On the southeastern seaboard of Africa, along a 200km stretch of the Mozambique coastline, Mother Nature has conspired to create what can only really be described as the perfect underwater biological storm.
For it is in this remote area that several major African & Indian Ocean currents converge, producing some unique counter-cyclic eddies that suck up rich nutrients from the deep trenches to the south and create huge quantities of zooplankton, the life source of oceanic mega fauna.
This unique mechanism has been occurring largely unnoticed for thousands of years, and has undoubtedly played a major role in the evolution of two creatures at the tip of the mega fauna food chain – the whale shark and the manta ray.
The area around the small town of Praia Do Tofo, in the southern Mozambique province of Inhambane, is host to some 20% of the world’s population of whale sharks and an estimated 1400 individual manta rays, one of the largest populations of manta rays identified anywhere in the world.
I spent two weeks diving the Tofo area at the end of 2010 and my article on the experience has just been published in X-Ray magazine.
Either way, check out Tofo – there is a lot happening there!
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