Last weekend I was in tofo, a 8-9 hour bus ride from Maputo. Me and some friends stayed at Fatimas hostel, a nice place with sleeping halls for about 8 euro per night. It is next to the beach, has an okay restaurant/pub and is only 200 meters from Tofo Scuba which was my main focus for this weekend. Tofo Scuba is a scuba diving center which also offers other water sports as surfing, kite surfing and more. For me, I had booked 3 scuba dives for Saturday and Sunday. The scuba diving here is famous mainly for the mantas/stingray cleaning stations, bus the thing that really made my trip worth it was actually not a scuba dive but took place between the dives.
September to November is the whale shark season in Mozambique, with an almost unbelievable big chance to see one of these wonderful animals! So between my two dives on Sunday, I had 1½ hour of surface-time (“decompression stop”) before being able to scuba dive again. We used the time to go around with one of Tofo Scuba’s crazy fast motorboats to look for a whale shark. After only about 20 minutes we found the first one! On with the mask, snorkel and fins as fast as possible to jump in the water with it! It was an incredible feeling to free dive just 1-2 meters next to the whale shark. It was not afraid at all but instead hold us company for about 5 minutes.
After this we found several more whale sharks, which we could sometimes swim next to for 15+ minutes at a time. The biggest one was about 6 meters long, and was gracefully swimming with what seems like no effort at all, thanks to it’s big tale.
The whale shark can become up to 12 meters long, 1 meter wide and have a lifespan of about 60 years. They are a filter feeding shark, which means they eat only plankton.