Shore Day Trip Live Aboard
Water Temp: 23 - 29°C (73 - 84°F)
Visibility: 5 - 30m (16 - 98 ft)
Resident Manta Rays and Whale Sharks are what have put Tofo Beach on the map and along with the stretches of beautiful beaches, laid back vibe and lively atmosphere this location is becoming a top holiday destination for divers and travellers alike.
Tofo is a small fishing village in the south of Mozambique on the eastern shores of the Inhambane Peninsula. Still unspoilt and un crowded Tofo’s clear blue waters and pristine beaches are ideal for a relaxing holiday and with regular Manta and Whale Shark sightings it is an excellent diving location.
Most people that visit Tofo do so to experience a once in a lifetime encounter with the huge gentle giants in the sea, but Tofo itself has a lot to offer whilst out of the water. Its laid back atmosphere along with beautiful stretches of empty beaches and lively bars and restaurants in the evening makes this a perfect place to relax, meet similar minded travellers and of course a memorable encounter with Mantas, whale sharks and maybe even whales!
The climate in Tofo is warm and sunny which can be dived year round but it can have high winds during February and August which can cause the water to become very rough and choppy, even so diving is usually still possible and it only called off in extreme conditions.
The summer months of November to April are the rainiest months which occasionally bring violent storms but they have the highest water temperature of 28C. The winter months of May to October are a lot cooler but still pleasant with a lower water temperature of 23C. Visibility in this area varies by the day and is influenced by a combination of plankton, currents, winds and tides.
As this location is a top international hotspot for these animals it is also a main research area for scientists trying to learn more about these amazing creatures and to help protect them and prevent the unnecessary fishing that takes place.
The Foundation for the Protection of Marine Megafauna (FPMM) was created in 2009 to research, protect and conserve the large populations of marine megafauna found along the Mozambique coast. One of the founders is Andrea Marshall, who is famous for discovering a new Giant Manta Species.
Diving Tofo can be undertaken by all levels of diver, but a lot of the sites are deeper with currents so are not suitable for beginners. The dive sites are all reached on semi rigid inflatable boats which launch through the surf, which can be quite an experience on its own especially when there is a bit of wind! The travel time to most of the sites is 20-40mins from the beach, but it is worth the extra effort once you are underwater exploring these amazing sites.
Tofo Beach is not known for its reefs or coral, although some areas are really quite pretty, the main attraction certainly is the giant Manta Rays and Whale Sharks! Believed to be the only place in the World where both species are residents year round, this makes Tofu an excellent dive spot for divers wishing to see both giant plankton feeders up close.
The Manta Ray, which can grow up to 8m wide, is frequently spotted on many dive sites between 20-30m at the Manta cleaning stations. These stations are usually soft coral formations where the mantas stop to get cleaned by numerous varieties of cleaner fish. The most popular Manta dive site, Manta Reef, is easily a world class site; you can sit and watch sometimes up to 12 mantas circling the stations being cleaned. The mantas can get quite curious and will come right up to divers watching them. Although the mantas are the highlight of this dive, there is also a lot more to see, turtles and grouper can be found in caves and crevasses, smaller creatures such as frogfish and the mini nudibranches, large schools of trevally, barracuda, triggerfish and snappers and even a whale shark gliding past or devil rays circling below you on the safety stop.
There are many other brilliant dive sites, one that’s great but only for experienced divers due to its depth and current is Amazon Reef. This site has a staggering array of reef fish as well as some resident leopard sharks, whitetip reef sharks, loggerhead and green turtles.
The Manta Rays and Whale Sharks are easily the stars of this area, during the winter months it is also possible to spot Humpback whales on the way to and from a dive as they swim past on their migration route and there song can be heard on many dives during this time. Dolphins can also be frequently spotted at the surface year round.
The nearest international airport to Tofo Beach is Inhambane 20km away, or you can fly into another close by airport such as Johannesburg in South Africa, Harare in Zimbabwe or another Mozambique airport such as Maputo, Mozambique’s capital and then catch a connecting flight or bus.
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