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Dive Review of Tofo Scuba/Hotel Tofo Mar in
Africa/Tofo, Mozambique

April, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by David Shem-tov, NA, United Kingdom (1 report)
Report Number 3299
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cocos, Malpelo, Galapagos, Red Sea, Carribbean, French Polynesia, Truk,
Palau, Red Sea...
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
24   to 26    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 20    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay with group.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Very bumpy boat trips for your housings.  Forget about rinse tanks, or even
clean water - and not just on the boat!
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
1 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
Last year I met a couple on the Ocean Rover liveaboard who could not stop
raving about their experiences in Mozambique, and Tofo in particular.  They
spoke of countless whale sharks and mantas.  I came with very high
The whale sharks were there. Plenty of them.  But we only encountered them
on the snorkelling excursions. In one two-hour trip we had six in-water
encounters with at least three different specimens.  Many other trips
conducted during our stay were similarly successful.  No inwater
encounters.  Marcus Trerup (, an independent Swiss
'scuba concierge' who works with local operators, and who introduced
himself to us at the airport as we departed, suggested that the local
operators avoid sites where this might happen because they are concerned
that they may have a problem controlling inexperienced clients. Marcus said
that clients who are prepared to pay for exclusive boat charters and can
persuade the dive centres of their proficiency may be able to persuade them
Visibility was very poor.  3m-6m (10ft-20ft) was the norm.  We did arrive
at equinox. According to Marcus, visibility is better outside of full moon
and no moon (about 2 weeks in the month.) What can be seen are relatively
uninteresting topography (5-9ft coral reefs above a sandy floor) but
teeming with life: from harlequin shrimps, nudis and leaf-fish to
spectacularly huge morays, sea snakes, and massive potato cods.  We saw
mantas on a couple of dives and snorkelled with one after a dive. The soft
and hard corals are mostly healthy, but if you are looking for colourful
gardens, go to Raja Ampat.
Diving is South African style.  Hard-bottomed ribs launched through the
surf from the beach (clients are expected to turn the boat towards the
ocean, push it into the surf, and then jump in.) Trips are an uncomfortable
10-60mins in open boats through choppy waters.  
The two main dive centres operating in Tofo are Tofo Scuba
( and Diversity ( We dove with
Diversity on the first day and then switched to Tofo Scuba. Diversity is
managed by Mark, an Englishman and has recently been acquired by a
Portuguese man who is apparently largely absent.  I found the staff there
somewhat unfriendly and was put off by Mark's insistence that my companion,
an Open Water diver, would not be permitted to dive the more interesting
deep reefs even if he completed a Padi 'Deep Diver' specialty unless he
signed for the full AOW course.  
John and Nikki, who run Tofo Scuba, were more accommodating. They  keep a
happier crew of young enthusiastic, mostly South African trainee Dive
Masters. Carlos, one of the first Mozambican native dive masters is a great
critter-spotter. Their crew will also load and unload the dive kit into the
boat, something that Diversity insisted on their clients helping with.
Unlike Diversity, their centre is right on the beach with a pleasant deck
where one can enjoy great breakfast and lunches including superb, freshly
baked muffins.
John will blend Nitrox. The extra bottom time that buys after most other
divers ascended, was well worth it. 
Unfortunately fresh water and electricity are very intermittent in Tofo,
and don't count on everyone having generators. The air conditioner in our
room, one of 3 units in the whole village, was largely ornamental. Tofo is
mainly a backpacker resort. It also attracts lots of Teutonic divers
looking for an alternative to pricy Maldives and the crowded Red Sea. US
based visitors are advised to use a South African agent to help with
logistics. Flights to Inhambane are tricky to book. I strongly recommend 
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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