Tofo beach is a marvel of natural beauty in Mozambique, found on the coast halfway between the capital of Maputo and the city of Vilankolus. The coastal village is paired with white sand beaches and tropically warm and turquoise waters which are filled with an abundance of sea life. The vibrant centre of Tofo is the market where the local restaurants deliver nothing short of perfection.
Why out of the whole of Mozambique is Tofo so special?
The highlights of Mozambique are often considered to be Bazaruto’s islands which provide some of the unbelievable diving and snorkelling or Maputo, the country’s capital which has a beating heart of multiculturism nightlife. Google will also report on another chain of islands called the Quirimbas Archipelago; they too are an exquisite example of thriving marine life.
However, only one place combines all these attractions and adds so much more: Tofo. This place is known for its Mozambican culture and cuisine as well as being a relatively undiscovered gem. Overall Tofo has a vivacious food and market scene with plenty of options for seafood lovers and international cuisine enthusiasts alike. Whether you're looking for a relaxed beachside meal or a lively night out, there's something for everyone in Tofo.
Diverse marine life
Tofo is located near the edge of the continental shelf, where the warm waters of the Indian Ocean meet the cooler waters of the Mozambique Channel. This makes it a unique and diverse habitat for a wide range of marine species, including manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, humpback whales, and several species of sharks. As a result, Tofo is a prevalent destination for snorkelling, scuba diving, and whale watching.
Tofo has several beautiful white sand beaches that are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. The beach at Tofo village is especially popular among tourists, and there are several beachside bars and restaurants where visitors can enjoy local cuisine and beverages.
Tofo is located in Inhambane Province, which is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional way of life. Visitors of Tofo can explore the local markets and villages, meet with local artisans and fishermen, and learn about the history and culture of the region.
Tofo is committed to sustainable tourism practices, and there are several eco-friendly lodges and tour operators in the area that offers responsible and environmentally conscious tours and activities. This makes it a great destination for travellers who are interested in supporting conservation efforts and minimizing their impact on the environment.
Where specifically in Tofo should people eat out?
Casa Barry Beach Lodge: This is a popular beachfront lodge that offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes and international cuisine. The restaurant has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, and guests can enjoy their meals while taking in the beautiful ocean views.
Tofo Tofo Restaurant: This is a beachside restaurant that is known for its delicious seafood dishes; including prawns, calamari and different types of fresh seafood. The restaurant has a lively and festive atmosphere, with live music and dancing on some nights.
Mozambeat Motel: This motel is a trendy and colourful beachfront hostel that also has a popular restaurant. The menu features a mix of Mozambican and international dishes, and the restaurant often hosts themed dinner nights and events.
Zanzi Beach Cafè: This café is a cosy and intimate café that serves a variety of breakfast and lunch options, including smoothie bowls, sandwiches and salads. The café also has a selection of homemade cakes and pastries that are perfect for a mid-day treat.
Bar Babalaza: This is a beachside bar and restaurant that is known for its delicious cocktails and fresh seafood. The bar often has live music and events, and the atmosphere is lively and festive.
Turtle Cove: This is a yoga resort found 5 minutes from Tofinho beach, with an extensive menu which is primarily plant-based but still serves several fish and chicken dishes. Turtle Cove has an attitude of excellence when it comes to its food. Additionally, the resort is open to outsiders for yoga, guided meditation and Pilates activities.
When should you visit?
The dry season in Mozambique runs from April to November and is generally considered the best time to visit. During this time, the weather is warm and dry, with plenty of sunshine and little to no rain. This makes it ideal for outdoor activities such as safari tours, beach activities, and cultural experiences.
The wet season in Mozambique runs from December to March and is characterized by heavy rainfall and high humidity. This can make travelling and engaging in outdoor activities difficult, and many lodges and tour operators may close during this time. However, the wet season can also be a great time to visit if you're interested in bird watching, fishing, or experiencing Mozambique's lush and green landscapes.
Whale shark season
If you're interested in whale shark sightings, the best time to visit Mozambique is from November to March, when these gentle giants are known to frequent the waters around Tofo Beach. Overall, the best time to visit Mozambique depends on your interests and what you want to experience during your trip. If you're looking for a combination of warm and dry weather, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences, then the dry season from April to November is generally the best time to visit.
My personal experience
I travelled to Tofo to do some vacation/work at Turtle Cove lodge over December and January. Although I was fully open to the adventure of a lifetime, I couldn’t have predicted just how fantastical it would be. The work itself was an absolute joy thanks to the fellow staff members, open-minded and kind-hearted guests as well as the perfect location for a Hollywood movie.
The lodge itself consists of 13 rooms which can host around 35 people, the most affordable being bungalows with a shared locker room and the most pricey ones having en suite bathrooms with hot water (not that it's completely necessary for Mozambique). The lodge includes a pool area, restaurant, bar and a beautiful yoga studio. The food served in the restaurant is second to none with my personal favourites being the fish dishes and the vegan burger (black bean burger). All the products are fresh and it shows in the quality of the dishes. The lodge is about a 7-minute walk to the nearest beach (Tofinho) and a 15 min walk to the market (Tofo beach), this is the hub of activity where all the local restaurants and bars are located. Additionally across the road from Turtle Cove is the lodge Mozambeat, which over December, is a thriving centre of nightlife especially on New Year’s Day (01/01) when they host their annual legendary pool party.
As a surfer and ocean enthusiast I can unequivocally state Tofo is my personal heaven. There was no dull moment nor a memory I will ever forget. The tides provided amazing surfing conditions and the locals were as welcoming as possible (very unusual in the surfing community).
My personal favourite memory was visiting the natural rock pools for snorkelling. These stunning pools are only accessible at low tide and as a result of being exposed to the sun throughout the day, they were incredibly warm with perfectly transparent waters in which you could swim with a vast variety of magnificent sea life.
Mozambique’s Tofo is an enchanting paradise of serenity. It is a truly beautiful and unique hub for those seeking adventure. It will provide you with whatever you seek: scuba diving, action, surfing, clubbing, exquisite cuisine or even simply a relaxing holiday by the beach. Tofo is an absolute must for all travellers that want to explore and spend at least several weeks in it.