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africaScuba Diving in Africa


South Africa is surrounded by the Atlantic, Indian and Southern / Antarctic Oceans on three sides making South Africa a melting pot for all types of scuba divers.


The winters occur during June and August due to the topography and oceanic influences a number of climate zones happen within the areas for example the punishing deserts of southern Namib in the northwest to the lush subtropical climates in the east near the Mozambique border.


There are 9 different provinces and approx. 2,798 kilometres of coastline.


Scuba diving in South Africa is gaining in popularity especially for White shark diving with the best times being May through till September – for the timid of us out there we can view the enormousness of the great white up close and personal through the security of a metal cage {well nearly secure – having watched an article on the news just the other day about a shark getting in through the gap of the metal cage – I’m sure those divers needed to go and refresh their dive suits.} For the divers who have nerves of steel sharing the rugged coasts and wrecks of the oceans with a great white can be invigorating – these trips are accessible mainly on semi-rigid boats and not from shore entry.


There is so much more to see, other than the great white – Ragged tooth’s can be seen in June through till February – Mako and Blue sharks December through till May – Tiger sharks January through till June and Zambezi sharks November through till May, so any time of the year is good for seeing these beauties, but if you have a preference you now know the dates.


Any one heard of the Sardine Run? It involves a 5hr drive to south of Durban to where the excitement begins – it’s a must see – no doubt a story could be told when showing your divers log off to fellow scuba divers – there you will find super pods of Bottle nosed dolphins. Between five thousand and eight thousand get together for a meal fit for a king, waiting alongside them are seven species of sharks – Bryde’s whales and huge humpback whales which are heading towards Madagascar for the breeding season. The ocean is absolutely brimming and top predators waiting for the sardines to arrive so they can top up on their reserves. This is occurs only in June through till early July so timing is paramount!


Newly hatched loggerhead and leatherback turtles escape the confinement of the sand and make a dash for the sea from October through until March which is Africa’s summer months; don’t forget your sun protection, it can be blisteringly hot.


Red sea diving is world renowned for its visibility its stunning corals – wrecks and heaps of fish to gaze upon in the sheltered reefs and coral gardens for them to hide in on shore. Water temperature ranges from 21 to 30C all year round; the currents are mainly calm and weather-wise 21 to a hot 40C. There is a wide choice of boat diving, shore diving and the exciting adventures of the ultimate diving experience from a live-a-board.

Land tours to Luxor and Cairo can be explored if you fancy a bit of culture.

The Egyptian Red Sea is separated in to three zones –
1.  Northeastern  – which includes El Gouna – Hurghada – Red Sea Coast  – Safaga

2.  Sinai Peninsular – which includes Dahab – Nuweiba – Sharm el Sheik
3.  South-eastern Red Sea Coast – which includes El Quseir – Hamata- Marsa Alam

Arriving at Hurghada you are able to gain access to the lovely reefs, drops and walls around Giftun and the Ramada Islands. A day boat will take you to Abu Nuhas wreck graveyard or Salem Express another wreck and why not explore Panorama Reef. There are many wrecks to discover whilst diving in Egypt as the Germans had a play in sinking ships during the second world war the SS. Thistlegorm  a navy vessel which went down with motorcycle’s and cars aboard offer a different and very surreal dive experience.

Taba on the Red Sea is mostly for snorkelling. Diving is best left for Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh. The marine life is not so good here but you can enjoy untouched coral which is only reached by boat as is a a great deal of Africa’s diving – Samadai is where the Dolphin House of National park is found and well worth a visit.


Mauritius is another gem of the Indian Ocean located just east of Madagascar. Everyone should be entitled to travel to this beautiful island, the warm turquoise sea, the palm trees swaying in the breeze whilst holding your hammock; a friendly smile to greet you after a hard days scuba with a glass of something chilled. Boasting beautiful colours of past and present and unique fusion cuisine to tantalize your taste buds as the sun bounces off your freshly tanned skin….oops getting a bit distracted here.

Back to the ocean temperature  which will warm the soul at around 28C In the summer and falling to a still pleasant 21C in the winter – all year round diving at its best. Hopefully some of you diver will appreciate the stunning location and onshore beauties and treasures within your grasp.

Mauritius is protected by a truly magnificent lagoon where Parrot fish, sweetlips, clown fish, moray eels and many more exotic fish live alongside an excellent display of corals for you feast your eyes upon. It is part of the Mascareigness lslands similar to Reunion, Rodrigues and St Brandon Islands.

Approximately thirty famous dive sites available with dives of up to a depth of forty metres; so all levels of divers are welcome and catered for which if you fancy it and have the training include Cave and wrecks not forgetting some shark diving for the dare devils amongst you.

Two lovely girls, Emily and Lilly are the names of two barges that can be found in Northwest Mauritius at a depth of 25mtrs. The Stella Maru, a Japanese fishing boat, lays quietly on the ocean floor at 25 metres. Cathedral is a cave dive which is full of exciting little fishes and bundles of molluscs


A very similar set up as Mauritius offering turquoise blue waters reaching 29C. It is suitable for all levels of diving and it is possible to dive all year round. With water visibility reaching a breath-taking 30meters, the chances of seeing manta rays and sharks swimming by are highly likely. The Indian Ocean holds lots of magnificent things and what better place to enjoy them than in the Seychelles. The waters are calm in March, April, May, September, October and November which means that the more experienced divers can access some of the really remote areas by boat.

The underwater geography of sprawling reefs, drop offs, pinnacles, walls wrecks and canyons make for one of the most diverse marine locations around, jam packed with stunning corals and multi-coloured aquatic life.

June, July and August sees the Southeast monsoons bring some stronger winds which in turn makes access to the remoter dives both unreliable and difficult plus the temperature drops to around 25C. Unfortunately we cannot have it all our way a high temp and calm seas are an advantage but  with the cooler water temp brings plankton and with that whales sharks that come to feed on the little critters can reach ten meters{the whale sharks that is}  if you’re bored of diving not that I can imagine that happening in these areas, why not try snorkelling alongside the whales sharks which can be very therapeutic. Around the inner reefs Angel fish – butterfly fish, lionfish, octopus’s can be found, whilst further afield parrot fish, sting rays, reef sharks, turtle’s and the possible glance of a hammerhead shark could be a bonus and much more !


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East Africa Islands

Mozambique and Tanzania are unprecedented experiences and it can be an adventure in itself in just getting there but the sight of the mantas and whale sharks will more than make up for it. A flight out to Mafia Island gives you the option of snorkelling instead of diving so you can relax and chill out and swim alongside the Whale sharks.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Zanzibar! A beautiful island located just off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. Here the marine parks offer underwater cliffs caves wrecks with visibility of more than twenty metres. The marine life here is abundant with lobsters, lion fish, large groupers, dolphins, moray eels, manta rays, ribbon eels and sting rays galore.

A turbulent history, spices, exquisite beaches and turquoise waters spring to mind when thinking of Zanzibar which is just six degrees south of the equator with the Indian ocean surrounding it. Zanzibar offers a plentiful marine life with more than four hundred different species of fish and excellent coral reefs.

This unique experience offers all year round diving but from the middle of February to mid-May and from the middle of October to mid-December the visibility is at its best, the sea is calmer and the average water temperature averages between 24 and 25 c and rise to approx. 28-29 in January and February when the trades winds make the boat ride a bit more exciting.

Reunion Islands

This not so well known French island is located east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometres south west of Mauritius,

Between May and November the trade winds which keep the sea temperatures moderate and offers the best time for diving the comfortable 27C waters. If you don’t like getting wet an umbrella might come in handy as the rainfall can be heavy during December through April – what am I thinking; you are divers, you don’t mind getting wet.

The coral forms a reef of about 15 km. to the west and south of Reunion island. Saint Gilles les Bains and Saint Leu, both in the west part of the island

Boucan Canot is where you can find a lot of the dive shops which are mainly focussed on the reefs

For beginners, Canyon is a good dive site, at ‘Passe de Trois Bassin’ a wall dive can be achieved and a lobster boat  called the Navarra wreck measuring 150 ft long lies on the sand which makes for an excellent deep dive.

You can get the surf boards out at Saint Leu if you fancy a change of scenery!! Impressive wall dives and reefs can be found At Pointe Au Sel where you could be graced with the presence of pelagic species.

Maison Verte holds a coral garden which houses abundant marine life and don’t forget the Hammerheads which pass through during October and November.


Warm tropical waters await you in Kenya along with huge fish, turtles and vibrant colours throughout the kaleidoscopic coral reefs and not forgetting the sharks. The weather is dependably warm and unclouded with good water temperatures and offering a good mixture for diving all year round although October to March is prime time as during July and August visibility is reduced due to high seas.

Divers staying in Kenya normally dive within one of the large marine reserves:

Watamu Marine National Park is a well-protected and managed area. This is an essential spot for egg laying for the threatened Green sea Turtle, which lay their eggs on the sandy beaches at Watamu numerous times a year.

Moray Reef has a magnificent overhang plummeting 28 metres to the sea bed. The coral here is a home for octopus’s and eel’s and a massive semi-tame moray. Keep those fingers out of reach! Whale sharks swim through each year from October to February.

Kisite Mpunguti Marine Reserve  some of the largest Manta Rays on the East African coast.

Mombasa Marine Park And National Reserve  Mombasa, a coral island off the coast of Kenya, has stunning coral reef and aquatic life, making diving and snorkelling worth while

The Malindi Marine Park is situated between the shoreline and two main reefs, North Reef and Barracuda Reef.

In conclusion quite a lot of diving in Africa involves being adventurous, patient and happy to dive from a boat but the treasures that wait you can be both exhilarating and enthralling and the wonderful blue waters and sandy shores are a bonus for down times.