Mozambique is a country that has many associations. Possibly that’s exactly what makes it such an attractive and fascinating place to visit. For many South Africans, Mozambique is an affordable beach destination. It is a good destination for family holiday. Some people also prefer it as a place of romantic African honeymoon. You can pack 4×4 with camping gear and cool boxes of fresh supplies, and make your way up the coastline to your favourite camp spot. Mozambique offers international visitors some of the most exclusive beach resorts on Africa’s east coast.
The Bazaruto and Quirimba archipelagos boast the ultimate in luxury and pampering in the most pristine tropical settings. No matter what your holiday style, there’s one thing about Mozambique that attracts just about everyone: the miles of unspoilt sandy beaches fringed with towering coconut palms and the blue sea beyond. The beaches are so clean they actually squeak when you walk on them.
About 400km north of Maputo, near Inhambane, there is a small coastal village called Tofo. It’s a n area known for great diving, fishing and surfing. Tofo is a vibrant village, in and out of the season. It is the type of place where there’s enough to do, but you could also very quickly get into the vibe of doing not much at all. Tofo is located on a creascent bay with a sandy beach stretching north for about 3.5km to the lighthouse. Beyond the point, the coastline reaches up to another well-known tourist spot called Barra.
There are a variety of estuary day tours. Take a leisurely boat cruise or sail on traditional dhow. Snorkel the calm waters to look for pansy shells or shy seahorses. If you opt for a paddling trip, you can explore the mangroves and possibly see a dugong. This dolphin-like species is endangered and protected, and sightings are rare and very special.
The easy way to explore the Tofo area is by taking leisurely strolls along the beach or rural roads. In Mozambique everyone is friendly and it’s safe to explore o n your own. You walk along the beach or through the market and everyone greets you with a smile. It’s true that Mozambicans are friendly by nature. In Tofo, you will find everything that’s available in the village market, from T-shirts, souvenirs and flip-flops to fruit, vegetables, fish and beer. The local rum is a delicious golden spiced liquid ideal for cocktails and is available at every second store.
Tofo is known particularly for sightings of giant manta rays and whale sharks. This is what most visiting divers hope to see. The reefs are aquarium-like, with an abundance of fish. White and black-tip sharks are often seen, as well as moray eel, parrot fish, trumpet fish and large grumpy looking potato bass. It’s not unusual to be surrounded by hundreds of colorful reef fish as you drift along. As for seeing mantas, these large creatures are shy. For this season, when diving, you need the dive master while he peeks above the reef to see if there are any around.
The mantas use Tofo’s reefs as cleaning stations. These are areas where many small reef fish can be found, so the mantas position themselves just above the coral while the tiny butterfly fish pick parasites off them. This symbiotic relationship keeps the mantas healthy and the reef fish well fed. It’s at these cleaning stations where you could get to experience the best manta sightings. Sadly, spotting mantas is becoming increasingly rare. They are being caught and killed for their gill rakers,which they use to filter their food. These gill rakers are dried and pulverized for use in Chinese medicine.
Mozambique is a destination where you can collect a photo book of memories. Enjoy a friendly vibe, incredible diving and the perfect end to a leisurely day- watching the sun dip behind palm trees while surfers dance in the waves.
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