Mozambique Honeymoon Part 2 – Tofo, Inhambane

4 Jan

Tofo beach must be one of the most beautiful in the world with a picture-perfect  white sand, crystal clear WARM water, palm trees, and surprisingly uncrowded.  We stayed at the Casa Barry Lodge in a rustic one room reed casita (chalet), right next to the beach (as pretty much everything is in Tofo).   We got the royal honeymoon treatment again as we found our bed (twins pushed together) strewn with bougainvillea petals and hibiscus, a mini bottle of champagne (although no fridge to put it in) and little gift pack.  They have a very nice (yet relatively expensive) restaurant at the lodge with a deck overlooking the beach, and have a Manta Ray and Whale Shark research centre.

Tofo itself is a bizarre collection of falling down abandoned buildings, reed huts, half constructed dirt roads and open market interspersed with top notch dive centres with the latest equipment, trendy beach bars, Internet cafes and amazing little restaurants. The people are friendly without exception and I was truly amazed by one experience where I went to buy a bottle of water in the market armed with only a 200 metical note.  The lady who sold me the water (for 30 meticals – the equivalent of about R6) happily told me I could come back and pay her later.  Granted I was quite a conspicuous blond tourist who walked past her stall several times a day, but I somehow can’t picture the same thing happening back home.  After that I made sure I only bought from her (perhaps her tactic all along in that highly competitive space).

The best place we ate at during our stay was the Casa de Comer restaurant in the heart of the village. Smart, efficient and with a Seafood Matapa worthy of a return trip (which we did).  Waterworks restaurant and Surf shop made exceptionally cheesy pizzas (I was feeling very cheese deprived) and the Albatros restaurant made the most wonderful post-dive mango pancakes (we kept going back even though service was somewhat laid back).

The diving in Tofo was our absolute highlight.  We went through Peri Peri Divers which had been referred to us by two different people in Cape Town and was situated just a short steep hill from the beach.  Peri Peri is a slick and professional operation with brand spanking new equipment and staff with infectious passion (how can people who do this every day still get so excited?!).  Since one of the drawcards of diving in Tofo is the Manta rays, we did our Deep Diver certification while we were there so that we could go to some of the deep sites where these magnificent creatures hang out.   Our very first expedition off to Manta Reef offered  the most phenomenal experience yet.  On the boat trip on the way out we were lucky enough to spot three whale sharks and each time got the chance to jump off the boat and snorkel alongside these giant gentle creatures.  One for the bucket list!    On the dive itself I was blown away by the giant reef mantas that glided past us.  Each of the other sites were went to during our stay all offered their own special experiences too:  scary potato bass at Outback, octopus, string rays and a harlequin shrimp at Salon, and more enormous mantas and moray eels at Giants.  An aquarium load of beautiful fish and other creatures at every turn at every site.

It was with a very heavy heart that we boarded the (tiny) plane back to Jo’burg from Inhambane (the story of the miniscule little airport and the luggage nearly left on the tarmac could fill it’s own whole blog post) but I’ll know we’re go back there sometime and scratch a bit deeper under the surface of Mozam.  After all, it’s practically on our doorstep.

Casa Barry Casita

Casa Barry Casita

Tofo Beach

Tofo Beach

Casa Barry Restaurant

Casa Barry Restaurant

Tofo Village

Tofo Village

 

2 Responses to “Mozambique Honeymoon Part 2 – Tofo, Inhambane”

  1. me January 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    This sounds like a magical place to visit!

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    […] learnt to scuba dive just over a year ago in preparation for our honeymoon to Mozambique, and braving enough cold water dives in Cape Town to get through the Open Water and Advanced PADI […]

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