Tofo currently has several dive sites and we're discovering new reefs all the time 

 

AMAZON

Depth: 26 - 30 m

Distance/Travel Time: 20km / 35 - 45 min

Highlights: Predatory Sharks

Amazon is both our furthest and most challenging dive site, but it is well worth the effort. The depth, current and reef topography make it suitable only for experienced divers with Advanced certification or higher.  White Tip Reef Sharks, Leopard Sharks and Nurse Sharks can be found sleeping on the sandy bottom or in the various caves.

The reef is also home to a colourful array of Butterflyfish, Angelfish and schools of Bannerfish.  Combine this site with The Office for an awesome double tank dive.

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CLOWN FISH REEF

Depth: 5 - 10 m

Distance/Travel Time: 1km / 5 min

Highlights: Local reef fish / training site

Clownfish Reef is our main training site for Open Water Divers. It is named after the Clownfish that are found living in many of the sea anemones that dot the site.  The site sits inside the bay directly out from Tofo Beach. 

This site acts as a nursery for many of the local reef fish so uniquely coloured juveniles abound.  Keep an eye out for Octopus hiding in the crevices. Small Morays can often be found in the numerous small caves along with various species of shrimp; Harlequin, Peacock Mantis, Cleaner, Banded Boxer, to name a few.  

 

SALON

Depth: 12 - 16 m

Distance/Travel Time: 2 km / 5 min

Highlights: Caves / Cleaner Shrimp - hence the name!

The Salon is ideal for training dives, refresher dives and long, relaxing dives for experienced divers.  It consists of a coral outcrop that climbs about 6 m up from the sandy bottom. 

Kuhl's Rays often shoot out from the sand right under unsuspecting divers while Jenkin's Whiprays and Electric Torpedo Rays hide in the caves.   Almost a dozen species of shrimp and Lobster can be found on this site.  Gently place your hand in front of one of the Cleaner Shrimp and see if it will give you a manicure, just make sure you check for Morays first!  The reef is also home to a large number of octopus and sometimes Reef Squid.

 
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MARBLE ARCH

Depth: 14 - 19 m

Distance/Travel Time: 7 km / 15 - 20 min

Highlights: Whale Shark, Fish Schools & Topography

The closest site that lies in Whale Shark Alley, Marble Arch is named after a beautiful swim through between the inside and outside of the donut-shaped reef with walls rising 6-8m from the sandy bottom. Another swim through leads back inside the reef to a small canyon which is covered with marine life on both sides. The abundance of caves, crevices and overhangs provide shelter for Lobster, Moray eels, Stingrays and shy reef fishes. Schools of Bluestriped Snapper, Yellow Goat fish, Big Eyes hover on the top of the reef, while Blacktip Trevallys and Kingfish often patrol above looking for food.

 

PRAIA DA ROCHA

Depth: 10 - 14 m

Distance/Travel Time: 9 km / 15 - 20 min

Highlights: Colourful soft coral

Praia da Rocha is one of the most unique and colourful sites in the Tofo area. Its proximity to shore and shallow depth lead to a greater abundance of coral than at the deeper sites.  Colourful hard and soft coral cover the large boulders that dot this site. Swim the channels between them looking for Nudibranches and shy reef fish.  Look closely for the elusive Spanish Dancer nudibranch.

This site is a photographers dream, with its sunlit, shallow waters and bright colours, but it can only be dived under specific conditions due to its proximity to the rocky point.

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REGGIES

Depth: 25 - 30m

Distance/Travel Time: 15  km / 25 - 35 min

Highlights: 2 Manta cleaning stations & Sharks

The site is named after a big cave which is often guarded by a sleepy Leopard Shark. Another resident of this reef is an old grandfather of a Loggerhead Turtle who loves to pose for the cameras. This is one of those sites where 1 eye needs to be on the reef, the other in the blue because Grey Reef and White Tip Reef sharks patrol about frequently and there are 2 Manta cleaning stations to look out for. It is a great site to combine with The Office for a double tank.

 

SHERWOOD FOREST

Depth: 25 - 30m

Distance/Travel Time: 4  km / 10 - 15 min

Highlights: Devil Rays & Eagle Rays

This site lies in deep water toward the north end of Tofo Bay. It is a small site that can only be dived under mild current conditions. The site is named for the numerous large green tree corals that provide a perfect home for schools of Fairy Basslets, Butterflyfish and Angelfish. Potato Groupers often suspend in the current just off the wall while Jenkins, and Blotched Fantail Rays can be found sleeping on the bottom. Honeycomb Morays share their lairs with Cleaner Shrimp. A Loggerhead Turtle sometimes naps under the overhang and there is a Manta cleaning station on top of the main reef. Off to the side of the main reef is a pinnacle with a swim through that is always fun!

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HOGWARTS

Depth: 23 - 30m

Distance/Travel Time: 18 km / 30 - 40 min

Highlights: Manta cleaning station

Hogwarts provides yet another chance to spot one of the main attractions of Tofo diving: the Manta Ray. With more than 1 cleaning station the possibilities are good. You drop on a pinnacle just off the main reef before heading over to the wall and following it along, drifting with the current. There are overhangs and a swim through to keep the topography interesting and check out every nook and cranny because Loggerhead Turtles are often having a snooze.

This site is not just about those Mantas; the macro life here is excellent with chances to spot the cryptic Frogfish, Leaf Fish and many types of Nudibranch.

 

GIANT'S CASTLE

Depth: 25 - 30m

Distance/Travel Time: 3 km / 5 - 10 min

Highlights: Deep dive with Manta sightings

Giant's Castle is a deep site that lies just outside of Tofo Bay. It consists of a ridge that runs north to south at a depth of 25 - 30 metres. This is one of the best sites in the area to encounter the majestic Manta Ray, as well as the rare Smalleye Stingray: the world's largest stingray.  If we are lucky the Mantas and Smalleyes hover over the cleaning stations while schools of Butterflyfish and Wrasses clean them of parasites. Everything seems to be on steroids on this site. Huge Potato Groupers often come in for a curious look, and then follow divers around just for the fun of it. Big Honeycomb Moray Eels lie about on the reef and even the Parrotfish are whoppers! As we drift with the current it is always worth staying eagle-eyed on the ascent since there is every chance of spotting Devil Rays, maybe even a Marlin, and during the winter months Humpback Whales may cruise by!

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TABLE TOP

Depth: 26 - 34m

Distance/Travel Time: 4 km / 5 - 10 min

Highlights: Manta Rays & Devil Rays

This deep site is only possible in mild current conditions. The dive site is a North-South Wall with several pinnacles to the west of the wall. The top of the reef is covered with Green Tree Coral giving shelter to clouds of Goldies, schools of Coachman and Redtooth Triggerfish. Blacktip Trevallys and Kingfish can be seen cruising around as well. At the end of the wall we swim across a sandy channel where large Stingrays often lie motionless on the bottom. We then reach a second wall on the west side of the dive site where a couple of cleaning stations give a good chance to spot Manta Rays. Large Potato Bass and Moray Eels can be seen hiding in crevices. A long safety stop is recommended since large groups of Devil Rays often come up from the blue depths and fly in formation around the divers.

 

THE OFFICE

Depth: 26 - 34m

Distance/Travel Time: 15 km / 25 - 35 min

Highlights: Deep dive with Manta sightings

Another deep site, The Office lies north of Tofo Beach and well out in the Mozambique Channel. Consequently, the visibility is often better here than at the sites closer to shore.  We descend through schools of Redtooth Triggerfish and Surgeonfish into a sandy bowl. From there we move south with the current keeping our eyes out for Grey Reef Sharks, Bowmouth Guitarsharks, Mantas and other smaller rays. The reef is home to numerous species of moray eel including honeycomb and giant Morays. It also teems with Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Groupers, Wrasses and Triggerfish. Both Loggerhead and Green Turtles are found here. It is often possible to surprise sleeping Whitetip Reef Sharks in the sandy bowl at the south end of the site. Leopard Sharks and Nurse Sharks are also seen here. It also offers some of the best chances to encounter Humpback Whales on scuba during the season.

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MIKE'S CUPBOARD

Depth: 14 - 17m

Distance/Travel Time: 3.5 km / 10 - 12 min

Highlights: Moray Eels & Octopus

A large, shallow dive site, Mike's Cupboard offers something for both novice and experienced divers alike. The site is a low profile reef, surrounded by sand, with 3 large bowls cut out of it. These bowls provide cover for schools of small baitfish. These fish attract Bluefin and Yellowfin Trevally that will often swoop in front of divers while on the hunt.  Many species of moray make their homes on the reef along with Octopus and Lobsters. Leaf fish, Pipefish, Scorpionfish and Crocodile fish lie camouflaged on the reef. Many species of small ray hide in the sand: Kuhl's, Shovelnosed, Marbled Electric and every now and then larger rays can pay a visit. The site is also home to the occasional Green Turtle and Loggerhead Turtle. Approach slowly and they may let you get that perfect photo. The top of the reef abounds with colourful Nudibranches, sponges and sea stars. Schools of fusiliers will descend on the reef and circle around you as you move from hole to hole. This is a site that is well worth multiple visits.

 

CHAMBER OF SECRETS

Depth: 14 - 18m

Distance/Travel Time: 8 km / 15 - 20 min

Highlights: Whale Sharks

Chamber of Secrets is another shallow site that lies in Whale Shark Alley. It forms a horseshoe with dramatic walls rising 6 - 8 m above the sandy bottom.  There are a number of challenging swim-throughs and crevices to explore and numerous caves, after which the site is named, that provide shelter for Turtles, Lobsters, Shrimp and shy reef fish. Practically every nook and cranny has a hiding Porcupine fish wedged in it. Always be on the look out for baby White Tip Reef Sharks since this site acts as a nursery. 

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MANTA REEF

Depth: 19 - 26m

Distance/Travel Time: 15 km / 25 - 35 min

Highlights: Adventure Deep Dive

A World Class dive site by any measure. Always fish-filled, Manta Reef boasts three cleaning stations where Manta Rays come to have small reef fish remove parasites and dead skin.  The Mantas can be quite curious and will often come right up to divers watching them circle over the stations.

The site consists of a flat reef plate bordered by 5 - 10m walls to the north and south. The cleaning stations are found on the top edge of the reef so excellent buoyancy control is needed in order to not damage the reef or disturb the Mantas.

While the Mantas are the highlight of this site, they are by no means the only attraction. Large schools of Redtooth Triggerfish, Yellow and Humphead Snappers, Soldierfish and Trevally congregate on the north wall.  The caves and pinnacles provide shelter for Potato Groupers, Loggerhead Turtles and Giant Morays. The reef is also home to numerous smaller reef fish, Morays, Groupers, and colourful Nudibranches. Even on the safety stop, it is wise to stay alert. Schools of Devil Rays often circle below and occasionally a whale shark will cruise by before disappearing again into the blue.

 

SIMON'S TOWN

Depth: 15 - 17 m

Distance/Travel Time: 7 km / 15 - 20 min

Highlights: Whale Sharks

This site lies right in the heart of Whale Shark Alley south of Tofo. The reef makes a large amphitheatre that provides protection for numerous species of Wrasse, Butterflyfish and Angelfish.  Schools of Snapper and Bigeye suspend above the reef. Yellowfin and Bluefin Trevally will come in and check out divers. Colourful Nudibranches dot the walls and the top of the reef. Torpedo Rays are often found sleeping in caves or hunting over the reef while Kuhl's Rays lie buried in the sand. Lion Fish hunt over the reef.  Small Morays and Snake Eels can be found throughout the site. Parrotfish feed on the reef. Octopus hunt Lobster while Cleaner Shrimp hide in the small nooks and crannies.  Colourful juvenile reef fish abound. The safety stop on this dive represents one of the best chances to see Whale sharks on scuba.

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