DIVING IN TOFO
>18 diving points
8m semi-rigid boats
up to 40 m depth
all dive levels
megafauna, macro & micro
INFO ABOUT DIVING IN TOFO
The east coast of Mozambique, with nearly 2,500 kilometers of almost unexplored coastline, offers us underwater landscapes teeming with life. With its endless beaches with crystal clear waters, Mozambique is an underwater oasis in East Africa, and Praia do Tofo is its capital, and for years it has been gaining momentum in the world of diving as a premier destination to see megafauna.
The coast of Praia do Tofo is very underdeveloped and maintains a very unspoiled appearance, and its waters offer a wonderful biodiversity, mainly due to the Agulhas current, which allows some of the most spectacular dives in the world with sightings of whale sharks, sharks and rays of various species including giant mantas up to 7 m in wingspan, dolphins, various species of turtles, and the majestic humpback whales that visit our waters between the months of June to November during their annual migration. This diversity of the greats of the sea together with the variety of soft and hard corals that line the local reefs have made this destination the jewel of the Indian Ocean.
While many of the best diving destinations suffer from congested dive sites for boats and divers, with consequences on its reefs, Tofo retains its natural charm, allowing the daily rediscovery of its beauty.
The southern coast of Mozambique, and specifically in the province of Inhambane where Tofo is located, is home to one of the most important feeding grounds for whale sharks and manta rays in the world. The highest sightings of the much sought after whale shark are recorded in this area.
Since 2005, more than 600 different individuals have been identified in these waters, some of them also sighted in South Africa and northern Tanzania, but studies show that such individuals return year after year to these food-rich waters. In 2021, the species has finally received full legislative protection in Mozambique.
This area is also considered one of the centers of abundance for manta rays, the largest of the devil ray species (the genus Mobula). Over the past 20 years, the largest populations of giant and reef manta rays in Africa have been documented and identified. Both species aggregate in the south of the country, with the highest sightings recorded along the coast of Inhambane province.
This coast also provides important breeding, feeding and cleaning areas for devil rays (Mobula kuhlii), another endangered relative. After many years of work, especially by the Marine Megafauna Foundation, in January 2021, the government has protected the manta and devil rays in Mozambique.
The seabed of Tofo is made up of huge rocky bars that break the sandy bottom rising to several meters, some of them colonized by gigantic coral structures that give shelter to countless marine species attracting, in turn, the great diversity of pelagic species.
DAY OUT DIVING
Timing is everything, so our day starts early to optimize sightings. After breakfast at the accommodation, we meet at the diving center where we review and prepare the equipment, we attend the briefing and after a short 2-minute walk to the beach, where the boat awaits us with all the material stowed, our adventure begins.
All the dives in Tofo involve entries from the coast with the zodiacs, with which the excitement is guaranteed from early morning. After a stimulating launch through the surf, the dive sites are 5 minutes away, the closest ones, and those furthest 35 minutes away.
The exciting first minutes ensure that we are all wide awake and attentive in search of whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and turtles that can be seen any day of the year, and the much desired humpback whales that frequent our waters between the months of June to November.
Normally we plan for two dives in the morning with a surface interval of 1h30´, but when conditions do not allow it, we return to land between dives.
At the end of the second dive we return to the dive center where we usually arrive after noon, the perfect time to sit down for lunch. Those who wish can take a third dive in the afternoon on the shallow coastal reefs.
We have located the various dive sites through GPS. Once above the point, we prepare for the entry, and during this time we calculate what the boat has moved and in what direction, which gives us information about the type of current that we can find. We always plan the dives to go with the current.
We never anchor the zodiac, so we always drift. The descent is in the middle of the blue, and the reference is the buoy and the guide's reel. The depths do not exceed 35 meters in depth, and many of them rise up to 25 meters, with which most of the diving will be at depth and a maximum bottom time of 45-50 minutes.
During the surface intervals and the round trips to the dive sites, depending on the weather conditions and the state of the sea, we cruise in search of the marine megafauna. If luck is with us, which is usually very common, and in the case of humpback whales, the encounter is guaranteed during the months of July and August, and after having evaluated the behavior of the animal, we enter the water using only the mask, snorkel and fins. Gearing up with the scuba equipment and a tank is not usual in these cases.
WEATHER & SEA CONDITIONS
We can find perfect diving conditions in Tofo on any day of the year. Visibility and currents are less dependent on seasonal weather patterns and are more affected by the prevailing tides and winds of the day. On average, Tofo offers 15 meters of visibility, being able to go up to 30-40 meters in its best conditions, or in its worst conditions of up to only 5 meters. The water temperature ranges from 17 ° C to 21 ° C in winter (June - November) and from 27 ° C to 30 ° C in summer (December - May).
We recommend anti-seasickness tablets for those who are prone to seasickness.
We are associated with one of Tofo diving centers located in the best existing area, with excellent modern facilities fully equipped with a swimming pool, changing rooms with hot showers, classrooms where courses are offered, cafeteria - restaurant and unbeatable views.
We have three semi-rigid boats, one of 7.5 meters and two of 8 meters, all with a capacity of up to 16 divers each, although we prefer to keep smaller groups and we usually go with a maximum of 8 divers per boat. Each boat is equipped with 2 Yamaha 90 horsepower 4-stroke engines, emergency oxygen, first aid kit, life jackets, radio contact and emergency plan.
For those who feel the chill on longer dives or during the winter months, we recommend minimum 5mm wetsuits, or even 7mm semi-dry. During the summer, when the water temperature is usually between 27 ° C and 28 ° C with a 3mm is usually enough. For those who prefer to rent, we have Scubapro and Mares 5mm suits, as well as a selection of closed fins and masks. The scuba tanks are made of steel and / or aluminum with capacities of 12 lt. For those who want 15 lt steel, we recommend that you contact us beforehand to book them.
Due to the profile of the dives, we always recommend diving with enriched air nitrox to increase safety and bottom times. The available nitrox is 32% and up to 40% for those certified.
For those who still do not have the qualification and prefer to do it here with us, it can be arranged with Robert and Lacin.
Whale shark, giant manta ray, reef manta ray, leopard shark, bowmouth guitar shark, whitetip reef shark, gray reef shark, humpback dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, leatherback turtle, green turtle, loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle, mauritius scorpionfish, potato grouper, honeycomb moray (leopard moray), humpback whale.