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Vilanculos District

Geographical Location
Vilanculos or Vilankulo is a district located in northern Mozambique province of Inhambane. It has geographical boundaries, north and west with Inhassoro, east to the Indian Ocean and the south and west with the District of Massinga.

Area and Population
The district of Vilanculos has an area of 856Km² and a population of 135,813 inhabitants, according to preliminary results of the 2007 Census, resulting in a population density of 23.19 inhabitants / km². The population recorded in 2007 represents an increase of 20.0% compared to 113 045 inhabitants registered in the 1997 Census.

Source of Income
Agriculture is the dominant activity and involves the majority of local households. The main food crops of the family sector are maize, cassava, peanuts and beans. The most important livestock in the district, for the consumption of households and marketing are chickens and goats.

Vilankulo Town
Vilankulo, is one of the high quality tourism destination. Wonderful accommodations and good connection by air from South Africa are available. Of the many Inhambane coastline towns, Vilankulo boasts the largest accumulation of tourist-centric facilities and services. Historically Vilankulo has been chosen as the location of choice for hotel & resort development, as can be seen by the Dona Ana Hotel, which was originally built by the Portuguese entrepreneur Joaquim Alves in 1967, that has recently re-opened on the 20th of December, 2013.

There are a number of cafes, restaurants, shops that cater to tourists and residents alike. Vilankulo also serves as the gateway to the archipelago is the town of Vilankulo. Dhows (traditional sailing boats) safaris provide daily and overnight travel between the town and islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago. The town itself is only about 5 km long filled with all the amenities needed to make your visit comfortable yet local. The airport is based on the outside of the town with flights arriving and departing on a daily basis. The Market is located in the center of town towards the main beaches of Vilankulo. If you prefer something a little more exclusive there is a wide variety of exquisite lodges and resorts to visit.

Bazaruto Archipelago This world famous archipelago consists five islands; Bazaruto, Benguera, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangue, that lie 10-25km offshore, between Vilankulo in the south and Inhassoro in the northwest. It has clear, turquoise waters filled with colorful fish, and offers opportunities for diving, snorkeling and birding. Since 1971 the majority of the archipelago has been protected as a national park (Bazaruto National Park) and is managed by the Natiional Directorate for Conservation Areas of the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and the Endangered Wildlife Trust. In late 2002 the park boundaries were extended southward to encompass all of the islands, bringing the area under protection to about 1,400 sq. km. It is through this protected status, and to the archipelago's relative isolation, nature is in abundance.

Magaruque and Benguerra are both visible from the shores of Vilankulo. Bazaruto is the largest island, whilst the tiny Bangue is uninhabited and Santa Carolline (also known as Paradise Island) has no facilities for tourists at present. The Bazaruto Archipelago is an exclusive high-end destination. There are however dhow cruise trips offered from Vilankulo to the island of Magaruque – the closes island to Vilankulo and main destination for day sailing/snorkeling. The majority of visitors fly in directly to Vilankulos from Johannesburg, Nelspruit where you can arrange island helicopter or boat transfers with the lodges.

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