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Diving in Inhambane & Tofo

Go the distance to Inhambane and Tofo in Mozambique and be rewarded with the presence of stunning marine megafauna like whale sharks and manta rays.

Diving in Inhambane & Tofo

Quick facts

Scuba diving off Inhambane and Tofo is a real treat for those who love marine megafauna. The plankton rich waters are known to attract whale sharks, manta rays and also humpback whales. The diving industry is therefore quite established with dive operators located in Inhambane and more in Tofo as there is a nice beach front.

You can dive on a year-round basis as Inhambane and Tofo experiences balmy tropical weather. It is drier during April to December and during the rainy season from late December to March, the rains are just a quick downpour. Water temperature could be a little chilly in the dry season with a low of 72˚F (22˚C) but during the rainy season it goes up to 86˚F (30˚C).

As these are plankton feeding areas, visibility is usually only 33-49ft (10-15m) but the up-close experience and surprise of these behemoth creatures coming out of the blue makes up for the cloudy sea. The top dive sites to visit would be manta ray cleaning stations which are off Tofo at an area aptly named Manta Reef. Off Inhambane, you are likely to dive at Kingfisher Reef which also has cleaning stations.

Besides cleaning stations, visit reefs further from the coast for more shark action. Some diving experience may be needed at the outer reefs as there are strong currents and choppy surface conditions that may require a negative entry. For whale sharks, there are snorkel trips to see them and diving is not really necessary although bumping into one during a dive is certainly nothing to complain about.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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USD 915Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 855Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 862Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers

What to see

The Agulhas Current passes through the coast off Inhambane and Tofo and this brings about plankton rich waters. As such, whale shark and manta ray sightings are almost guaranteed here and you might even spot the great oceanic manta rays which come by to feed and clean. Cleaning stations are filled with lyretail anthias, cleaner wrasse and butterflyfish. Migrating whales also travel along the Agulhas Current which is why there are chances to see the likes of humpback whales off the coast from June to November.

At the outer reefs, sharks are quite plentiful with whitetip sharks, blacktip sharks, leopard sharks and if you are lucky, hammerhead sharks. Besides that, consider it a lifetime opportunity if you manage to dive with a dugong but otherwise the reefs and walls have plenty to offer. These include great personalities of the humphead wrasse, giant grouper and potato cod. There are also green sea turtles and the rare loggerhead sea turtles. Smaller critters like moray eels, seahorses, garden eels, and scorpionfish are also a delight to find.

Calendar

For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Area

Inhambane is a sleepy seaside town located in a bay along the southern coast of Mozambique and is part of the Inhambane Province. Vasco da Gama chanced upon this bay in the 15th century and he named it Terra de Boa Gente, or Land of the Good People, a name which is still used today. Tofo, or Praia do Tofo, is also part of the Inhambane Province and is a beautiful stretch of beach spilling into the Indian Ocean that is about 13.7 miles (22km) from Inhambane.

Inhambane used to be a major ivory and slave trading port in the 18th to 19th century and was under Indian control. It eventually grew into a town when the Portuguese took over but in the 20th century, activity at the town and port wound down as Maputo became the new hub of Mozambique. Today, 62,937 people live here and the main economic driver of Inhambane is tourism.

Both Inhambane and Tofo are part of the Bazaruto National Park which is the main draw for tourists. The park covers a large area of ocean off the coast of Inhambane and six islands. The park helps to protect the marine megafauna that can often be seen off the coast of Inhambane that include humpback whales, dolphins, turtles, whale sharks, manta rays and many species of fish. The very shy and rare dugong also finds protection under the laws of this marine park.

Other attractions

Non-divers will still get to experience Inhambane and Tofo as there are many snorkeling trips to see whale sharks as well as whale watching trips. Besides that, relax by the beach or explore the sleepy town of Inhambane. Nature lovers can explore the land area of the Bazaruto National Park which has many animal and bird species.

Getting there

Hop on a plane from Maputo on LAM Mozambique Airlines to arrive at the Inhambane Airport. There are also direct flights from Vilankulos or Johannesburg in South Africa. Take ground transport to the town or to Tofo.

UTC+02:00

Time zone

MZN

Currency

+258

Calling code

220 V

Electric volt

C, 

F, 

M

Plug type

INH

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.