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Published: November 17th 2010
One more diving trip...and one more time back to Africa. I have spent...as usual, the last few days in RDC having great time with great friends. Leslie at the same time is enjoying his Grandparents in Bangkok...and he his visiting Angkor with them. After my week in RDC, I spent a night in Joburg before picking up Ma'ri at the airport. This time were are heading to Inhambane, Mozambique, 90 minutes flight north-east of Joburg. Our final destination is Tofo Beach. You may have never heard of Tofo. Except if you are a diver. Tofo...is one of the capital for macro diving in the world...by macro, we are meaning big fish.
Our first stop is the Bamboozi resort for 4 nights right on Tofo beach. We are 50 meters from the restaurant and the beach, and less than a 100 meters from the dive center...aka Liquid Adventures. Our base for the four nights is a bungalow...a shower, more beds than we need, no air-con, no fan, but this is ok as the nights are not that hot. A nice mosy-net...and maybe 3 hours electricity (aka light) per day if we are lucky. This is not luxury, but it it seriously
nice and fun.
We live in Asia, but I don't know any place like this left in Asia. Mozambique have been out of a civil war for only few years...it's a new country, and time to get here now, before mass tourism hit the place! This is a place of pure, but rough beauty. You do not come here for massages and service...you come here for diving, surf-kitting, surfing...and seafood!
The beach is beautiful, and completely empty everyday...all the time. There is nobody in the restaurant, but your dish will still need a good 45 minutes minimum to be ready...Africa time, Africa beauty. We didn't eat mush meat over few days...the fun was the seafood platter...fish, calamari, prawns and the occasional crayfish, at dirt cheap prices.
Getting a bed here is not cheap...for a chalet...and a very basic one...we did get a nice suite in Lombok 3 weeks ago...in a proper hotel...all this at the same price. Diving here is not cheap either, averaging 52usd a dive. Food and drinks are really cheap...good news.
So why Tofo! Simple, to dive! We did 6 dives here. This is clearly not for the open-water diver. Here, you shoot
as fast as you can down to avoid the current...and this means shooting to 30 meters down in order not to miss the dive site. Water is a very fresh 23 degrees, and visibility at this time of the year maybe at 10 meters if we are lucky. This is adventure diving, not for the faint heart. But we did 6 amazing dives...we saw...6 mantas, huge amount of lion fishes sailing freely, tens of eels, few whiptail rays, at minimum 2 meters diameters . We also saw few sharks, white tips and leopard shark. You had to this few fantail rays...but the best part may have been the small eye sting ray. This is the biggest known sting ray in the world, and guess what, divers spot her only here.
But you are also going to tell me...Tofo is whale sharks! Yes it is, yes we saw them on the way back from dives. We did not spend the 52 usd per head for the ocean safari to snorkel with them. But I did also asked Jay our divemaster...you've been here for a year, how many time did you spot a whale shark while diving...the answer was...never. Well, I
still consider us lucky, Mari and I have both spotted whale sharks deep down there, but not in Tofo! So if you come for the whale sharks, it's a snorkeling thing, not a diving one, and it seems there are a lot more of them in Djibouti than in Tofo!
On our last day, we indulged ourselves a little by moving to the Flamingo Bay Resort. This is the romantic place in the area...ok, some will say the honeymoon and luxurious place. They have only 20 bungalows, all of them over-water. Not much of a beach, as you are actually in the estuary, closer to the mangrove than to the waves. But what a gorgeous place, even if we could teach them one or two things about service.
This is it for our first encounter with Mozambique. 5 nights, 6 dives each, many seafood platters and a lot of sun! During our stay Leslie has enjoyed Angkor in Cambodia...life is simply great!
Next stop...another fun place! I'm running late on blogging, sorry, to many emails to deal with, and not enough proper connection.
Coming back soon, with love, from Africa!
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