FAQ

 

 

 

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1. HOW DO I GET TO YOU?

 

FLY IN

Tofo is located just 20 Km from Inhambane airport, which runs a bi-weekly service  directly between Maputo and Johannesburg.

Taxis can be pre-booked or arranged on arrival at the airport; the transfer between Inhambane airport and Turtle Cove costs R400 for 4-6 people and is approximately a 20 minute drive.

A taxi transfer from the airport to Tofo is about R400 per transfer and can seat 4 – 6 people in the vehicle. Taxi fee needs to be paid direct to the driver.

 

SELF DRIVE OPTION

Tofo is a 1100 kms drive from Johannesburg and Durban. The Maputo Corridor is complete from Johannesburg to Maputo and there’s a toll fee of R 120.00 in South Africa (from JHB) and Mt110 in Mozambique (each way) which is cash only payable in Rands, US dollars and/or local Mozambican Metical.

We recommend you have local currency with you and use the substantially faster Ring Round around Maputo to travel up to Tofo, which saves you an hour.

You don’t need a 4x4 to travel to Tofo and Turtle Cove can be reached in a standard sedan vehicle, but it is a nice to have to navigate Tofo’s beach roads with.

We also recommend an overnight stop en-route to Tofo; the border crossing and speed limit in Mozambique is 60 kms resulting in a 7-9 hour travel time from the Komatiepoort border to Tofo.

Travelling after dark is not advisable; there are no streetlights, other vehicles with inadequate lighting and a constant stream of pedestrians, animals & cyclists on the road all contribute to difficult driving conditions after dark.

It’s advisable to fill up at the garage just before the border. The best place to fill up in Mozambique en-route to Tofo is in Xai Xai where you will find a variety of clean filling stations with ablution facilities and convenient stores. Unleaded petrol is available in all towns of Mozambique, including Xai Xai and Inhambane.

 

CHARTERED BUS SERVICE

Zelma’s chartered bus offers a professional, comfortable and affordable bus service from Johannesburg to Tofo. She runs her service according to her schedule. However, if there is a group, she can also run the trip according to your specific travel dates.

Her bus seats 8 or 9 passengers and departs early in Jhb (around 3am) and arrives on the same day in Tofo around 14h00 or 15h00. The return journey from Jhb to Tofo is R2600 per person.

Please contact Zelma direct for details of her travel dates on 0027 71 462 4271 / www.tours2moz.com

 

LOCAL TRANSPORT OPTION

For the adventurous traveller,  local buses operate daily from Maputo to Inhambane Make sure to take the express bus service that departs Maputo at 07h00 and arrives in Inhambane around 14h30 (subject to no breakdowns!) You need to buy your ticket at the bus station from 05h00 in the morning to make sure you get a seat. From Inhambane bus station, take a chappa (similar to a minibus) to Tofo. Turtle Cove is a 5 minute drive from Tofo town centre.

 

POLICE AND AUTHORITIES

Mozambique is notorious for the corruption among the traffic police. Most officers can speak some English; we suggest you create small talk if you can, make jokes and tell them how much you love Mozambique. You will find that things will be handled much better in this fashion.

We recommend that you stick to the law; remain within the speed limits, wear your safety belts (back seat passengers too, and make sure you carry your driver’s licence, car papers and passport at all times.  

 

2. DO I NEED A VISA?

South Africans do not require a visit to enter Mozambique but all other nationalities visiting Mozambique require a visa to enter the country. You can obtain a tourist visa on arrival at the border for a between one to three month stay. The cost for the visa is approximately US$100, paid in local currency by cash or visa. Please note, Mastercard and Amex are not accepted. For more information about current visa regulations and pricing, click here.

 

3. WHAT ARE THE ENTRY PROCEDURES IF I SELF DRIVE?

The border post at Komatipoort (Rossano Garcia) is open daily from 06h00 – 22h00. During peak season in December, the border is open 24 hours.

 

What you will need:

  • You will need your vehicle registration papers if driving yourself OR a letter from your bank with a copy of your vehicle registration papers.

  • Driver’s license (Southern African citizens do not need an International license)

  • Emergency triangles – place these in a visible point on your vehicle (i.e. your dashboard or tied to the front of your vehicle). NB: you do not need the blue triangles, only the standard red ones

  • An emergency vest (you can purchase it at the AA or even at the Komatiepoort Oasis before entering the border.

  • On the Mozambican side: get your passport stamped and take out the compulsory 3rd party insurance (R 150.00 / vehicle) at any of the insurance companies situated at the border.

 

4. NEW SOUTH AFRICAN IMMIGRATION LAWS RE TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN

 

What do you need to know?

If any children are travelling overseas or across borders, parents are required to provide unabridged birth certificates at the borders.

This applies even when both parents are traveling with their children and it also applies to foreigners and South Africans alike.

In the case of one parent traveling with a child, they must present the following:

  • An unabridged birth certificate showing both parents details and an affidavit consenting from the absent parent that they acknowledge that the child will be traveling as well as an ID or passport copy.

  • In the case of one parent being deceased a death certificate will be required.

In terms of the new immigration law children traveling without their biological parents or legal guardians and being accompanied by adults need to produce the following:

  • A written affidavit from both parents or legal guardian consenting the trip.

  • Copies of parents or guardian identification book or passport.

  • Full contact details of the parents or guardians of the child or children.

 

5. What is the local currency and where can I draw money?

The currency in Mozambique is Meticais; please note, Meticais can only be obtained in Mozambique and cannot be exchanged or taken out of the country.

Although the Rand, Dollar and Euro is widely accepted, we advise that you exchange Meticais for use at the markets, restaurants, shops and petrol stations as card payments are not usually available and Credit Cards are only accepted at hotels, selected restaurants and Dive schools (who will charge you a 5% bank fee in the event that you should pay via credit card).  

There’s no ATM machine in Tofo Village; the nearest cash machine is located at the Tofo Petrol station, which is a 5 minute drive away from Tofo.

 

6. Where can I exchange money?

 

If you’re travelling by car:

Exchange money before you enter the border at the Komatiepoort Oasis; you will find vendors selling Meticais at the border on the SA side at the Komatiepoort Oasis petrol station. Please note the exchange rate varies and is pinned to the US dollar. Please do not exchange at the border itself, you will be taken advantage of.

 

If you’re flying:

You can exchange at the airport or the bank which is at the petrol station just before entering Tofo. You can also exchange your money at the Inhambane market.

 

7. CAN I USE MY PHONE? IS THERE INTERNET?

Yes you can use your cell phone and we have reception everywhere. It is best to buy a Mozambican Sim (approximately R30) so that you can make calls and utilize data from the local network and not through an expensive roaming service. We have Wifi at Turtle Cove and there are a few other restaurants in Tofo with Wifi as well. We charge a small fee at Turtle Cove for the use of the Wifi.


8. WHAT AMENETIES ARE THERE IN TOFO AND SURROUNDS?

There are a variety of restaurants and cafés in Tofo, including our own great value, atmosphere and food restaurant at Turtle Cove. Tofo has a couple of ‘super markets’ where you can purchase essentials like coffee, tea, olive oil, breakfast cerials, eggs, bacon, spices, rice, milk, sugar, butter, feta cheese, chicken, prawns etc. The local market sells fruit and veggies, fresh bread, alcohol (beer, wine and spirits) as well as seafood (fish, calamari, prawns). There is a well stocked pharmacy in Inhambane along with supermarkets, a bakery and the big local fresh produce market for fruit and veggies.


9. WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE? WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Tofo is warm all year round. The best time to visit is during the winter months from April to September. The winter months of May to July are ideal. The summer months get hot, especially January, February and March. The rainy season is in late summer from end December to end March.  


10. WHAT IS THE SURF LIKE?

The Indian Ocean waters of Tofo and Tofinho are clean and warm, averaging around 24 degrees C. and waves for all surfing abilities. The water is marvellously warm and dolphins often frequent the break.

Tofo surf is seasonal, the peak being over winter (May-August), but there is a steady flow of waves all year round with the cyclone swells coming through between end December to beginning March.

The main wave, Tofinho Point, is definitely not for beginners. It’s a rock ledge set up that wraps around a headland. The wave breaks just off the ledge, on sand, and follows the shape off the ledge making it a very hollow wave; especially on low tide (it loves the spring tides!).

The next break is Dragons Point, another quality right hander that actually links up to Tofinho Point on a big swell, creating an amazingly long ride.

Heading about a kilometer north to the next bay brings one to the main beach of Tofo. A wide bay protected from the southerly wind and swell makes this a perfect venue for  learning. The swells are clean and gentle with sandbanks that gradually produce bigger waves at the Northern end of the bay - an ideal spot for beginners or intermediates.

And there are other surf spots in the area (such as the next bay, ‘Back Door Beach’) that work better in different winds, ensuring that there is nearly always good surf to be had.

The best time for surf in Tofo is during the winter months from May to September.  Best time to visit is during Spring Tides.


11. WHAT BOARDS SHOULD I BRING? DO YOU RENT EQUIPMENT?

Surf in Tofo can be fickle and big waves only come during cold spells or cyclone season. During these periods it is best to bring boards to suit the conditions. To generalise though, the majority of waves are right hand breaks from soft, slow, rolling spots on Tofo main bay, to heavy, fast barrelling waves on Tofinho point. Bring equipment to suit your ability and what you want to surf. Your everyday board will suffice for most periods in Tofo. If you want to charge the big stuff, follow the surf reports and bring something suitable as mid-winter waves can get up to 15ft during a good cold spell from the south.  

Surf Board Rental:
You can rent surf boards in Tofo at The Surf Shack.


12. ARE THERE SURF SHOPS IN TOFO?

No there is nowhere to purchase equipment like boards, rash vests, leashes, surf wax etc so it is best to provide your own.


13. WHAT ABOUT CLOTHING, WHAT WILL I NEED? DO I NEED A WETSUIT?

You mostly need costume, Shorts, T-shirts, Sarongs, summer dresses etc – the dress code in Mozambique is very relaxed. Bring Sandals and closed shoes in winter.

Long sleeved shirts and long pants (light) for the evenings (great against mossies).  Hat and sunglasses, swimming costume and towel (We provide bath towels but NOT swimming towels). Light jacket / Sweatshirt for evenings during winter months.

You don’t need a wetsuit during most of the year. You may want to bring a thin suit during the winter months but most people just surf in baggies year round.

Other items to bring:
- Swimming towels
- Mosquito repellent (Tabard, Peaceful Sleep, citronella etc.)
- Malaria precautions
- Sun block and after sun soothers
- Torch – in case of a power failure in Tofo – very important!
- Snorkel, mask and fins if you plan on snorkelling on your own. If you go on Whale Shark Safaris it will be provided.
- Camera and battery charger
- Good book to read
- Small medical kit with basic items - Hydrogen peroxide is very effective for insect bites and scratches. Also an ointment for insect bites, disinfectant, headache tablets, rehydrate and other basic supplies – surgical spirits is an excellent disinfectant for any scratches or cuts from the ocean!
- Hammocks, beach umbrella & beach chairs if you are driving to Tofo


14. WHAT FOOD CAN I EXPECT?

Mostly seafood (prawns, calamari, fish etc) and chicken at the restaurants in Tofo.  During our Yoga Retreats we provide an array of vegetarian and vegan dishes with loads of fresh salads to compliment it, including delicious power smoothies and vegetable juices during breakfast times.

 

15. DO YOU SUPPLY TOWELS?

We do supply bath towels in all our establishments but NO swimming towels. Please provide your own swimming towels.

 

16. WHAT ABOUT THE EVENINGS?

Turtle Cove offers a warm community atmosphere. Even as a single traveller you can enjoy cosy evenings around the bar or central fire getting to know new found friends. On Friday nights Mozambeats accross the road often runs parties and DJ”s etc.


17. WHAT VOLTAGE AND PLUGS DO YOU USE?

All our establishments have the normal 3-poing plugs from South Africa with 220V electricity. Please bring your own 2-point adaptors to charge your cell phones and Ipads.


18. MEDICAL INFORMATION

 

Malaria:

Malaria is a very real threat in Mozambique. Please follow these basic guidelines:

Prophylaxis – Please consult your GP or Homeopath for advice.
Repellants – citronella, Peaceful Sleep, mosquito coils etc.
Homeopaths also recommend taking a Vitamin B complex & garlic tablets and there are various Homeopathic anti-malaria products on the market.
All beds have mosquito nets … please insure that you are well tucked in at night before going to sleep!
 

Yellow Fever Vaccination:

All travellers entering Mozambique from any of the 43 countries where yellow fever has been diagnosed must present a valid certification of vaccination against the disease. You do not need the Yellow Fever Vaccination when travelling from South Africa

The nearest hospital from Tofo is in Inhambane with very basic facilities. We recommend
travel insurance and Medical evacuation insurance in the event of a serious emergency.


18. CAN I DRINK THE WATER

You can drink the water at Turtle Cove but at all other accommodation we recommend that you purchase 5l bottled water from the market.


19. CAN I BRING MY CHILDREN?

Tofo is an ideal family holiday and children are most welcome, even during Yoga retreats. The setting at Turtle Cove with the Yoga center in the garden, the swimming pool and lush gardens make it an ideal venue for children while parents do yoga. We can also arrange babysitting if needed.
 

 

FAQ FOR YOGA RETREATS

 



1. DO YOU CATER FOR SPECIAL DIETS?

All our meals during yoga retreats are ideal for vegans and vegetarians which mostly caters for special diets. We serve very little gluten during our buffets and there is usually enough to choose from if you follow a gluten free diet. HOWEVER, we do request that clients supplement their diet with products that we can’t obtain in Tofo or Inhambane.  These would be rice cakes, special seed gluten free crackers and bread etc. We endeavour to cater for specific allergies and requests that our guests inform us of any allergies that we should be aware of.

 

2. CAN WE STAY FOR LESS THAN THE PACKAGE PERIOD?

This is subject to our space available as we usually offer the rooms to guests who sign up for the full package. However, we do make exceptions to the rule and try to accommodate our guests as much as possible.


3. DO WE NEED TO HAVE ANY YOGA EXPERIENCE?

You generally don’t need any experience as you can practice at your own level even during an advanced class. Some of our Kundalini retreats are quite advanced but we find beginners slot right in and absorb at their own level and leave the retreat enriched with a totally new awareness of yoga.


4. WHAT STYLE OF YOGA DO YOU TEACH?

Most of our retreats are Vinyasa style retreats as well as Kundalini and Jivamukti Retreats. 


5. IS IT COMPULSORY TO COME TO ALL CLASSES?

No, it is not compulsory. We run our yoga retreats more like ‘Yoga Holidays’ and it is all about enjoying the experience with your yoga practice at your own level and pace.


6. WHAT ABOUT YOGA CLASSES OUTSIDE OF RETREAT DATES?

We have a resident yoga teacher who offers yoga classes year round outside of retreat dates. Visit our Yoga pages to view the schedule of resident classes. Most of these classes are Vinyasa style classes and suitable for all levels of yoga practitioners.


7. WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?

The food during our yoga holidays is spectacular. We offer buffet meals with an array of vegetarian / vegan dishes, a variety of fresh salads, lentil dishes and pilaf rice dishes. We include delicious fresh seafood on retreats that are not specifically vegetarian or vegan. Our meals are inspired by Indian, Moroccan, Mediterranean and Thai cuisine. Breakfasts include vegetable juices or coconut water and yummy power smoothies with goji berries, chia seeds and spirilina.  


8. DO I NEED MY OWN YOGA MAT OR EQUIPMENT?

Our Yoga Shala has yoga mats if you don’t have your own, but we do recommend that you bring your own mat if you have one. The shala is equipped with Iyengar style blocks, ropes, boulsters and foams for those of you who require some equipment.


9. ARE THERE ANY OTHER ACTIVITIES ON OFFER DURING THE WEEK?

Yes, apart from the many unspoiled beaches in the area, Tofo offers a variety of activities; from surf lessons, swimming with Whale Shark Ocean Safaris, World class diving, kayak excursions in the Mangrove Estuary of the nearby Barra Peninsula, Sunset Dhow cruise to cultural excursions of the historic old town of Inhambane.


10. I'M THINKING OF COMING ALONE. ARE MANY OF YOUR GUESTS SOLO TRAVELLERS?

Turtle Cove offers the perfect environment for a solo traveller. The cosy and warm atmosphere is ideal to get to know new friends. We often have solo guests on our yoga retreats or among our independent surfing guests. Since there is the common interest of either yogic, surfing or both among our visitors, we find solo travellers have a great time on our yoga holidays.


11. MY PARTNER DOES NOT DO YOGA BUT WOULD LIKE TO JOIN. IS THIS A PROBLEM?

Absolutely no problem; Tofo is a Wonderland for most visitors and non yoga partners love the destination for all its unspoiled beaches and the general Latino-Afro vibe, the epic waves and spectacular diving.  Since our Yoga Holidays are run in a relaxed fashion, we find non yogic partners have no problem slotting right into the swing of things and loving the whole experience just the same.


12. ARE THERE ANY EXTRAS THAT I’LL NEED TO PAY FOR THAT’S NOT INCLUDED?

Brunch and dinner is included into our Yoga Holidays. This gives our clients flexibility to enjoy some of the other restaurants in Tofo for lunch. Excursions and airport transfers are also not included.


13. DO I HAVE TO PAY EXTRA IF I COME ON MY OWN?

Yes, you do need to pay extra if you take a room on your own. Please refer to the package rates for details. It is possible to sign up on a ‘potluck sharing basis’ if you are willing to share with another single participant of the same sex on the retreat. This way you will not be liable for the single supplement charges.  


14. IS THIS HOLIDAY GOOD FOR COUPLES?

It is a social and communal holiday in the sense that you practice yoga and eat breakfast and dinner together as a group each day. So it is great for couples who like to socialise and meet new people. The structure for the rest of the day is free which allows for private and alone time.


15. WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE FIRST AND THE LAST DAY? WHEN SHOULD I ARRIVE AND LEAVE?

We start the retreat with a welcoming circle around 17h00 in the afternoon, so you should  ideally arrive a few hours before 17h00 to settle in. The first yoga class follows after the welcome circle at 17h30 – 18h30/19h00. Dinner is served at 19h00/19h30.

The last yoga class of the retreat is in the morning of the last day and breakfast is served directly after the class. This marks the end of the retreat when most people get ready for their return transfers to the airport. Guests are welcome to extend their stay for a few days after the retreat.   


16. WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE DAY GENERALLY?

We start the day with an early morning yoga session for 1 ½ hours after which breakfast is served at around 09h00. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the many activities in Tofo from diving, to learning surfing, going on a whale shark ocean safari or just relaxing in the hammock at the pool.  The afternoon yoga session is usually from around 17h30 – 18h30 with dinner served at 19h00.

Usually the morning classes are dynamic flow style classes combined with pranayama breathing and the evenings are more restorative, yin based meditative practices to unwind after the day in the sun.  During Kundalini Retreats, we always have an additional 5am Morning Sadhana Practice.

 

 

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