The Manta, Whale & Whale Shark Combo
Mozambique is a renowned diving and holiday destination, instantly conjuring up visions of unspoiled stretches of glimmering white sand and gorgeous, warm turquoise waters. With this ten day diving package, you have the opportunity to join the Zavora and Tofo Dive Centre team exploring two of the most famous diving locations, Zavora and Tofo and encountering the astonishing Big Three.
If you want to see a Whale Shark, it is a well-known fact that one of the best places to go to is Praia Tofo, where the gentle giants abound in the crystal sea. A lesser-known, newly discovered gem is Zavora, where pristine reefs shelter a wide array of marine life, including Whale Sharks, Manta Rays and Hump Back whales.
The Manta Rays frequently occur in the shallow reefs, only six to twelve metres underwater, providing a unique opportunity for a close sighting of the graceful creatures. Zavora is an affordable, accessible and overwhelmingly beautiful diving destination which is becoming increasingly popular. The prime time to visit is between June – September, while Tofo plays host to the Whale Sharks all year around.
Day 1: Arrive Inhambane, Mozambique
After you fly from Johannesburg to Inhambane in Mozambique, you will be met by your local guide, who will then transport you on the 90 minute drive from the airport to the exquisite, secluded Zavora resort. There you can check into your luxurious one-bedroomed chalet which will be your accommodation for the following five nights. When you get peckish, wander over to the Lodge Restaurant for a delectable meal and sit on the deck enjoying striking vistas of the beach, watching the whales in the bay (in season).
Day 2-5: Diving Zavora
The package incorporates eight dives, providing full gear rental and covering far reef charges. Wake up for the first of four diving days at Zavora. Spotting Manta Rays is a frequent occurrence as the gentle giants are generally found flying around the unspoiled reefs. Other marine creatures to keep a look out for are the five species of turtle, many kinds of Nudibranchs, eels and the enormous Potato Bass. Most people come to see the majestic Humpback Whales, which are a common sight during whale season, between June – September and will often come quite close to you when you are diving, being naturally curious creatures.
Day 6: Transfer to Praia do Tofo
Time for the next adventure in Tofo – wave goodbye to Zavoro and look forward to an up-close encounter with the magnificent whale sharks, at their favourite destination. Café no Mar will be your new home and you will be shown to your stylish unit which includes a patio and en-suite bedroom. The elegant furnishings are rustic and charming and the room is minutes away from the beach. Meet your Dive Master for the week at the local dive centre.
Day 7-8: Diving Praia do Tofo
Enjoy four unforgettable dives and an amazing Whale Shark Safari – the package includes two full diving days and one day snorkelling with the Whale Sharks. During every gap between double tank dives on days one and two you can also go Whale Shark spotting and perhaps sneak in an extra snorkelling opportunity. If you are in search of Manta Rays, Manta Reef is your best bet, with an 80% success rate of seeing the superb animals. The untouched reef hosts an array of other sea life – delight in the green tree corals and enormous shoals of fish.
Day 9: Whale Shark Safari
A day dedicated to swimming with the giant Whale Sharks – spend two hours locating and then interacting with these beautiful creatures. November to March is the season when the area abounds with the Whale Sharks and you can look forward to swimming with several of them per safari, although they frequent the region all year around.
Day 10: Depart Praia do Tofo
On your last day, enjoy a delicious breakfast and then depart for the Inhambane Airport with fond farewells and unforgettable memories.
- Flights from Johannesburg – Mozambique
- Airport Transfers
- Transfers from Tofo to Zavora
- 9 x nights Accommodation
- Full Dive Gear
- Far Reef Charges
- Lunches and Dinners
- International flights to South Africa
Southern Mozambique’s waters have a visibility varying from five to 30 metres, averaging 12 to 15 metres. For better visibility it is best to go to the offshore reefs where the wave movement doesn’t have as much effect. Adverse weather conditions, huge waves unsettling the ocean shore and the upsurge of the Mozambique Channel’s cold, nutrient rich water are all factors influencing visibility. The upwelling results in a chain reaction – the Phytoplankton buds, which makes the water turn green and causes the Zooplankton to bloom attracting small animals and jellyfish which grow and devour the Phytoplankton, turning the sea to a slightly milky blue colour. The larger marine life, including the Mantas and Whale Sharks, then eat the Zooplankton, thus completing the cycle, which depends on some days of poor visibility for the mega-fauna to flourish.
Best time of year to visit
The 15th of December – 15th January and Easter are the busiest months because of South African school holidays and therefore the months in between are more restful and quiet. During November – March you can enjoy warmer water and better visibility and you may be lucky enough to witness the mating Manta Rays. From January – February land temperatures can reach 40 degrees C and Cyclone season falls between December – March and some dives may be cancelled due to inclement weather conditions. From June – September the water may be colder but the Humpback Whales return to grace the shores and you can witness the majesty of the gentle giants daily during dives or from the boat.
Zavora will, as a general rule, be colder than Tofo due to the upwelling, although this only occurs for a couple of days at most, usually due to a Thermocline.
With the only wreck to dive along the Mozambique coastline, qualified technical divers will find this the perfect place to stay and will relish the technical challenge of navigating the Klipfontein wreck. The 160 metre-long ship weighs 10500 tons and lies below the sea at a depth of 53 metres attracting a wealth of marine life, including Manta Rays and massive shoals of fish. The wreck is only six kilometres away from the launch site and the site is exclusive.