Tofo: Volunteer 3 Unregrettable Days with MMF

Why we love it

During these 3 days, you will have a unique opportunity to meet the Marine Megafauna Foundation team, learn more about the Ocean Giants - manta rays and whale sharks and see how they engage the local community, adults and kids, to protect the Ocean. For more diving in the area, we recommend this dive shop in Tofo (10 dives starting from ...).

Conservation

The Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) is a globally-renowned NGO focused on scientific research that is used as the basis for development of educational content, inspirational movements, and sustainable conservation initiatives on an expanding list of underwater megafauna. What’s megafauna? It’s Greek for “large animal life”. Founded in 2009 by Dr Andrea Marshall and Dr Simon Pierce in Tofo. Their research has expanded to the Western Indian Ocean, the Americas, and Southeast Asia.

Who is it for?

For marine life lovers who want to learn more about the ocean giants, and the Foundation’s efforts to protect them. The Marine Megafauna Foundation uses the pillars above to empower the community and raise awareness for the change, leading people to act. Non-diving partners are also welcome to join, as there is no diving involved and just an exciting snorkeling activity on Day 1.

Prices and Dates

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Program

DAY 1: ‘The Ocean Giants’

Spend the day with MMF scientists learning about marine megafauna and their conservation initiatives:

  • Morning

    • Tour the office and get introduced to MMF staff and researchers
    • Ocean Safari: A thrilling launch from Tofo beach to the surrounding coast to spot large species which are often seen breaching the surface. If it’s not too choppy, you may even snorkel alongside these amazing creatures.
  • Afternoon

    • Three presentations on conservation work and marine biology by the team
    • Guided hike to stunning viewpoints. Time to enjoy Tofo’s untouched coastal beauty and learn about its history

DAY 2: ‘Tofo Life’

Tofo Life, a program founded by MMF, is now run by the local community with the purpose of eradicating unsustainable fishing practices. It has received international recognition - many travel guides now include it. By visiting, you’ll be encouraging and supporting its growth.

  • Morning

    • Guided tour of a village where sustainable practices are being adopted. Meet truly wonderful and strong people and learn about life in a rural setting.
    • Get a glimpse of life in the village and learn how to prepare a typical Mozambican dish of “Matapa”
  • Lunch in the village

  • Evening

    • Sunset on the beach with food and drinks

DAY 3: ‘Little Nemos’

As most Mozambicans can’t swim, this programme was originally designed to teach children the valuable skill of swimming. Today, participating kids are also educated as Ocean Guardians who have a compassionate understanding of their marine environment and are empowered to act towards its sustainable management and protection while cherishing the sea in their day-to-day life.

  • Morning

    • Activities with the children: It might the satisfaction of tidying up the beach, or you might be taking part in some theatre or even assisting in swim class (you do know how to swim, right?). No matter what you do, you’ll be rewarded with beaming smiles which will brighten your life and everyone around you!
  • Evening

    • Kick back and relax in front of a documentary at MMF headquarters. Don’t worry - it’s probably something you haven’t seen yet. There’s so much new stuff out there.
    • Farewell drinks in town

  • All the activities mentioned above
  • Transport to the village, lunch, and sunset snacks on Day 2
  • Two farewell drinks evening of Day 3
  • You will have made a monetary donation to the Marine Megafauna Foundation and the local community

  • There is a weekly charge of for the maritime park
  • Flights, transfers and accommodation
  • Lunch on Day 1 and Day 3
  • Note that there is no activity on the afternoon of Day 2 and Day 3
  • Any other elements not mentioned in the above section

Dive briefing!

Marine Life

  • The “Big Five” of the underwater world:
    • Whale sharks
    • Manta rays (both oceanic and reef species)
    • Dolphins (two species)
    • Sea turtles (four species)
    • Humpback whales
  • Amazing opportunities for macro divers to capture leaf fish, frog fish, impressive sea moths, banded pipefish, and a wide variety of shrimp.
  • Located on an 8 km stretch of sandy beach on the Indian Ocean, Tofo benefits from an upwelling phenomenon that attracts large, plankton-feeding sea-life

Dive Conditions

  • Season: all year long: manta rays. June to November: humpback whales. October to March: whale sharks
  • Currents: can be strong in some sites
  • Visibility: 5 to 30 m (16 to 98 ft)
  • Water Temperature: 23° to 29°C (73° to 84°F)
  • Depth: deep and shallow dives

The Team

  • The Marine Megafauna Foundation was founded in 2009 by Dr. Andrea Marshall, pioneering scientist on manta rays (to watch: BBC documentary “Queen of Mantas” about Andrea’s studies and conservation efforts) and Dr. Simon Pierce, a leading scientist on whale sharks
  • Today the team in Tofo has 25 members and is an energetic mix of international and national scientists, instructors and experts in various fields
  • Mozambicans and volunteers from all over the world come together to work towards MMF’s mission of a world where humans and ocean giants can thrive together.

Safety Information

  • Equipment Recommended: Equipment is not required for the activities, as everything is provided by the organisations. However you are more than welcome to bring your camera to take breathtaking photos
  • Insurance: Both dive insurance and travel insurance are mandatory. We recommend Dive Assure that has plans to cover both - ask us for a quote.

Visas, flights, and more!

Visa Requirements

  • Most visitors do need to have a visa before departing for Mozambique. If you plan to visit Kruger National Park, you might consider getting a multiple-entry visa (versus a single-entry visa)
  • Please check the current visa policy that applies for your country

How to get there

  • Pretty much everyone arrives from the south via Maputo(the capital of Mozambique). Then, either take a transfer by minivan (6-8 hrs, SeaCrush can help you arrange it) or take a local flight to Inhambane which is a half-hour from Tofo.
  • The biggest international airlines flying to Mozambique are TAP Air Portugal, South African Airways, and Turkish Airlines.

More…

  • Tofo is subject to malaria. Take necessary precautions to avoid it.
  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, a rash guard, a sweater or a light-weight jacket, some walking shoes, insect repellent, mask and snorkel, prescription medicine if you need.

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