Whale shark

Mozambique Marine Adventure

18 days
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 4 reviews >
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Guided Group
Marine Wildlife
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Discover the marine wildlife of Mozambique

Mozambique's spectacular marine wildlife includes dolphins, whales (in season), Whale sharks, Manta rays, five of the world’s seven species of sea turtle and the largest dugong population in the region. The focus is on the wild dolphins in the area surrounding Ponta do Ouro while the Bazaruto Archipelago, famed for its coral reefs, offers clear, turquoise waters filled with iridescent fish, and Manta rays and Whale sharks can be found in the region surrounding Tofo.


  • Dolphin encounters in Ponta do Ouro
  • Sail on the Bazaruto Archipelago
  • Whale shark safari in Tofo
  • Game viewing in Kruger NP

Key information

  • 13 nights standard lodges (1 night with shared facilities), 2 nights permanent tented camp
  • Travel by land-cruiser or Mercedes Benz Sprinter and on boats
  • Two day sailing safari on the Bazaruto Archipelago
  • Ocean safari in Tofo included
  • Three included excursions to encounter wild dolphins

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Whale shark

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

  • Day 2

    Start Johannesburg; to Pongola Game Reserve.

    Following the arrival of the group flights in the early morning, we meet our guide and then transfer straight out of Johannesburg and due east to our lodge situated on the border of the Pongola Game Reserve. We should arrive in the mid afternoon and have time to settle in and then enjoy some of the optional activities that are on offer including an open game drive or boat cruise on the river and lake. The Pongola Game Reserve is home to a multitude of animals including elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard, hippos and crocodiles and is also an excellent birding destination.

    Shayamoya Lodge or similar, Standard Hotel

  • Day 3

    To Ponto do Ouro; afternoon free for optional activities.

    There are a number of optional early morning activities including a game walk with a local ranger or an open vehicle game drive. We will enjoy breakfast after the activities at around 9am and then pack and head towards Mozambique. We drive around the Pongola dam and over the wall to the border post at Kosi Bay. After the border formalities we transfer by 4x4 vehicle the short distance (20km) to Ponta Do Ouro. We hope to arrive at our guest house, located in a quiet suburb, within walking distance of the town centre, the Dolphin Encounters Research Centre and beach, around lunch time. The guest house will be our base for the next two nights. This afternoon will be free for optional activities or if the weather looks better on this day we will head out on our first dolphin encounter.
    Lar Do Ouro Guest House or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Full day in Ponta do Ouro to enjoy encounters with wild dolphins.

    During our time in Ponta do Ouro we hope to join the Dolphin Encounters Research Centre on two dolphin encounter tours and an extended sanctuary boat tour to snorkel over the Techobaninie Reef.

    The Dolphin Encounters Research Centre was founded for the purpose of educational and ethical dolphin encounters that would fund the long term monitoring of wild dolphins in the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve. We will most likely launch for the encounter trips at first light in the morning to ensure that we get the most favourable conditions. The in-water experience to engage with wild dolphins is done on their terms and the centre’s marine biologist will make every effort to achieve this. There will also be free time to enjoy the beaches and to explore the local town.
    Lar Do Ouro Guest House or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Morning in Ponta do Ouro; afternoon to Maputo.

    After our final dolphin encounter, we will head to Maputo in the late morning. This is a fairly long drive as a good portion of the road we travel on is not paved – and offers us a chance to experience the ‘African massage’! We will arrive at our hotel in the early afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is then free to relax at the hotel. There is also the option to take the Catembe ferry into downtown Maputo to explore the Maputo market - your leader can assist you with making the arrangements.
    Catembe Galerry Hotel or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    To Xai Xai.

    Today we head further north up the coast to Xai-Xai, crossing over 'the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River'. The journey today takes us through many small villages lined with markets as we aim to arrive at our lodge in the late afternoon.

    Zona Braza Lodge or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    To Morrungulo; afternoon free for optional activities.

    We can enjoy a morning swim and breakfast before heading north to Morrongulo, where we hope to arrive in the early afternoon. After a late lunch, the rest of the afternoon is free to spend time swimming and relaxing on the beach, or to organize any optional activities for the following morning.
    Morrungulo Lodge or similar. Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    To Vilanculos.

    We have a full free morning for optional activities or to relax on the beach before heading to Vilanculos after lunch. We arrive in Vilanculos in the late afternoon. Vilanculos is the gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique's only underwater ocean national park.

    Sailaway Dhow Safaris or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 9-10

    Two days sailing on the Bazaruto Archipelago.

    The next days will be spent aboard a traditional Mozambican Dhow sailing boat, sailing on the Bazaruto Archipelago, a group of six islands in Mozambique, near the mainland city of Vilanculos.

    The islands were formed from sand deposited by the Save River, which has since shifted its course and the archipelago became a National Park in 1971. The park boasts sandy beaches, coral reefs, and a wide abundance of reef fish including surgeon, Moorish idols, Parrot, Angel and Butterfly fish to name but a few. Giant turtles and Devil rays are regularly seen here and there is also a chance of spotting dugong along the way.

    On one day we will depart for Magaruque Island, landing on the north point of the island. There will be time to snorkel on the base reef and explore the island. We will enjoy lunch on the island and more snorkelling time floating on the islands currents up and down the reef, before returning to our base in Vilanculos.

    On the other day of our sailing adventure, we will head to Bazaruto Island and explore the dunes of Ponta Dundo. We’ll then continue on to 2-Mile Reef for snorkelling. If we are lucky, dugongs are sometimes seen in the channel between Bazaruto and Benguerra Island. We sail back to Vilanculos in the late afternoon.

    Sailaway Dhow Safaris or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    To Tofo.

    Today we head south to Inhambane and on to Tofo after breakfast. Tofo is a beautiful location with rolling beaches and a stunning turquoise ocean. We should arrive at our lodge in the early afternoon and the rest of afternoon is free to relax on the beach, explore the nearby local market or participate in a variety of optional activities. There is a chance here for going scuba diving, whale watching (in season), or to just relax on the beautiful beaches of the Indian Ocean. In the evening, a talk on marine life will be offered by one of the senior resident marine specialists who are conducting research in the area.

    Casa Barry Lodge or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Ocean safari in search of Whale sharks and other marine life.

    On this excursion we will go out in search of marine wildlife, specifically the giant and extremely curious Whale sharks, Manta rays, Devil rays, turtles, dolphins and Humpback whales (in season – July to October). We hope to have the rare opportunity to swim alongside the largest living species of fish, the Whale shark, observed up to 18m in length. These sharks are found across the globe and there is a healthy population of them in the area surrounding Tofo.

    On each safari we hope to have a resident post graduate student on board to provide more information about these inspiring creatures. The trip lasts for two hours and is geared for wildlife enthusiast wanting a relaxed view of Tofo’s fantastic marine life. This trip for many people is the highlight of their stay in Africa.
    Casa Barry Lodge or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Free day for optional activities in Tofo.

    We have a full free day in Tofo, to enjoy the many optional activities on offer. These include diving, snorkelling, deep sea fishing or even another ocean safari - the choice is yours! There is also a good selection of cafes and restaurants to explore or the day could be spent soaking up the warm African sun on this beautiful coastline. In the evening, a talk on marine life will be offered by one of the senior resident marine specialists who are conducting research in the area.
    Casa Barry Lodge or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    To Bilene.

    After a leisurely breakfast we will journey south to the fresh water lake in Bilene. We will arrive in the late afternoon with time for a swim in the lake or the lodge pool.
    Laguna Lodge or similar, Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 15

    To Kruger National Park.

    Leaving the Indian ocean behind us we skirt around Maputo as we head back towards South Africa and the border post at Ressano Garcia. We will have a short break in the town of Komatipoort, to resupply for our Kruger Park safari. We will most likely enter the Kruger National Park through the Crocodile gate and game drive to our camp.
    Lower Sabie Camp or similar, Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 16

    Full day game viewing in Kruger.

    Today we’ll head out in the early morning for a game drive. We will aim to leave the camp when the gate opens so it’s an early start, with coffee and the traditional South African rusk (dry biscuit). The length of the game drive depends on the sightings and local conditions, and we will return to camp for a proper cooked brunch and time to relax at the camp pool. We will then head out in the afternoon for another game drive and to enjoy this pristine environment before returning to camp as the gate closes.
    Lower Sabie Camp or similar, Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 17

    To Johannesburg and end.

    This morning we will enjoy our last breakfast in the African bush before we game drive to one of the gates and exit Kruger National Park. We will then make our way to Johannesburg, driving through the town of Nelspruit and then travelling up the escarpment past Waterfall Boven and Machadodorp. Our adventure ends on arrival in Johannesburg. Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport for their flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 18

Essential Info



All visitors require a visa for Mozambique. This can be obtained at the Mozambican border for approx. 610 ZAR (equivalent to approx. GBP50/USD75) per person however the Foreign Office have advised that there have been some reports of long delays and local authorities running out of visas. We therefore now recommend that you obtain a visa prior to departure, you will need 1 form and 2 photographs. The address of the Mozambique High Commission is 21 Fitzroy Square, London W1P 5HJ, Tel 0207 383 3800 and is open between 0930 and 1300 Mon to Fri. The website is http://www.mozambiquehighcommission.org.uk/. For exact details of how to obtain your visa in other countries, please check with your local embassy.

South Africa

British passport holders and most European and Commonwealth Passport holders do not require a visa to travel to South Africa. Please note that all travellers to South Africa who do require a visa are required to have a minimum of 2 blank consecutive pages in their passport i.e. a left hand page and a right hand page to enable an entry visa to be issued.

Please note that new regulations from the 1 June 2015 mean that any child under 18 travelling to South Africa needs to be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate with the names of both parents.

If a child under 18 is only travelling with a single parent, they will also have to have an affidavit, no less than 3 months old, from the absent parent confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

South Africa

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential if travelling in the greater Kruger area and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. The rest of South Africa, including the Garden Route, has a low risk of Malaria.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners are included.

Typical meals: Breakfast: Fresh fruit salad, pancakes, cereal, toast, bacon, eggs (will vary slightly depending on accommodation) Lunch: Light lunches mainly including seafood, fresh salads and vegetables. Dinners: Good dinners that will typically include fresh seafood, chicken, beef, pasta and other. Vegetarians and dietary requirements can be catered for but please inform us before departure of any special requests. Please note that if you eat neither fish nor meat, your food options will be rather limited in some places on this trip. Total recommended budget from meals not included: US$200


Mozambique has a warm, tropical climate, and the weather along the coast is sunny and warm even during the winter months. In the cooler, drier months (May - December), sunny skies and a temperature between 24 to 27ºC is the norm along the coast.



Is this trip for you?

This is predominantly a marine adventure. You should be comfortable in the water in order to participate in the ocean excursions, but no certifications such as SCUBA are necessary. We take no risks with health and safety and our expert staff monitor conditions to take appropriate measures for a wonderful time in the area but when in boats it is possible that we will encounter rough seas therefore an ability to swim is highly recommended. If you are going to participate in the ocean excursions, you should be prepared to assist in pushing the boat into the water. The RIBs are ‘parked’ on the beach, and need to be turned and pushed into the surf before you get on board. Getting onto the boat can be challenging – there will be staff on board to help pull you into the boat (not a graceful experience!).



On this itinerary, we have 13 nights in standard lodges, 1 night with shared facilities and the rest en suite, and 2 nights permanent tented camp with en suite facilities.
In Pongola, Ponto do Ouro, Maputo, Tofo, Xai Xai and Vilanculos you will be in standard lodges with en suite facilities.
In Morrengulo you will be staying in chalets with a common area/kitchen, two bedrooms and a shared bathroom/shower.
In Kruger National Park you we will be staying in permanent en suite tents, the tents have electricity, proper beds and are very comfortable.

Single supplement is available from 465GBP.

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  • Reviewed September 2016
    Julia Hett

    Mozambique Marine Adventure

    If your ambition is to swim with dolphins and whale sharks and see hump back whales and snorkel over reefs then this is the trip for you! We were lucky to do all of that. However be prepared for long day journeys to get there before the more relaxing way back.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has to be swimming with Whale Sharks. These huge creatures just swimming past so near or, if you are a good swimmer, keeping pace with them! A nice addition to the trip was the safari in the wildlife park where we saw many rhino.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Friendly but professional sorting things out behind the scenes to ensure we had a good time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the Trip Notes. It is all there if you read them carefully. Be prepared to push the rubber boats out and for rough seas and, as always with wildlife, don't be disappointed if you don't see them one day they will probably be there the next. Always keep an open mind and realise that not everything can go to plan.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Christina Hallam

    Marine life in Mozambique

    This is an amazing trip to a country which is not particularly touristy. If you love being in the sea and seeing marine life and you are reasonably fit and healthy then this is the trip for you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many....there was not any part of this trip that I did not enjoy. Watching the dolphins underwater was amazing. We saw lots of humpback whales both from the boats and the shore. The Bazaruto archipelago is beautiful with excellent snorkelling over coral reefs and the chance to climb a sand dune for some fabulous views. The highlight for me was swimming with the whale sharks. They stayed near the surface for a long time so we were able to swim alongside them which was an incredible experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, JP was excellent. He did everything he could to ensure that everyone enjoyed the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is pretty much all in the sea which can be very choppy so you really need to be a confident swimmer and able to snorkel in open water. Do not worry if you are not keen on diving down, you can see everything from snorkelling on the surface. I took a wet suit and was really glad that I had. The water is not really cold, but you have to sit on the boat going back to shore and this can be rather chilly. It also protects against sunburn. If you have your own mask/snorkel then it would be best to take it with you. Pushing the boats into the sea can be quite strenuous, and the ride out can be bumpy if the sea is choppy. Climbing back on the boats is definitely not elegant but the staff are really good at helping-basically you have to be pulled in over the side. There are several long driving days and some of the roads are sandy and very bumpy. There are also some early starts. The accommodation is full of character but take a torch as power cuts happen and one place does not have electricity overnight. There is no wifi until the last place where you stay. Don't take too much with you-it has to go on the roof of the vehicle and in the trailer. The food is good, most is provided. Lunches usually consist of bread, cheese, cold meats and salads. Dinners are delicious but there is usually no choice, dietary needs can be catered for but make sure you let Exodus know before you travel. I would suggest taking your money in South African Rand. This can be used in most places that you visit. Other currencies are less readily accepted. Mozambican Metcais can be obtained at the airport on arrival, but this is the only place to change money. If you have Metcais left at the end of the trip, this is the only place to change them back, but when I did it, they could only offer Rand. ATMs are available in the towns but they limit the amount you can get out, and sometimes, you will not be allowed anything-try again at the next one!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Probably the best trip I have ever been on. Utterly incredible.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Hannah Marder

    Fantastic marine life viewing in a beautiful country

    A great adventurous trip in a really beautiful and still relatively un-touristy country. The marine life experiences are fantastic - snorkelling with dolphins and whale sharks, as well as stunning reef snorkelling and great whale watching. If you like marine creatures and are confident in water, this is the trip for you. There's no other trip quite like it that I could find.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming alongside a 5m whale shark for around 15 minutes was awe inspiring and one of the best wildlife encounters I have ever had. Also watching two humpback whales tail slapping in unison off Ponta do Ouro, and both of the snorkels from the dhow at the Bazaruto Archipelago.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, JP, was very good. He was organised, easy to get on with, and made sure every member of the group was well looked after.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip felt like more of a 'moderate' than a 'leisurely' to me, Improving your physical fitness beforehand would be beneficial if you don't have an active lifestyle. You should be a confident swimmer and experience of snorkelling, ideally in open water, is highly recommended or you risk missing out on some of the best activities. The sea can be very rough and sea sickness tablets are a must if you suffer. A full body rash suit is highly recommended to protect you from the cold, from scratchy rocks, stinging sea creatures, and when being hauled onto the boats. Also a head torch is a good idea as some places have limited electricity and there are power cuts. If you have long hair, take lots of shampoo and conditioner, more than you'd usually use, as the sea and wind create havoc. Take a minimum of possessions on the boats - a small dry bag to put them in is useful. An underwater camera will enable you to capture all the incredible things you will see. I'd recommend travelling in September or October as that's when the humpback whales are around and they were a highlight for me. This is an adventurous trip and is great fun, but it's not always comfortable, so come with a good humoured attitude and you'll enjoy it.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Iain Macdonald

    Had an oceantastic time!!

    A fantastic introduction to the marine life and beaches of Mozambique. The excitement and anticipation of the ocean safaris and dolphin swims, the idyllic beaches are all unforgettable

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has to be swimming with the wild dolphins. So inquisitive. On the first morning there was a pod of approx. 30 of them swimming right towards us. On another morning, whilst looking for dolphin we ended ow with a couple of hump-backed whales breaching extremely close to our boat. Pretty exciting. The conservation staff giving talks are passionate about what they do. The Bazaruto Archipelago is simply stunning ...... bring that camera!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wynand was great. Friendly, enthusiastic and always thinking on his feet "making a plan"! He always went out of the way to try to organised extra activities on request.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare yourself for some gruelling drives along dirt tracks/sand. But it's all well worth it when you get there!! If possible, bring a cheap waterproof cover for your camera and bring it under with you .... you'll get some fantastic pics. Don't worry if you struggle to get back onto the zodiac from the sea as there are plenty people there to help you!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't forget about the optional activities available should you wish to take advantage of a surfing or scuba diving lesson! Not down your street? Then just chill on the beach, on your balcony, explore the town market or do all of these!!

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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