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. Dives cost 38 euros per dive, with nitrox and far reef fees.
Accommodation fact sheet and images here
Read an article about diving in Tofo here.