Rio Azul boasts 3 unique aquatic ecosystems, each with their own wonders to behold. For self-proclaimed “water babies” it’s absolute serenity in a tropical wilderness. Part of these large bodies of waters’ allure is the magnificent creatures that call it their home. In the warm waters off the pristine shores of Mozambique you can find brightly coloured tropical fish, playful dolphins, leaping humpback whales and silently moving through the warm tropical waters is the world’s largest fish, a gentle giant that inspires awe and respect: the mesmerising Whale Shark. Whale Sharks are not actually whales, but it’s their impressive size that has earned them that moniker, they can reach lengths up to and over 14 metres.
“People describe it as a moment of pure exhilaration and deep peace, and ultimately incredibly humbling.”
Visitors to Mozambique have the amazing opportunity to observe Whale Sharks closely while snorkelling or SCUBA diving out in the ocean, this is one of the most magical and life-changing experiences anyone can have. People describe it as a moment of pure exhilaration and deep peace, and ultimately incredibly humbling. They find themselves in absolute awe of the whale shark’s majestic beauty and graceful gentleness despite their massive size. Some people even feel that the whale shark is even dancing or playing with them as you swim alongside them, following them at a respectful distance. They move slowly and docilely allowing you to easily synchronise your movements to theirs. It’s very important to remember that you are in their space. Under no circumstances are people to touch the whale sharks, not even to marvel at the white dappled spots scattered across their back. If a Whale Shark is touched by a human they get scared and will quickly swim away.
Sadly, Whale Sharks are endangered and their only threat is humans. Commercial fishing, as well as by-catch losses and fatal vessel strikes are what diminish their numbers. It’s devastating that these harmless creatures who survive mostly on plankton and move slowly through the sea are facing extinction. Encountering one in its natural habitat is thus a true privilege. The unique constellation of white spots on their backs can be used to identify individual whale sharks and observers can take photographs and upload them to international databases which helps marine biologists keep track of their numbers.
Where in Mozambique can you swim with Whale Sharks?
Whale Sharks travel great distances to feed their massive bodies but can generally found throughout the year in Mozambique’s waters. Two areas that they like to frequent are Tofo and the Bazaruto Archipelago, which is close to Rio Azul. The whales congregate around Bazaruto between them months of October and April so this would be the best time to go searching for them.
Book a snorkelling excursion at our beach lodge and ask the skipper to look out for these mesmerising behemoths for your very own breathtaking encounter.