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Diving with whale sharks in Mozambique

Who wishes for a high dose of spectacular diving alongside the giant and gentle whale sharks has a solution at hand: the Tofo area in Mozambique, at the Indian Ocean.

Dozens of whale sharks can be met in just one trip on the ocean, as the people from Diversity Scuba told us. Mark Whaley, the center’s manager, shared with us the most amazing encounter he ever experienced: “The most impressive meeting we had with the whale sharks it’ll have to be whilst on the way to a dive site when we came across more than 30 whale sharks and mantas, all cruising around the same spot; we all decided to abandon the original plan of diving on the reef to just drop in with these creatures to the sandy bottom about 14 meters deep and just sit there with the giants coming to have a look and play with the bubbles – that’s my personal best!

Tofo is located in one of the areas with the largest whale shark population on the planet, allowing for wonderful encounters with these impressive creatures all year long. The best time for these encounters is the summer season, from October until April. 

Diversity Scuba organizes both scuba diving trips, as well as snorkeling trips, with over 2.000 tourists coming here every year especially for these programs. A snorkeling trip to meet the great giants can take up to two hours. “We do a full briefing with DVD before each trip, but generally the rules are: stay 3 meters away from the head and 4 meters from the tale of the whale shark. Do not block the shark’s direction otherwise this will cause it to dive. No splashing in the face. It has been known that, more often than not, if there are people duck diving too close, this will make the shark swim down as well. Just be relaxed and quiet,” Mark explains the rules for the whale sharks encounters. The most important rule is however not to touch the whale sharks because this removes the protective mucus found on their skin, which can lead to serious infections for the animals.

The tourists can spend up to half an hour with the whale sharks. On request, scuba diving trips can be arranged, even though the snorkeling is more suited to observe the creatures up close, if we take into consideration the fact that the whales swim at the surface or cruise along just under it.

These thrilling meetings are a habit in the area, each member of the Diversity Scuba’s team having their own story about such special moments: 

Jumping in the water whilst a group of five whales are in a feeding frenzy, the water was as if boiling, big gapping mouths coming up from the deep scooping small fish, fins slapping the surface. Other times a gentle giant getting so curious we’ve had to keep swimming out of its way as it was trying to get a closer look at us.” – Mark Whaley

Just want to say that I had an amazing experience of seeing about 45 whale sharks in only one trip.” – Rafael Sidonio Mazivila

I had an astonishing experience of seeing more than 50 whale sharks in one trip: I had 14 people on the boat and each person had one whale shark and I could still see about 30 or more swimming by themselves – that was one of the best experiences in my life and it made me so happy.” – Rodriguez Bernardo Temoteo

I am working at Diversity Scuba in Tofo as a Divemaster for more than 3 years and every day I have different dives and experiences. I have seen a lot of beautiful marine life: lucky dolphin, mantas and whale sharks. I’ve seen a lot of them in one spot, with different sizes as well. My best day was when I met a lot of humpback during a safari, followed by a whale shark which came close to the boat.” – Ornelo A. Maunde

Besides the whale sharks, Tofo is a welcoming host for huge manta rays that can reach up to 7 meters across, for humpback whales (during winter, from June until September), as well as for turtles and countless dolphins. The reefs in these warm waters of the Indian Ocean provide differing depths which can vary from 10 to 40 meters and a multitude of fish, which give divers memorable experiences.

The water temperature varies between 22°C in winter and 28°C in summer. Tofo is placed on the south-eastern coast of Mozambique, being accessible either from the capital-city of Maputo (50 minutes flight) or from Johannesburg, South Africa after a two hours flight. For those traveling to Mozambique it should be verified if an entry Visa is required to access the country. 


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2 responses to “Diving with whale sharks in Mozambique”

  1. Hi looks awesome, what are the chances of snorkeling with Manta? and when?

  2. Hi,

    Thank you for your interest! We recommend that you contact Diversity Scuba here for more info about snorkeling with mantas in Mozambique!

    Best of luck!

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