exploring the quiet islands and a few nights digging into Mozambican culture and enjoying the nightlife of a coastal town.
While nobody would describe Vilanculos as a bustling metropolis, it’s population of approximately 24 000 people makes it a much busier place to be than the islands, which house a total of about 3 500 people. The town has also seen substantial investment in tourism infrastructure and offers a good variety of bars and restaurants.
Walking around Vilanculos tourists can really feel how Mozambique is changing and developing. There is a quirky mix between old and new, with the occasional relic from the civil war; a burnt-out building or a bullet ridden wall. These relics are getting fewer and fewer however, as the freshly painted shops and restaurants, the smiling waiters and business owners grow in number, as Mozambique steps into a new era.
For now this tension in history is fascinating for visitors, it is good to visit a country where change is tangible. Nowhere is this more tangible than in the luxury holiday lodges like Vilanculos Beach Lodge. Built out of indigenous material like thatch and local hardwood; the lodge offers luxury chalets built with the environment in mind. Large glass doors allow for the boundary between indoor and outdoor to fade, and the privacy of the chalets has been maintained by clever use of the indigenous bush.
We can hope that Vilanculos Beach Lodge represents the new Mozambique, beautiful and fully equipped with all amenities but built with respect for the richness of its natural surroundings, using the natural beauty to add strength to its features rather than destroying it.
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