Some countries in Africa may be the home of safari, but Mozambique is becoming famous for its sea safari and the chance of see some of the world’s most iconic sea creatures. Whale sharks, manta rays, turtles and other amazing marine life make tiny Tofo, in Mozambique, an underwater heaven for divers and nature lovers.
A whale shark, about 13 feet in length, glides by without so much as a blink of its eye. He pays little attention to a gaggle of scuba divers who have made the journey here from all corners of the globe for the chance to see this magnificent creature and his cousins.
Tofo lies on the Indian Ocean and is a small town fringed by an arc of white sand and blue sea. Unsophisticated and simple, there is only one hotel here, Hotel Tofo Mar, recently opened by a Portuguese MP. Otherwise accommodation for the divers and surfers is in beachfront shacks, simple hostels, rustic chalets or small guesthouses such as Casa Do Mar or Casa Barry, where the MMF (Marine Megafauna Foundation) often give early evening talks about sharks and rays.
Not here the flashy all inclusives or luxurious sprawling resorts found elsewhere on the Indian Ocean – instead expect a ‘make yourself at home’ casual atmosphere with many establishments offering trusting ‘honesty bars’. The views are amazing and for a break from diving, time spent on the ground is an eye –opener. Tofinho, less than a kilometre south, is situated on exposed and rocky headland , a favourite spot for fishermen when a high tide covers the shelf, allowing casting for the plentiful kingfish into the deep waters beyond. Tofinho is also the site of the Frelimo Monument to Fallen Heroes, near to where unfortunate victims of the colonial period were thrown into a sea cave, to be drowned by the rising tide.