Our Rating
6.8
Overall

Vilanculos Beach Lodge

Mozambique, Mainland Lodges

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Our Rating
6.8
Overall

Vilanculos Beach Lodge

Mozambique, Mainland Lodges
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Our Verdict

Boasting new management and recently renovated, Vilanculos Beach Lodge remains a great option as a more affordable base from which to explore the stunningly beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago!

Our Ratings

6.8
Overall
6.5
Luxury & Style
6.5
Setting
7.0
Activities
7.0
Chill-Out Factor

Our Ratings

6.8
Overall
6.5
Luxury & Style
6.5
Setting
7.0
Activities
7.0
Chill-Out Factor

What's Hot

  • The stunning (and huge!) swimming pool is the focal point of the whole lodge. Perched just above the beach enjoying superb views out over the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago, it’s the perfect spot to relax with an ice-cold drink whilst soaking up the magnificent vistas!
  • Under dynamic new management, this old favourite is a perfect example of “under promise then over deliver” – guests consistently rave about the wonderfully friendly staff and enthusiastic management that result in service levels way above what you would usually expect at the price
  • Talking of price, Vilanculos Beach Lodge represents an excellent value-for-money springboard into the many and varied delights of the Bazaruto Archipelago without you having to pay the hectically high prices of the lodges located on the islands themselves
  • Loads of activities are available both at the lodge and out in the archipelago, on water and land-based – think kayaking, SUP’ing, scuba diving, snorkelling, deep-sea fishing , kite surfing, horse-riding on the beach, volleyball or beach soccer – perfect for the kids and more active amongst us!
  • The rooms at VBL are quite simple and rustic but very attractively so – and the good news is that they’re also equipped with air-conditioning, a real bonus in the heat of summer!


What's Not

  • The rooms at VBL lie scattered in the forest on the hillside above the pool – so they’re not right on the beach nor do they boast the unobstructed sea views of other lodges. Another thing to bear in mind is that the slog up the hill to the top rooms means that this probably isn’t the place for guests with limited mobility
  • Given that the lodge lies on the outskirts of the town, the beach is not as pristine as what you would encounter out in the islands. Note that it’s pretty tidal too – although you can always find relief from the heat in the gorgeous swimming pool!
  • It’s not any fault of the lodge itself, but remember to factor in the price of excursions and activities out in the archipelago as these can be pricey (but are an absolute must-do as that’s why you come here in the first place!)

Vilanculos Beach Lodge

Vilanculos Beach Lodgethe stunning swimming pool perched right over the sandy beach boasts superb uninterrupted views out over the islands that make up the archipelago - gorgeous new wooden decks lined with sun loungers are the perfect place to soak up some rays

Lodge Profile

Boasting new management and recently renovated, Vilanculos Beach Lodge remains a great option as a more affordable base from which to explore the stunningly beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago!

Quick Overview

Rooms
23 - 22 Deluxe Bungalows and 1 Family Suite (2 bedroomed)
Distance to Beach
30 - 100 m
Air-conditioning
Yes
Pool
Yes
Recommended Stay
4 - 7 nights

There’s an old marketing saying that remains as true today as ever: “always try to under promise and then over deliver.” And that pretty much sums up in a nutshell the secret behind the success of Vilanculos Beach Lodge (or “VBL” as it’s known to its friends) This is a lodge which unashamedly pitches itself as a 3 star product, but which in terms of service and management delivers excellence far beyond those modest claims!

Vilanculos Beach Lodge is in some ways a story of a phoenix rising from the ashes. Back in the early ‘90’s when the borders re-opened for South Africans to return to Mozambique and they rediscovered the delights of Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago, Vilanculos Beach Lodge was one of the early trail-blazers and rapidly became the most prominent lodge on the mainland. For many years thereafter it remained a reliable go-to lodge, offering an affordable gateway to the delights of the archipelago for guests unable to pay the higher prices of the exclusive lodges located on the islands.

But along the line things sadly started slipping, maintenance and management was somewhat lacking and eventually the lodge closed down – in fact, we remember sadly exploring the deserted and somewhat rundown grounds of the closed-up lodge a few years ago whilst on a trip looking at other lodges in the area. Now however, VBL is back up and running – newly renovated and refurbished and with dynamic new management that have rapidly elevated the re-opened lodge back into the top level of accommodation options in the area! In fact, it’s the enthusiastic management and wonderfully friendly staff that receive almost blanket rave reviews from returning guests!

The basic structure of the old lodge beloved by guests over the decades remains pretty much unchanged but has been given a delightful spruce-up and polish by the new management. The lodge focus remains the stunning swimming pool perched right over the sandy beach with superb uninterrupted views out over Benguerra, Bazaruto and the other islands that make up the archipelago. Gorgeous new wooden decks lined with sun loungers are the perfect place to soak up some rays (with ice-cold drinks from the bar an absolute essential of course!) A grove of palm trees with manicured lawns dotted with little seating areas lies adjacent to the pool and main restaurant area, adding to the lodge’s visual appeal.

The lodge’s 23 rooms (consisting of a 2 bedroomed Family Suite and 22 Deluxe Bungalows) lie scattered amidst the lush coastal vegetation on the hillside above, reached via twisting timber and stone walkways. In keeping with the 3-star rating the lodge ascribes to itself, they’re fairly simple yet attractive affairs, with lovely open thatched ceilings and wooden floors that give a lovely rustic island ambience. The good news is that they’re air-conditioned, which comes as a real boon in the hot summer months. We also love the open plan nature of the rooms with the showers in the bedroom being one of our favourite features (although some guests would no doubt prefer more privacy)

Of the Deluxe Bungalows, 8 of them are stand-alone and hence the prime choice for couples, whilst the other 14 are located in 7 units with an adjoining wall and perfect for families or groups of friends (note that they don’t have interleading doors) One thing to note is that the way the bungalows are scattered on the hillside means that unobstructed sea views aren’t guaranteed as in many instances you look out over trees or the thatched roofs of the rooms below you. Another thing to bear in mind is that it’s a 100-odd metre slog up the hill to get to the top rooms of the lodge, so it’s definitely not the best choice of lodge for people with limited mobility or for those wanting rooms right on the beach.

But if we’re being honest, the main reason that people go to stay at VBL is not the rooms (as attractive as they are) – rather it’s the fact that the lodge serves as the perfect springboard to the many and varied delights awaiting in the Bazaruto Archipelago! Whilst there’s plenty to keep the kids occupied in and around the lodge – from beach soccer to volley-ball, kayaking to stand-up paddleboards, not to mention loads of board games for night-time or rainy days – the real delights of the area lie offshore in the sandy islands that lay like a string of pearls in the aquamarine blue waters of the archipelago.

Whether it’s diving, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving or kite-surfing, horse-riding on the beach, racing around on jet-skis or gently cruising under sail in a traditional dhow, there’s a myriad activities which the lodge’s team will be only too happy to arrange for you using one of the many operators in the area. One of the must-do trips is going out on a boat to Benguerra island for a picnic followed by a snorkel on the spectacular coral wonderland of 2 Mile Reef! Remember to budget for all these adventures though as they’re obviously extra and most are costed in US Dollars (eeek!)

Returning to VBL after a day of sun, sea and salt, you have the option of enjoying a relaxing massage in the lodge’s Spa before chilling with a sundowner before another delicious dinner, sometimes accompanied by a bit of live entertainment. Then it’s to bed, to wake up again tomorrow to enjoy your next fantastic day of adventure…

Pricing

per person sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Please note that this website displays 2 different versions of pricing based on where you are viewing it:
  • SOUTH AFRICANS: the package prices you see including flights from Johannesburg, accommodation and transfers are INDICATIVE prices based on mid-season airfares and mid-season room rates - these fluctuate throughout the year as do exchange rates, so please enquire with us for an accurate price based on your specific dates of travel
  • INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS: the prices you see are per person per night prices for accommodation only based on the normal public prices for the property in question - note that in many instances we are able to provide better prices to our clients, so please enquire with us

Child Policy

  • Unfortunately VBL does not have special rates for children (accommodation or meals)
  • Meals:
  • Infants / toddlers - (0 to 36 months old) Sharing with parents will not be billed additional supplementary for breakfast
  • Children 36 Months and older (sharing with parents) will have the supplementary breakfast meals added to the billing

  • Accommodation:
  • Infants / toddlers - (0 - 6) Sharing with parents will not be billed IF the parents are willing to share the King / 2 x twin beds with the child. (additional beds cannot be added to bungalows)
  • Should additional beds be required, unfortunately another room would need to be added, billed at normal room rates