Kruger Park to Tofo, or elsewhere?
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Apr 27, 2013 11:39 AM Last Post By: Andromeda321
Apr 24, 2013 5:23 AM
Kruger Park to Tofo, or elsewhere?Hello all-
This is a slightly complex situation that covers both Mozambique and South Africa, so I hope cross-posting relevant info to both is ok!
Short version: conference in Kruger in July, trying to figure out what I can do with the limited time I have post-conference to explore Mozambique or South Africa... or if it's too complex a situation and I should just steer clear.
Long version: I've been invited to a conference in mid-July that will be held at some swanky lodge right by Paul Kruger Gate- I know, it's a tough life. Conference itself is four days but I can't arrive more than a day prior to the conference start due to a family wedding in the USA... and vacation time dictates that I've got just under a week of post-conference vacation to play with. The good news is I have already been to South Africa for three weeks before, the bad news is if I'm relatively nearby I got the idea in my head to go across the border into Mozambique to dive at Tofo, as I have a PADI open water certificate that I don't use nearly enough.
Things get fairly complex at this stage, and so the questions begin:
1) Is Tofo in July actually beach weather? I ask because the last time I was in southern Africa it was in June/July, and it was quite cold in many areas, but I've never been to Mozambique so I'm not sure about whether the climate is good for beach stuff like diving and swimming.
2) What's the best way to get from Nelspruit to Tofo? Sounds like travel to Maputo, then either public transport or the Fatima's nest shuttle up from there? (I'm guessing if the latter you're committed to staying there though...) Then it sounds like one can fly back from Inhambane (sp?) to Johannesburg, or drive directly? (It'd be a night flight back to Europe, so it'd be nice to not leave a day early just to be bored around Joburg for a day.)
3) At this point the issue I run up against is that's 3 days traveling minimum we're talking about, and I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle if I can only spend maybe 4 days in Tofo (and can't dive the last day thanks to flying) and I've traveled in Africa to know it can be exhausting. So if anyone has a thought on whether this line of travel planning is indeed worth it or if I'm biting off too much, please let me know...
If the answer is "too much," I guess the next question is one of where to go. Last time I did the standard Baz Bus Cape Town to Jo'burg route via the Drakensburg (plus a stay in Kruger), I can't think of anyplace I disliked the whole way except perhaps Jo'burg, but my favorite area was the Transkei (I'm interested in adventurous outdoorsy things). Happy to go back to there, but is there anyplace more near Kruger that's worth looking up? (I'm sad to note the Baz Bus no longer does their Swaziland route btw!)
Curiously the other option here is to just not go this year, and wait until next year when there's no family wedding eating up my vacation and go to a conference in South Africa then (as we have many collaborators down there, and my adviser's cleared me to go to one during my career). Only problem there is that it's unlikely any future meetings will be held in Kruger park- they tend to be around Cape Town- which is lovely but this venue looks seriously incredible.
Ok, I'm blathering. Thanks for all who've read this far.
Apr 24, 2013 3:54 PM
11) We had around 18 degrees in late february when we swam in the Indian Ocean near Cape Town. July will be cold, but if you have a suit it shouldn't be a problem. I don't think the difference in sea temperature is that big, but I'm not 100% sure.
2) It's around 4 hours on the bus from Nelspruit to Maputo. There Are flights from Inhambane to Jo'burg.
3) You can dive in Port Elizabeth as well, maybe Durban? Or you could dive closer to Maputo to save travel time. I wouldn't postpone if I were you, but not sure that I would go to Mozambique with limited time. I would probably go to Durban or spend the week on safari.
Apr 25, 2013 1:04 AM
2Sea temperature in Tofo will probably be around 24 degrees in July. Perfectly comfortable in a 3mm.
The sea around Cape Town is the Atlantic - a much colder ocean year round. Once you reach the south of Moz you are in the Indian Ocean and crossing from the temperate into the tropical zone.
You can see manta, sharks and in season (which sadly this isn't) a very good chance of whale sharks. You may still be lucky though - they do get visits year round. You will be also see migrating whales in July (sadly only viewable from the surface!).
Be aware that it can be quite hard core diving - often diving from a rib that launches through the surf - and big fish means big currents. There are always quieter alternatives though if you are relatively inexperienced eg in the bay and other sheltered spots.
An alternative would be somewhere like Sodwana Bay north of Durban. A little colder/less tropical.
If you want something different you can dive with Ragged-toothed sharks - not dangerous but thrilling (up to 3m long, big teeth, come very close) in Umkomaas just south of Durban. July is an excellent time for that as they are breeding in the reefs along the coast there. The water will be colder (20 degrees) and you'll almost certainly want a 5mm suit. A little further south there is Protea Bank for even more shark diving - but you have to be a real shark fan for this one. You will just miss the Sardine Run - big shoals of sardines which in turn attracts lots of predators (dolphins, sharks and whales) and can make for incredible diving.
Edited by: itchyfeet38
Apr 27, 2013 11:39 AM
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