PEMBA ISLAND SPECIALS
Amazing rates for June, July, November, and early December on the best walls in Africa
Seven nights' fullboard accommodation and five days' diving - packages from $980 USD
See the Tanzania page to find out why you should go there
Mozambique - mantas and whale sharks
Tofo, Mozambique, is one of the best places in the world to see both manta species and whale sharks in the same spot. It is one of the few places in the world where reef mantas (the recently renamed Manta alfredi) and giant mantas (that has taken over the Manta birostris name) are seen together - in the same frame even! Recent research carried out by the Tofo-based Foundation for the Protection of Marine Megafauna calculating the local whale shark population has shown it to now be the largest in the world. Both species are visible year-round too.
Tofo’s reefs are also home to other large members of the shark and ray family: the odd-but-stunning bowmouth guitarshark, leopard and zebra sharks, blotched fantail rays, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll see the small-eyed stingray, the largest of the ray species, the only place in the world where it has been seen alive.
There are mantas and giant mantas on a number of dive sites, whale sharks on the surface interval, potato groupers, beautiful schools of snapper and soldierfish, curtains of goldies and other fish waiting to clean the mantas, frogfish, schools of trevally, turtles, honeycomb moray eels, and one of the biggest giant moray eels you will ever see. There are also cool smaller creatures like the sea moth, coral whip gobies, dragon moray eels, ribbon eels, purple and yellow sea cucumbers, peacock mantis shrimp, and the usual Indian Ocean reef dwellers. In season, from June to November, Humpback whales cruise past the coast and have been encountered underwater during dives.
Located 30 minutes down a bumpy road from Inhambane, Tofo is a small village with sandy lanes on a stretch of beach that can be reached by vehicle in a day from Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, or via a flight from Johannesburg. Either way, combining it with a trip to the Kruger National Park in South Africa is an ideal way to mix the reef with the bush. The Kruger’s renowned and excellent infrastructure make many sections rather tourist-heavy, but with our knowledge finding quiet spots for more intimate encounters is not a problem. Alternatively, you could combine Moz’ with a trip to Aliwal Shoal in South Africa for some excellent shark encounters or the Sardine Run. Contact us for Kruger safari information or click here.
There is a good choice of budget to mid-range accommodation available, with a night starting at 42 euros for a double room, A quality double or twin room with air-conditioning, on the beach sots 63 to 73 euros per night. For groups of six or more a night sharing a basic house starts at 10 euros each, though the better quality options are in the 30 euro per person bracket.
New for 2013 - THE WHALE SHARK RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
5, 7, and 10-day all-inclusive packages diving and swimming with the world's largest fish, helping Dr Simon Pierce, one of the world's leading whale shark research scientists, and his team with their research programs. And as well as being a top scientist, he's a charming and witty chap, depite originating from New Zealand.
Tofo Beach offers a world exclusive – not only can you swim with whale sharks in a world-class dive destination, you can participate in research on these gentle giants with a world expert marine biologist. Explore the reefs, home to manta rays, sharks, sea turtles and amazing macro life, then snorkel with whale sharks to your heart’s content. Afterwards, hit the beach, surf or just relax in the comfort of all-inclusive Casa Barry Beach Lodge.
Whale sharks are found year-round off the warm sub-tropical coast of Mozambique. The area immediately off the peaceful village of Tofo Beach is a global hotspot for these iconic sharks. Your guide, Dr Simon Pierce from the Marine Megafauna Foundation, has identified over 620 whale sharks that call Mozambican waters home giving Tofo Beach the largest year-round population of whale sharks in the world.
Simon Pierce and his team have been conducting research on these amazing fishes in Mozambique and around the world since 2005. His work has been featured by the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic and innumerable other outlets. His enthusiasm and passion for marine life is contagious. You will be an active participant in the research, receiving exclusive presentations and training in whale shark photo-identification, tagging and tissue-sampling. Interested in marine biology? You’ll love this!
This package, available in 5, 7 or 10 day options, is inclusive of:
•Daily dives and 2-3 hr whale shark research expeditions led by Dr Simon Pierce
•Exclusive presentations and training in whale shark research techniques
•Accommodation at Casa Barry Lodge (1, 2 or 4-sleeper rooms available)
•All-inclusive food and drinks at Casa Barry Beach Lodge
•Airport transfers to Inhambane International Airport (25 mins from Tofo), which offers flights from Maputo and Johannesburg (flights not included)
•Dive gear rental
Start dates for 2013
February & March May & June October & November
Feb 23rd May 18th October 19th
March 2nd May 25th October 26th
March 9th June 8th November 2nd
March 16th June 15th November 9th
Five-night package (four dives + whale shark swims)
•Two people sharing (per person) £1355
•Single occupancy £1400
•Four people sharing (per person) £995
Seven-day package (five dives + whale shark swims)
•Two people sharing (per person) £1785
•Single occupancy £1895
•Four people sharing (per person) £1350
Ten-day package (eight dives + whale shark swims)
•Two people sharing (per person) £2600
•Single occupancy £2750
•Four people sharing (per person) £1985
Prices are all-inclusive of accommodation, food and drinks, dive gear hire, airport transfers and sponsorship for the world-leading research and conservation programmes of the Marine Megafauna Foundation, which you are welcome to explore further during your trip.
Salon de la Plongée, Paris 9 - 12 January
Duikvaker, Utrecht, 1-2 February
Madrid Dive Show, 7-9 March
Beneath The Sea, New Jersey, USA, 28-30 March
Dedicated Papua New Guinea site
Check out our dedicated Papua New Guinea site - Best of PNG
Escorted photographic safaris
Zambia - Vic Falls and South Luangwa April 15 - 26, 2014. 2900$ FULL
Namibia Hidden Secrets May 11 to 26, 2014. from 1450 euros
Botswana and Vic Falls July 27 to August 9, 2014. from 2050 euros
Papua New Guinea - Highland and Coastal Tribes, 11 to 22 September, 2014, $2600, details soon
Southern Tanzania 2 - 16 November 2014, $2515 click here
Whale shark research trips in Mozambique
5, 7, and 10-night trips to conduct field research with leading whale shark scientist Dr Simon Pierce.
Loads of great new offers with savings from $500 to $2795 around the world.
5 days liveaboard diving in the Bahamas for under $1100 / £700
Underwater photo workshops
Come an learn to take magazine-quality images with a point-and-shoot
Very small groups, personal tuiton, great locations
ZANZIBAR, April 2014
Six nights, up to 14 dives, inc. course fees - $990 USD (excluding flights).
PAPUA NEW GUINEA, 2014
September 3 to 11, 2014 on the MV Febrina liveaboard $3665 USD Click here
Shark diving adventure of a lifetime
Very few spaces on these amazing liveaboard trips to the Bahamas
Booking now for Spring and Autumn 2014
The most intimate shark encounters around
Protea Banks - Hammer time!
KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Achooling hammerheads for the ffraction of the cost of the Galapagos, Cocos, or Malpelo, with tiger sharks, bulls sharks, and ragged-toooth sharks to boot. Click here
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