Tofo Continued: Rock Pools & Humback Whales

My time in Tofo came to a close so quickly. If we hadn’t already had our bus tickets to Cape Town, I probably would have considered forsaking the second leg of our journey for another few days in Mozambique.

We spent nearly the entire day on the beach. I chatted for a while with John about the healthcare systems of France and the U.S. He talked about biking to the public hospital where he works in Paris and the 14-hour days he puts in. He’s starting his Ph.d soon and he said he’ll have the opportunity to go private and his choice will come down to helping everyday people and getting little to no recognition or helping rich people, getting recognized, and making money. He said he doesn’t want to make that decision.


On our third and last day, we went for a morning swim and a long walk along the beach before our snorkeling trip. We found the rock pools to the south, but since it was high tide, the rock pools didn’t offer much. I had expected starfish, mussels, and crabs, but there was nothing except the seawater gurgling and rushing through the rocks and a lone lizard scampering out of sight. Little rainbow colored boats were beached under a cluster of trees nearby. A boy with a handful of cowry necklaces piled around his neck followed us all the way back to the foot of the stairs leading to the deck of Fatima’s, trying to sell the overpriced jewelry.

We headed next door to gear up for our snorkel trip. There were maybe 20 of us in total and we helped push the boat over the waves breaking on the shore before hauling ourselves on board. One of the employees sat atop the lookout and pointed out whales, dolphins, and fish in the water.

Sadly, what was supposed to be a magical experience of snorkeling alongside whale sharks became a glorified boat ride. We didn’t come across any whale sharks – they told us this was pretty out of the ordinary. We saw multiple herds of humpback whales and while a couple people were more than ready to hop into the water, humpback whales are not the gentle creatures that whale sharks are. At least we got incredibly close; two humpback whales swam no more than 20 feet away from us. We even saw a few calves.

That night back at the hostel, we played cards, had a few drinks, and chatted with other travelers. We had dinner there and I ordered lobster for only 9 bucks. And they gave me 3. There are quite some culinary benefits to being right on the ocean.


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