A local s guide to Vilanculos in Mozambique MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

A Local’s Oasis: Discovering Vilanculos in Mozambique

Hey there! If you’ve been spending too much time in the hustle and bustle of the city, and need a break to truly unwind and have a blast, then I’ve got just the place for you: Vilanculos in Mozambique. Picture this: weeks of living in a tropical paradise, surrounded by the charm of a village. It’s like a reset button for your soul, allowing you to let go, relax, and fully embrace the beauty of life. Trust me, it’s something you won’t want to miss.

Coming from the bustling city of Johannesburg, I always need to remind myself that things work differently in Mozambique or Vilanculos. Trying to demand things immediately and on my own terms is pointless. This is Mozambique, after all! Here, everything operates on “African time,” and it can either drive you mad or set you free.

After experiencing that pitying look from easy-going Mozambicans for the third or fourth time, when I insist on unreasonable requests like punctual taxis or perfectly clean laundry, I realize that there are two ways to do things: the hard way or the easy way. So, I choose to relax. A warm smile, a sense of humor, and a temporary memory loss for time urgency will take me further than any demands ever could.

Hey there! So, once you’ve been in Vilanculos for a few days and you start feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t hang out with the other city folks. Instead, let’s take a breather and unwind. Take off that watch, slip into your flip flops, and tell yourself every morning, “Today, I’m just going to relax.” I know it’s not easy, but trust me, you can do it.

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Now, I’m here to give you nine tips that will help you slow down and embrace the relaxed pace of life in Vilanculos:

1. Explore the village by foot or hop on a tuk-tuk. This way, you’ll be fully immersed in the vibrant sights, sounds, and smells of this charming little place.

2. Treat yourself to a refreshing cocktail on the beach every afternoon at the Casbah Restaurant and Bar, where you can unwind in its Balinese-style setting. Check it out at www.casacabanabeach.com

3. You gotta check out the locals playing soccer and practicing martial arts on the beach. It’s a cool sight to see, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even join in. It happens every Sunday afternoon on the main beach.

4. Treat yourself to a tasty pizza and some chocolate pancakes at Casa Gucci. But be prepared to laugh until your sides hurt because Uli, the owner, is one hilarious character. You can find them at www.casaguci.com.

5. Experience the beauty of the ocean by going on a dhow safari with Sail-a-way Dhow. Spend the day spotting dolphins, whale sharks, and even endangered dugongs. Take a snorkeling adventure off the island of Margaruque and be captivated by the stunning island scenery. You can learn more at www.sailaway.co.za.

6. Beer, rugby, and good times await at the legendary Smuggler’s Pub. Watch a rugby game on the big screen, especially if it’s a morning game so you have an excuse to start drinking beer bright and early. It’s also a fantastic spot to mingle and make friends with the locals. Check them out at www.smugglers.co.za.

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7. Every afternoon at around three pm, you can take a leisurely stroll down to the fisherman’s market on the beach. It’s a special place where you can purchase the freshest calamari, prawns, and fish directly from the dhow.

8. There’s something truly magical about asking a local lady to prepare a pot of crab matapa for you. This mouthwatering stew is made with crushed cassava leaves, coconut milk, peanuts, minced prawns, and whole crabs. Find a shady spot under a palm tree, and savor this delightful dish with a refreshing glass of chilled white wine. Trust me, you won’t want to share this experience!

9. For a unique and intriguing adventure, visit the Mercado Municipal, our local open-air market. Challenge your own shopping habits and life perspectives by requesting something completely out of the ordinary, like an electric toothbrush or a small Elvis doll. You’ll be amazed at the vibrant, colorful aisles and the market’s ability to fulfill your request.

They say Vilanculos operates on its own timeline, where even the apocalypse is postponed by ten years. And maybe they’re right. In this place, time seems to march to its own beat.

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