Ponto do Ouro or "Point of Gold" is so named because early Portuguese explorers got a bit muddled over their maps and thought gold might be found here. Instead they found that the dunes are rich black titanium, and the only gold seen here is the setting sun glinting off the long white beaches. Essentially this area is an extension of South Africa's Maputaland, but far more pristine.
The town of Ponto do Ouro is surrounded by sea, sand, dunes and casuarinas trees, and offers a superb Mozambique holiday destination. Surf fishing for barracuda, kingfish and bream is popular, while adventurous scuba divers can set off beyond the reefs and dive with sharks, dolphins and giant whale sharks.
Gentler pursuits include whale- and dolphin-watching trips (you can even swim with the dolphins), viewing turtles (who lay their eggs on the beach in the summer months), swimming, and long beach walks. It is a beautiful three kilometers stroll along the beach to South Africa's border at Kosi Bay. Approximately 100 Inshore Bottlenose and Spinner dolphins reside in its sheltered waters, and humpback whales pass through here in the winter months.
There is no airport and visitors are advised to drive in from South Africa or Maputo. The last stretch is along a sandy road and 4x4 vehicles are essential. Just north of Ponto do Ouro is another resort area called Ponto Malongane Holiday Resort which is a smaller resort set in thick forests offering diving and fishing facilities.
Ponto do Ouro is a busy, party going destination. Especially when South African schools are on holiday so it is advised to book in advance. Cell phone reception is good in Ponto do Ouro. Internet access is, at this stage, provided at a few establishments for guests only.
Seasons in Ponto do Ouro
The best time for a Ponto do Ouro Holiday is from Apr-Sep, when rainfall is low and temperatures are mild. Spectacular sightings of fish occur all year round, but are more frequent in summer from Oct-Apr.
NB: Currently Ponta Do Ouro does not have a bank or ATM available so don’t forget to draw money, Rands are widely accepted. A couple of places will take credit cards.
Diving in Ponta d’Ouro
Scuba Diving is one of the main touristy attractions along this stretch. Coral life and large marine animals such as Whale Sharks, Manta Rays and Humpback Whales are daily occurrences in this part of the world Some of the most amazing dive sites are in Ponto do Ouro.
Bread Loaf, which is one of the easiest dives available with a chance of seeing reef sharks. Other marine life that you might see is Seasonal Reef Sharks, Angel Fish, Chocolate Dips, Red Fang Triggers, Hermit Crabs, Moray Eels and Snappers.
Aquarium, Malongane Bay which is available from Ponto do Ouro. This has been described as an underwater fish tank.
Crèche, Ponto do Ouro, as well as Checkers, which is situated in Ponta Bay. Another dive site in Ponta Bay is Doodles this is a famous Ponto do Ouro dive with friendly Potato Bass and caves to investigate.
Steps, Ponto do Ouro A good drift dive, when there is current! These types of dives require good skills in equalization, buoyancy and communication underwater (an area taken for granted, but often confused at depth!). Make sure your Dive master (DM)/Instructor appreciates this. Another dive site that requires skill is Atlantis (aka Lego Land), Ponto do Ouro