Arriving at dusk in Tofo is a scary experience: our chapa is assaulted by a horde of people and we literally have to fight our way out. Once on the streets of the coastal town, we immediately notice the difference compared to all we have seen in Mozambique before. There are people approaching us trying to sell something, loud music pumping from the many bars lining the sandy streets, hordes of tourists around. After installing ourselves in a small, recently opened accommodation just metres from the beach, we enjoy a nice dinner. The next morning, we are in time to arrange an ocean safari - one of the main reasons we came to Tofo in the first place. Just off the coast, the sea drops considerably, which helps to make Tofo one of the best places to see large fish and whales.
An expert comes with us, and what she tells us is no reason for optimism: there have been few sightings of whale sharks in the last ten days. Then again, it is an safari at sea, and as with any safari, you never know. We manage to get the zodiac through the surf, and ride around the small cape of Tofo. To our immense joy, a whale shark is spotted almost instantly, and we are in the water with our snorkels, trying to find the largest fish of our planet in the bad visibility of the Indian Ocean. It is an amazing experience to swim along this giant for a couple of minutes; and we later learn that this 7 metre whale shark is but a small one in his kind. We then see dolphins and several humpback whales, in the last case two adults with a baby whale. After this successful safari on the ocean, we hike along the dunes to the south. While Tofo beach is brimming with activity, with lots of locals as well as foreigners, already Tofinho beach is very quiet.
We stop at the Monument for Fallen Heroes, a pyramidal monument with a hand sticking out at the top, breaking free of chains. Close to the monument, we see the grotto in which the Portuguese chained up independence fighters at low tide, after which they would succumb when the tide came in. Waves pound the rocks here, it is a chilling thought that on such a lovely spot, such cruelties were carried out. The coastline becomes a little more rough to the south, with high sand dunes. There are plenty of houses and resorts here, but some have been abandoned long time ago. With almost no one around, the walk becomes more beautiful the longer we walk, but then, we have to head back to be in Tofo before darkness. The next day, I go for a dive, hoping to see manta rays for which Tofo is also famous, but alas, we do not see them. After seeing whales from our lunch spot, we walk north, towards Barra: a long stretch of beach with sand dunes until the very end. Too bad the sun sets in the west: it disappears behind the sand dunes. We leave Tofo early next morning, and despite the touristy feel of the coastal town, the memories of the whale shark and our long walks along the coast will stay with us.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Tofo Coastline (Mozambique). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Tofo Coastline.
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