Hotel interior rooms
Hotel private balconies
Hotel, view from balconies
Beach chalet, bungalow exterior
Beach chalet, bungalow exterior
Benguerra, view from casita bed
Benguerra, private decking with each casita
Hotel, view out from balconies
Hotel, view from outside
Beach chalet, swimming pool
Hotel swimming pool
Hotel grounds
Benguerra, sunset cocktails on lounger
Benguerra departing on snorkling trip
Beguerra, view of loca fishermen from private beach lounger
Beach chalet, view from chalet to beach
Beach chalet, view from chalets
Beach chalets, arial view of location
Relaxing on the beach after one of our safaris on horseback is an ideal way to round off a perfect holiday.

We highly recommend the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago (a national park) and Vilanculos town in the south of Mozambique. The whole area boasts palm fringed white beaches, numerous coral reefs suitable for snorkelling and diving, a large variety of water sports and is also world renown for deep sea angling.

The area is easy to access from Johannesburg or from the even closer Kruger Park area with regular direct flights.

We offer a choice of accommodation in the area and can tailor make any combination you wish. Below are details of several options.

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The warm tropical waters of the region are host to an incredible variety of fish, corals, marine mammals and plants. The water temperature can vary between 28 degrees Celsius (summer) to a still very comfortable 22 degrees Celsius (winter).

Diving
There are extensive reefs found 2 miles, 5 miles and 7 miles from shore. These are suitable for novice to advanced divers and many lodges have dedicated dive centres. Dive courses leading to PADI certificates can be undertaken on site. The area boasts an abundance of hard and soft corals. As a result an immense variety of reef fish, whale sharks and manta rays, schools of pelagic kingfish and barracuda may be seen as well as stingray, shark, potato bass, moray eel and turtles.

Game Fishing
Renown since the 1960s as one of the world's premier game fishing destinations, Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago continues to attract serious fishermen and women from around the world. Giant black marlin can be found in the region from October to March with a great variety of other offshore species including sailfish, wahoo, dorado, king mackerel and tuna. All fishing is on a catch and release basis.

Wildlife Viewing 
While land based mammals are scarce in this dry area, the number of species living in the warm tropical waters is extensive. Whales, dolphins, sharks and dugongs are all prevalent at various times of year. Humpback whales are commonly encountered in the winter months (June to early November) and hard to miss on a visit of 3 days or more. From October onwards one can often see the whales with very young calves before they head south to colder waters. Sightings of the whale sharks are common from April to July.
Dophins are commonly encountered all year round and there are four different species which frequent these waters.
The seas surrounding Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago are home to one of the largest populations of the endangered dugong. Although now almost extinct it is believed the dugong was responsible for starting the myth of the mermaids. Although rare to see, these waters will probably give you one of the best chances in the world to do so.

Below is a selection of accommodation types available. More pcitures on each are available in the gallery.
 
Beach chalets, South Vilanculos
Arial view of Beach Chalets south of Vilanculos
Colonial style thatched chalets on the beach. These are very spacious and built with natural air conditioning in mind. Downstairs contains one double bedroom with en suite shower and toilet and a separate twin bedroom with its own bathroom. There is also a large open space lounge/dining area, kitchen area with adjacent larder room and built in safe and a veranda reached from the lounge or either bedroom with beautiful views over the sea.

There is a mezzanine floor with additional twin beds. The chalets are provided with mosquito netting for all beds and ceiling fans throughout. Electricity is available by generator for parts of the day.
In addition on site there is a large swimming pool with bar/restaurant area and steps directly onto a white sandy beach. A wide variety of activities can be organised from the lodge: watersports of all types, snorkelling and diving on coral reefs, dhow sailing trips, Island visits to the Bazaruto Archipelago, deep sea fishing, local market visits etc
This is ideal for families and those looking for a relaxed and casual beach holiday.

Rates for 4 night short break 2016/7:  Please enquire.
Includes: Bed and Breakfast, x 1 ride (1.5 hour) during your stay.
Excludes: Other meals, drinks, activities, transfers (from £35 return)
Note:
We can arrange full board for a reasonable price or advantage can be taken of the small restaurants and lodges within walking distance along the beach. A barbeque area is provided outside the chalets and a kitchen is available for self catering options. All activities can also be arranged onsite for a reasonable price.


Hotel Accommodation North Vilanculos

Hotel room Vilanculos
The Casa Rex hotel has beautiful twin and double rooms, all furnished to a very high standard, with a good quality restaurant and beautifully decorated lounge and veranda area. The rooms all have sea views, en-suite bathrooms and private balconies. For maximum comfort, airy mosquito nets are hung and rooms have air-conditioning and internet access. All activities undertaken in the area can be arranged from here. The hotel is a little more formal than the beach chalets with fine dining and excellent service.

Rates 2016/7: please enquire
Includes: Bed and Breakfast
Excludes: Other meals, activities, transfer from airport (from £35 return)
 



Benguerra Lodge, Benguerra Island

View from private casita on Benguerra IslandThis is the ultimate in beach paradise luxury. The Lodge is small and intimate and offers genuine hospitality, personalised service and an in-depth knowledge of the natural environment. It has a rich East African/Arabic feel – evinced in both the décor and the food. The private beach chalet casitas all merge naturally into the surrounding forest and are set on the white powder beach of Benguerra Bay.

Activities offered include: Diving & Snorkelling, Fishing, Dhow cruises, Castaway picnics, Landrover trips through the Island interior, Bird watching, Island walks, Village visits, Sea kayaking, Yacht day trips, Horse Riding

Benguerra lodge does not take children under 8, should you wish to take a younger family to one of the Islands we recommend Bazaruto Lodge on Bazaruto Island. Please contact us for details of Bazaruto lodge.

2016/7 Rates - Please enquire.
Included: All meals and snacks including private beach dinners and private meals on casita decks, casita host and butler, non-alcoholic cocktail on arrival, tea and coffee, snorkelling, sea kayaking, dhow cruises, castaway & land rover picnics, bird watching, land rover island tours & village visits, daily laundry service, special Honeymoon treats, local taxes.  
Excluded: Flights & island transfers, all drinks (apart from tea and coffee), gift shop purchases, gratuities, $10 National Parks fee, scuba diving, fishing, horse riding, spa treatments and yacht trips.
 

 

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

Rider requirements

These vary according to the lodge or hotel chosen, please see the web site for details. Please do not hesitate to call should you wish to discuss any of the accommdoations with someone who has stayed there.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

UK citizens require a visa for entry to Mozambique. You can normally purchase a single entry tourist visas at major border crossings and international airports ($95, valid for 30 days, none renewable). Some travellers have reported problems with this service (no availability of visas, length of time to issue) and it is subject to change, often with no notice.
We recommend that you apply for a visa at your nearest Mozambican Mission, where all types of visa are available, prior to your journey and well in advance of your planned visit. You should ensure that you have the correct visa for the purpose and length of your visit and obtain a clear explanation of the visa's validity and what it allows you to do. You will receive a heavy fine if you overstay your visa or have the wrong type of visa for your time in Mozambique.

South Africa & Passport Validity
If you are planning to visit South Africa before or after Mozambique your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months. The South Africa authorities state that officially only one blank passport page is required for entry. But there have been reports that some South Africa officials insist on two blank pages. We recommend you have two blank pages.

High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique, 21 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 6EL. Telephone:(020) 7383 3800, Fax:(020) 7383 3801, Website: http://www.mozambiquehc

The British High Commission in Mozambique is found at: Av Vladimir I Lenine, 310, (CP 55) Maputo, Mozambique. Telephone: + (258) (21) 356 000 (The High Commission answer machine gives an emergency contact number) Fax: + (258) (21) 356 060, Website: http://www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1025782352809

Climate Summary

Mozambique has a tropical climate with two seasons. A wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September. Climatic conditions, however, vary depending on altitude. Rainfall is heavy along the coast and decreases in the north and south. Annual precipitation varies from 500 to 900 mm (20 to 35 inches) depending on the region with an average of 590 mm (23 inches). Cyclones are also common during the wet season. Average temperature ranges in Maputo are from 13 to 24 degrees Celsius (55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) in July to 22 to 31 degrees Celsius (72 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit) in February.
Vilanculos is in a rain shadow and consequently very dry. February is the month most likely to see cyclones in Vilanculos and the Bazaruto Archipelago.

Climate Chart

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. Temperature
79 79 79 75 71 68 67 69 72 73 77 79
Avg. Max Temperature
86 86 86 83 80 79 77 79 81 80 84 86
Avg. Min Temperature
72 73 71 67 62 57 56 59 63 65 69 71
Avg. Rain Days
7 6 6 3 3 1 2 1 2 6 7 4
Avg. Snow Days
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Health

You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. NHS Direct (+ 44 0845 46 47) can provide you with advice on vaccination requirements for Mozambique.
You should observe routine food and hygiene measures when travelling. Only drink boiled and filtered or bottled water.

Health (ride specific)

Vilanculos is a malaria area and we recomend taking anti-malarial precautions on this trip. In addtion the sun is very strong so be sure to bring sufficient quantities of a high strength sun lotion.

Electricity

Electricity: 220/240V 50Hz
Electric Plug Details: European plug with 2 circular metal pins or South African/Indian-style plug with 2 circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin.

Film and Camera Equipment

A UK or South African plug adaptor are handy in Mozambique. There is not much opportunity to purchase film or lithium batteries, supplies are limited. It is best to bring whatever you need with you.
There is good mobile reception in Vilaculos. Internet access is erratic.

Packing List

Towel (beach and bathroom), mosquito repellent, swimming costume, sarong, sandals/flip flops, riding clothes (if riding), riding shoes you can walk in, riding helmet with ventilation, long sleeve shirts, sweater, broad brimmed hat, water bottle(s), small day pack.

Programmes

All accommodation programmes are tailor made to your requirements. Please call to discuss you requirements.

Departure Dates

All year round

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.


Recommended Reading

A Different Kind of War Story by Carolyn Nordstrom
The Wooden Ox by LeAnne Hardy
Mozambique: The Bradt Travel Guide by Philip Briggs and Mark Whittington

Other Activities

Horse riding is just one of the activities enjoyed by residents of the chalets. Almost every water based sport you can think of is available from here and many cultural and adventure activities. Suggestions include: Swimming in the ocean and swimming pool, canoeing or sea kayaking along the mangrove swamps, along the coast or to the islands, dinghy or yacht sailing, sunset sailing or day trips in local fishing dhows, windsurfing, deep sea fishing (see below for details), snorkelling from the shore or out on one of the spectacular reefs, scuba diving (beginner and refresher courses available), paddle skiing, bird watching, local town and market visits, excursions to the local nature reserve and marine reserves or mangrove swamps.

Deep sea fishing is a feature of this part of Mozambique. The Bazaruto Archipelago is a unique area with a large variety of fish species and world famous for its Black Marlin. The fishing in this area is of interest to various types of anglers: from the avid fly fisher to the spinning specialist and the big game angler. While fishing in the shallow waters around the many reefs, it is not uncommon to catch more than 10 different types of fish in one day.
Because of a distinct change of water temperature, the area attracts both winter- and summer fish. In the summer months there are the Giant- and other Trevallies, like golden Kingfish, Brassy Jacks and other Big eye Carangidae. They have been landed and released in excess of 35 kg. Tuna fish such as Skipjack, Kawakawa, Frigate (Thazard) and Yellowfin can be caught from September to December and in May. In December most of the Dorado (Dolphin fish) can be caught. Sailfish is abundant from April to July and again from September to January. You will find King Mackerel, Pompano Queenfish Mackerel, Bonitos and many species of reef fish at any time of the year.

Wildlife

Mozambique's main attraction is its tropical beaches and warm waters. The most important area of all is the Bazaruto Archipelago, situated off the coast close to the fishing village of Vilanculos. Mozambique has an ecologically rich and diverse wildlife. The country has 232 species of mammals and 740 species of bird. Mozambique's conservation areas suffered great loss of life during wars from the 1970s until the early 1990s. However the Bazaruto Archipelago has not been affected. It is home to stunning coral reefs and over 80% of all marine fish families of the Indo-Pacific.

Other Country Information

In the early 1970's under as a Portuguese colony, Mozambique enjoyed a thriving tourism trade centered on the capital Maputo and the BAzaruto Island Archipelago. After independence Mozambique descended into a lengthy period of civil war causing the large sections of the population to flee to neighbouring countries as refugees. The civil war ended in 1992 and a mass repatriation of the population started. Since then the economy has been growing at a healthy rate, aided by international aid, the revival of a fledgling tourism industry and natural mineral resources such as titanium.

Mozambique has a population of 17,000,000 and the capital city is Maputo. Portuguese is the official and most widely spoken language of the nation. The time zone is GMT/UTC + 2 and the Country Dialing Code +258.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Vilanculos
Transfer:
Flight Guide:
Johannesburg - Vilanculos return from £379, call for prices from other areas.