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Humpbacks in Mozambique Tours 2019

An exciting new WhaleSwim Adventures location!

Join us on our new tours and swim with humpback whales as they play off the shores of tropical Mozambique in 2019!




We are the first to offer  personally-escorted, all inclusive, small group ‘snorkelling with whales’ eco-tours especially for the adventurers in this extra-ordinary location.
This beautiful area is a humpback whale nursery for the South Indian Ocean humpback population on the east coast of Southern Africa. 200 – 400 humpbacks hang-out in these breeding grounds from August to early November each year.

The recent devastation left by Cyclone Idai in northern area of Mozambique is absolutely heartbreaking.

We are supporting the clean-up and helping to fill trucks with food, clothing, medicine and materials, organised by our colleagues in Tofo, who are driving the 800kms north to the Beira area in Mozambique, where the cyclone hit.
For donations, go to their FB page: ‘Tofo Aid for Cyclone Idai’ – bank deta
ils are on their FB page.
(Please note: the area where our tours are based was not affected by Cyclone Idai.)

There is other amazing marine and bird life here during the whale season too – whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and dugongs in the bays and flamingos on the estuary. Great scuba diving as well!
The vibrant coastal village of Tofo, our home base for these fabulous new tours, has a colourful food and artisan craft market, plus many different restaurants and bars, with live music happening most nights. It’s a fun little town!

Please note: This is an active adventure tour requiring boat beach launches for our whale-watching sessions. Our boat is an inflatable-rib and guests (who can assist) and our crew will work together to launch it from the beach (photo on right). We will be sliding into the water from the side of the boat when with the whales and using a small ladder for climbing back on board from the side.

There will be crew on board to assist as needed, but you will need a reasonable level of fitness to take part in the in-the-water encounters.

We are offering two eco-tours for 2019, with two different accommodation options.
Our first tour will be staying at beautiful bungalows on the beach – simple and comfortably furnished studio rooms with comfortable beds and 100% cotton bedlinen and ensuite bathroom.
There is also a dive centre so arranging some scuba diving time is easy.
The following tour you will be staying at the beautiful up-market Guest House – a luxurious and comfortable accommodation with top quality furnishings and bedlinen, very close to the best swimming beach in Tofo and just a 200m stroll along the sea shore to the boat launching area on the beach.

Click here to download 2019 Tour Schedule

2019: WhaleSwim Adventures ‘Humpbacks in Mozambique’ Tours

8 Nights:

TOUR #: MZ19A   14 – 22 September 2019    Spaces Available: 2

Staying at Bungalows (dive centre) on the beach at Tofo. These simple, stylish and comfortable studio bungalows with ensuite bathrooms are right next to the beach.
They have a fantastic scrumptious eatery, The Cafe and pool onsite and Tofo town is just 200m away. (Maximum 8 spaces)

Prices: per person

Two people share bungalow: Beachside: AUD$4,350
Single Bungalow Beachside: AUD$4,820

Click here to book this tour

Tour Inclusions:

  • 8 nights in a modern Scandinavian-style studio bungalow accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, on the beach.
  • A delicious breakfast with great coffee daily |2 evening meals – Welcome and Farewell Dinners (the other 6 nights you are free to experience the local restaurants).
  • We may also arrange a sunset picnic option beside the estuary with the flamingos one evening – weather permitting.
  • 9  x whale-safaris guided by certified/experienced/passionate Guide
  • Opportunities to snorkel with whale sharks, manta rays and more . . .
  • Return transfers from Inhambane airport
  • Lots of fun!

Not Included:

  • All international/local flights to/from Inhambane, Mozambique
  • Visas
  • lunches
  • 6 evening meals
  • snorkelling gear
  • alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • travel insurance


Arrival Day: We meet you at Inhambane airport | transfer to the Bungalows | Welcome dinner by the pool.
Day 1: Breakfast | Briefing | 50m walk to launch & board the whaleswim boat from the beach | boat briefing | how to swim with whales training (how to have excellent encounters) | whale safari | lots of fun | return to the beach | free afternoon/evening.
Day 2 – 8: Breakfast | 50m to launch & board the whaleswim boat from the beach | whale safari| lots of fun | return to the beach | free afternoon/evening.
Farewell dinner on the last night.
Day 9: Breakfast | End of tour | transfer to the airport.

Click to BOOK this tour

Important Information: about travelling to and Booking our Tour in Mozambique – please click here to download . . .

Just briefly. . . .

How to get to Inhambane, where we swim with the whales. . .
You will need to book an international flight to Maputo, Mozambique and a local flight to Inhambane – the local airport 23 kms from where we will be based for our swim with the whales tour.

There are several international airlines flying direct to Maputo International Airport: they are:  Ethiopean Airlines via Addis Ababa (new Dreamliner from Europe to Addis Ababa), Turkish Airlines via  Istanbul, TAP Portugal via  (not highly recommended – check reviews…) and Qatar Airlines via Doha.
The nearest major international airport is O.B. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa. Most major airlines/or their ‘partners’ fly into this airport.

NB: New Zealand passport holders!  You will require a South African visa IF you leave the transit area in Johannesburg – make sure you read the Important Information document!

On arrival at Maputo International Airport, you will need to get a 30-day visitors/holiday visa from the visa counter (see details in Visa section in the Important Information document).

You can book a local flight from Maputo to Inhambane with LAM airlines online – the flight departs daily at 12.35pm.

Please download our ‘Important Information’ document for detailed info about flights and Visas.

On the water:

These are adventure expeditions and you need to be able to swim 50m quickly and to confidently snorkel 100m unassisted. Most in the water encounters with the whales will be in very deep water. Some days the water may be a little rough, therefore getting in and out of the boat can be a challenge. You need to be fit and agile and able to manage yourself on a boat and be able to climb up and down a boat ladder in choppy seas.
If you are not sure of your abilities and want to feel confident about snorkeling with the whales, then we advise you to get fit with swimming training and refine your snorkeling skills before you leave for Mozambique, as, while we will teach you entry and exit techniques for the boat if needed, we do not include snorkeling lessons or practice time during our expeditions.
Weather conditions may be variable and you will need to be prepared for hot, sunny days and/or windy weather and possible choppy conditions.

What to bring to swim with the humpbacks:

Very little on the boat each day! It is a 8 ft open inflatable rib. We will have a max of 8 people plus 2 crew.
There is no storage space on board, so all you can bring is a small dry-bag each containing:

  • Sunblock 15+ or 30+
  • a good hat (that stays on and ok to get wet)
  • waterproof jacket in a small pouch
  • a snorkel/mask strapped around your fins.
  • We recommend 2 or 3mm shortie wetsuit or full wetsuit and if you feel the cold and wear a Sharkskin under your wetsuit. A rashie and dive leggings are also advised for protection from the sun. You will be wet for most of the 2 or 3 hours you are on the water.
  • snack bars or a banana.
  • small bottle of mask de-fogger
  • Camera/s: We suggest a GoPro in underwater casing on a short pole (long poles are not permitted) or an underwater camera/housing and/or a topside camera in a sturdy waterproof cover.
  • Water is provided.

Please download our ‘Important Information’ document for detailed info about gear for the whale safaris. 


You are advised to take malaria preventative medication when visiting this area of Mozambique.

Please download our ‘Important Information’ document for detailed info about preparing yourself and taking care of your health in Mozambique.

The area:

The humpbacks hangout in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, in the huge sweeping bays of Tofo and Barra. The whales are often easily seen from the white sand beaches of these colourful little villages as they rest and play in the clear waters off the Inhambane Peninsula. The area is known (but not too well known!) for it’s beautiful beaches and spectacular marine life, for it’s great diving, surfing and adventuring opportunities as well as for it’s colourful and lively village culture. 

Languages Spoken:

Local Mozambiquan, Portuguese, (Mozambique was colonised by Portugal until 1990’s) and most locals speak English.

What other activities, restaurants and entertainment are available in the area:

Scuba Diving & Ocean Safaris: diving with a good chance of swimming with mantas and whale sharks too!
Swim with Manatees: in the Barra estuary area
Yoga at 6am with Eva: on beach side yoga platform

Sumi Bar and Restaurant – Excellent Japanese food and great cocktails and a good wine list. Live music once a week.

Happi Cafe and Bar – excellent vegan and vegetarian food.

Beach Baracas Garden Restaurant & Bar – at the Gallery – great tacos and a variety of international dishes, excellent bar, live music most nights. Fresh juice bar too!
Casa Barry – overlooking Tofo bay – a selection of fresh seafood, pastas burgers and pizza.
Chill Bar: on the beach at Barra, fresh crayfish is delicious, seafood, salads and great cocktails.
Tofo Tofo Bar and Restaurant: Local Mozambican/African, seafood and pasta.
Sunset Picnic on the estuary with the flamingo’s (weather permitting) this can be arranged with a local restaurant.

Your WhaleSwim Team:

Lisa Armstrong – Tour Leader

Lisa owned and operated a beautiful eco lodge in the dunes above Tofo bay for 9 years and each morning took out her SUP to be around the 100’s of humpback whales in the bay during the humpback breeding season. All she wanted to do was to be in the water with humpback whales!  She has since sold her eco-lodge and is ready to immerse herself in her passion for humpback whales and the ocean!
Lisa lives in Tofo, is a Dive Master and Instructor, has managed Dive centres, swims with whale sharks and mantas and her happy place is in the ocean! She will join us in Tahiti for a month in August for her guide training before we head to Mozambique for our 2 fabulous tours in September 2019.
(Lisa approached us in mid-2018 inviting us to assist her and a local dive company, set-up a swim-with-whales in Tofo, Mozambique. I jumped at the chance and went on a recce in November 2018. Its fabulous, full of happy people, it’s exotic and best customer service I’ve experienced in a long time!)

Rae Gill – Chief Organiser!

Rae has been operating swim-with-whales tours since 1999 in Vava’u (Tonga), Moorea (Tahiti), Tromso (Norway), Sri Lanka and now in Tofo (Mozambique). Its her passion and she experiences great joy in sharing the life-changing experience of being in the ocean with the huge, but gentle giants of the sea.

Rae lives in Kerikeri in the sunny north of New Zealand, when she is not swimming with whales!

Rae has been watching the progress of the whale-watching industry in Mozambique for over 10 years and is very excited to be able to offer tours in this stunning and fun location for the first time. Rae lived and worked in Southern Africa for several years during the 1970’s/80’s and to be back again is definitely a joy!