One of Mozambique’s primary attractions is scuba diving. Tofo has 20 reefs in close proximity from which to choose, some of the more popular are Arena, Oasis and Manta Reef. In addition to seeing the diverse array of tropical fish, rays, eels, turtles and colourful coral; you stand a high chance of encountering a Whale Shark. At 12 metres, the Whale Shark is the biggest fish in the world and the pride of Mozambique’s waters. A gentle character and the fact that they live close to the surface, allows a safe approach by divers – ensuring an unforgettable experience.
Whale Sharks in Mozambique
The whale shark is the biggest fish in the world; fully grown, it easily reaches 12 meters from head to toe. Despite its size, the whale shark is completely harmless, as this 14 tons giant feeds on plankton only.
They occupy the upper layers of tropical and sub-tropical waters. Without any motion, the current takes them adrift just beneath the surface, mouth wide open. Their enormous gills filter the plankton out of the water and any waste is disposed off by little parasite fish.
Their size, gentle character and the fact that they live close to the surface, allows a safe approach by humans. This experience, should you be one of the lucky ones with a mark on the ‘been-there-done-it- list’, is guaranteed never to be forgotten.
Mozambique is fortunate with its great numbers of whale sharks passing its waters annually. They are commonly known to be summer visitors. Numbers up to 25 are possible during boat trips, and in winter, April till November, chances of an encounter are considerable. In the winter of 2003, off the coast of Tofo, which is the place to spot whale sharks and manta’s, at least one was spotted every single day. An incredible score. The biggest group noted in that season, 15 whale sharks at Tofinho Point just outside Tofo, were feeding on large quantities of plankton and stayed around for at least three hours.