By Haley Steinhauser
- Airport – Inhambane Airport (INH)
- Currency – Metical (MZN)
- Language – Portuguese
- GDP (Mozambique): – $15.6 Billion (115th Overall)
Tofo is a small paradise within Mozambique. While you may first come as a tourist, many feel as though they leave with a new sense of home away from home. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Tofo is small beach town with some of the friendliest people out there. Additionally, Tofo has been rated one of the best scuba diving locations in the world. The area used to be known for having some of the greatest populations of whale sharks, yet in recent years they are seemingly less present. This is believed to be due to overfishing and the unfortunate act of shark finning. Conservationists are working to fight these practices and preserve the natural ecosystem of Tofo, one day hoping to see a larger presence of whale sharks again. Aside from this change over the past 10 years, the diving in Tofo is still ranked among the top in the world. With over fifteen main dive sites to explore, the experiences feel endless.
Getting to Tofo can be difficult since they have one of the smallest international airports in the world. While you can find some direct flights from different countries within Africa, most flights will stop in the Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Flying from Maputo to Tofo is about a 50-minute flight, but it can be pricey. Many people opt to fly into Maputo to explore the city for a day or two, then rent a car and drive 5 to 6 hours to get to Tofo. If you rent a car, it is highly recommended to get one with four-wheel drive, as many places in Tofo are not accessible without it.
Once you’re in Tofo, depending on where you stay, you can walk pretty much everywhere. Many visitors also rent four-wheel drive cars or quad cars.
What to Bring
Pack light! In the summer months, Tofo can be extremely hot and humid. The reality is you’ll probably be in a bathing suit the majority of your time anyway. Exchange money before getting into Tofo if you can, either at an airport or at home. There is only one ATM in Tofo, located at their gas station which is about a 45-minute walk out of town or a 15-minute drive.
Bring Sunscreen so you don’t have to buy an overpriced bottle in Tofo. If you have to buy it at the market in town, make sure it is not expired! When traveling, also be sure to bring the right adapters because finding these in Tofo can be difficult. Mozambique uses type C/F/M power socket with 220 voltage.
The official language in Tofo is Portuguese, but most people speak English, so getting around isn’t too hard!
Tofo is the place to be for a diver. It is recommended to pick one dive shop early on and stick with them for the time you’re in Tofo. It is also a great way to meet locals and make friends! We would highly recommend Diversity Scuba, a great and safe dive shop with wonderful staff.
The locals in Tofo are extremely friendly and often open to hanging out with foreigners. Many of the places to go out are spots for both locals and tourists. Tofo also attracts very interesting travelers, as it is a very remote location and information on it is not that accessible. Many visitors will be Peace Corp Volunteers or on a Fulbright scholarship. Others may be on a college semester abroad. Make conversation and step out of your comfort zone! I’ve never been to such a small place with so many interesting people.
Take a Boat Trip to the Offshore Islands
Taking a day trip to Tofo’s offshore islands is a must. Either arrange with a local or go through a hostel and plan with a group of friends for about $40. Bring some drinks and snacks, and enjoy!
Ride a Quad Bike
Quad bike tours are a great way to see Tofo — from the beautiful sand dunes to the small communities.
Relax at the Beach
Tofo has some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world so take advantage! The main beach is wide and vast with great surfing and water activities. It is also suggested to take a stroll. After a few minutes walking in either direction away from the main beach, it will soon feel like you have your own private spot in paradise.
Tofo is known for its amazing seafood, but you will also find surprisingly good Italian food as well when you can’t eat any more langoustines. These are some of our top picks for restaurants.
A great local spot. Try the spicy shrimp curry!
Delicious seafood with an amazing beach view.
What You Want
A relaxed beach vibe with good pasta and pizza.
The best pizza by far, with great prices! They also serve ‘hot stones’, which is literally a hot stone where you cook fresh fish, meat, or vegetables on. Highly recommended.
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