On 22nd of February 2007, much of Vilankulo was devastated by Cyclone Favio which struck Inhambane Province with ferocious 170mph winds. But the town recovered quickly, thanks to the incredible spirit of the community with the aid from industrial nations. Today, Vilankulo has the largest accumulation of tourist facilities and services among the many coastal towns in the entire province.
A relatively small town, Vilankulo was named after a local tribal chief, Gamala Vilankulo Mukoke (some of its suburbs are named after his children), and was called Vilanculos during the colonial period. Soon after independence, the name was changed to Vilankulo, with the district retaining the name Vilanculos.
Measuring just about 5km long which can be explored in some two to three hours, Vilankulo is one of the favorite and perhaps the number one tourist destination in Mozambique because it is the gateway to the enchanting Bazaruto Archipelago on the Indian Ocean.