Ponta d'Ouro is a hub along the Southeast African coastline for diving and surfing.
The diving around Ponta d'Ouro is rewarding, with well over a dozen reef dives and a good variety of marine life, including whale sharks, manta rays, potato bass and more. Much of this marine life, as well as loggerback- and leatherback-turtle nesting sites along the coast, is protected by the Ponta d'Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, which stretches north along the coast, joining with the Inhaca marine reserve system.
The Tandje Beach Resort compound is the base for several dive operators, and more are in town. Instruction and equipment rental are available at all. Ask about low-season and midweek discounts.
Diving is possible year round; the best months are November to February and May to September.
Dolphins frequent the waters off Ponta d’Ouro, and many visitors come hoping to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures. However, remember that they’re wild, which means sightings can’t be guaranteed. And as studies have shown that human interaction with dolphins can be detrimental to their health, it's best to stick to ethical guidelines such as those produced by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) program Dolphin SMART. Advice includes staying at least 45m from dolphins, and never chasing, touching or swimming in close quarters with them.
Prices are about Mtc1350 per person for a two-hour excursion, generally also involving snorkelling near Ponta Malongane and sailing down towards the lighthouse on the Mozambique–South Africa border.
Dolphins can be spotted year-round (although there are no refunds if you don’t spot any). Whale sharks are best seen between July and November. Between June and August it’s chilly in the boats, so bring a windbreaker. If conditions are stormy or too windy, the boats don’t go out. From October/November to February the sea tends to be calmest.
The best months for surfing are generally June to August, although temperatures can be chilly. Board rental is possible at the southern end of the beach.