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Dive Review of Tofo Scuba in

Tofo Scuba: "Humpback Heaven in Tofo", Sep, 2018,

by Ellen Marie Smith, MN, US (Contributor Contributor 19 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 10582 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations N/A Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I traveled to Tofo with friends from Cape Town, South Africa. We opted to fly to Vilankulos which is 4 hours north of Tofo because we heard that flights into Inhambane can be undependable. We hired "No food for the Lazy Man transport" (seriously, that is the name!) and made it safely to Tofo. We rented a house, which was really a beach shack - albeit a nice one. I'm glad it was their winter, as the house was full of holes and mosquitoes would definitely be a problem in the summer. We all took malaria prophylactics, and though I only got a few bites on this trip I prefer not to take chances!
Diving is hard core in Tofo. Pangas (Ribs) are launched from the beach and divers are expected to push it into the surf, and then jump in. Trips are an uncomfortable 10-60mins in open boats through choppy waters. No ladders for getting back on the boat and needless to say, no facilities. The currents were ripping so the plan for each dive was to back-roll in and immediately kick down to the bottom. There are always two dive masters with each group and the head divemaster dives with a buoy that floats at the surface because the boat drivers can't follow the bubbles and the surge is so strong. Visibility could be 20ft or less so keeping your eye on your buddy was a must. The water temperature varied greatly -- from a warm 74 to a chilly 66 degrees fahrenheit. The visibility also varied greatly - from 15ft to 60ft. Lots of plankton in the water, which at times looked like green soup. Sometimes you could push below the soup to a clear spot (like the time we encountered the giant mantas) but other times, it was just current and soup. We saw a few things new to me: a guitarfish (guitar shark to some) and a zebra shark (which some called a leopard shark, but an expert disputed). Strange names be damned - these were both amazing sights. We saw several frogfish, nudibranchs, scorpionfish, blennies, honeycomb moreys, geometric moreys, small orange spaghetti eels. Potato bass (grouper), huge short tail stingray and the largest nurse shark I've ever seen. We saw pods of dolphins at the surface (bottlenose and humpback) but didn't see any whale sharks, which are common in Tofo. We heard there were a few spotted the day after we left. The highlight of the trip was the humpback whales. As we rode to the dive sites, the whales jumped around us. They played more when the water was choppy, jumping and slapping their tails when the wind was up. I never tired of watching them frolic in the waves and we could hear them underwater on every dive. There were two different dives where humpback whales were spotted while diving. I missed the short viewing the first time, but was rewarded the second to last day when a pod of 8 whales came to play with us at a dive site called "the office". The whales sounds were so loud that the tank on my back was vibrating! I could feel them making clicking noises. The whales dove down to check us out - they are HUGE!!! The divemaster lost his reel line and buoy when a whale's fin caught it. The beauty of the majestic humpback whales will be forever seared into my memory.
All in all, I can say that Tofo is a good place for experienced divers who don't require luxury. And that if you get really lucky, you'll also have the experience of a lifetime!
I recommend Tofo Scuba. The DMs knew their stuff, were very safe and took good care of us. We brought our own gear and left with great memories. The best restaurant in town is onsite. Both are owned by South Africans. Note: don't take any chances - the nearest Deco Chamber is in Durban!
Websites Tofo Scuba   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea (North and South), Galapagos, Hawaii, Caribbean (Cozumel, Belize, Turneffe, Utila, Turks & Caicos, St. Martin, Nevis & St. Kitts), California (Long Beach to Catalina), False Bay (South Africa), Cocos Island, Socorro Islands, Ustica (Italy), Yap, Palau, & Truk, Thailand (Surin Islands).
Closest Airport Inhambane or Vilankulos Getting There Johannesburg to Inhambane or Vilankulos

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 66-73°F / 19-23°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20-60 Ft/ 6-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Most dives were deep (75-100 ft) and 45 minutes or less.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments There is not any accommodation made for UW photo. I did not bring my camera, but I had friends who did and got video of the whale visit! The cameras were placed in a plastic crate with other items. There was no rinse tank and boat rides were very bumpy. Rustic.
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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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