It was the Whale Sharks that made us do the horrid eight hours trip from Maputo, squashed in a small bus. At least in the shuttle of the Fatima Hostel, we were not tortured by blasting 100 decibel music usually played on public busses in Mozambique.
These largest of all fish graciously plough the bay of Inhambane. Usually they swim very close to the surface, which makes them easy to spot and allows you to snorkel along with them. What seemed an easy task back in 2012 – Heidi’s boat found the Whale Sharks after 15 minutes cruising – was a lot more difficult this time. Unusual strong winds and rough sea kept all boats on the shore for a few days. When we finally could set out, the ocean seemed to have swallowed up all the animals – nothing, we saw nothing, not even Humpback Whales.
This species of Whales is also found in the Tofo area in abundance. They entertained us every evening by breeching again and again, while we were lounging in deckchairs on the terrace of Fatima’s restaurant. But on that particular day, they had all disappeared. We were devastated.
On our last day in Tofo, we gave it one more try, but left for our Ocean Safari with little optimism. But soon a large Humpback Whale was circling our boat. And then we found him! A huge Whale Shark gliding right below the surface, the white spots on its skin identifying him clearly.
We had to paddle our heart out to keep up with him till we were completely out of breath. We got in the boat again and followed the Whale Shark to slid in the water once we were close enough. We were so excited and disorientated that we almost landed on its back. Whale Sharks are so gracious and you feel tempted touching them, which you probably could, but of course this is a complete No-No!
Tofo’s other big assets are its stunning beaches, endless stretches of fine sand, like powder sugar, void of people and squeaky-clean.