Diving with a Shoal Near Mozambique

The Best Diving Spots in Africa

written by
Sue van Winsen
Sue van Winsen

Some of Africa's greatest wildlife lives below the surface of the ocean waves.

On a planet that is 70% covered in ocean, there’s long been an appeal to discovering the world under the waves. You could almost call it the last frontier, with innumerable places to explore that offer a portal into another world; one full of bright and colourful life, gentle giants and creatures that are as enchanting as they are bizarre.

For scuba divers, the waters off Africa are diverse, abundant and begging to be explored. Whether it’s the rich, cold depths of the Atlantic or the warm, clear shallows of the Indian Ocean, under the water’s surface everyone, from beginner to master, can find the adventure of a lifetime.

To help you narrow down your options, here are our top destinations that offer the best diving in Africa.

Raffles Seychelles 11

Diving in Tanzania

Although better known for wildlife safaris, diving in Tanzania’s cerulean waters, and those of its islands, gives access to a vibrant marine wonderland. The underwater landscape runs from colourful, tropical reefs in the north to deep, mysterious ocean trenches in the south, each offering different types of dive and diverse aquatic life.

Off Tanzania’s three largest islands - Zanzibar, Pemba and Mnemba, you’ll find even more to get excited about. Reefs teeming with jewel bright fish hide in sheltered bays, while coral covered walls drop off into deeper waters, inviting passing pelagic species to stop by. You can wall dive, drift dive and night dive, with must-see species including reef sharks and turtles.

Snorkeling zanzibar

Head to the Mnemba Island for vivid, untouched coral gardens and dive between October and March to experience the awe of encountering whale sharks as they pass by on their annual migration. The island is also a breeding ground for turtles, making it the perfect place to view these majestic aquatic creatures in their natural habitat.

Diving in The Seychelles

A land renowned for its pristine white sands, vibrantly abundant corals and some of the clearest seawater on the planet, diving and The Seychelles go hand in hand. With island canopies of lush green and abundant azure waters, the islands are a haven for wildlife above and below the surface and both are a delight to explore.

The waters surrounding The Seychelles play host to some of the ocean’s most iconic creatures, from reef sharks exploring the sea floor to manta rays effortlessly gliding through the eternal blue of the deeper waters found further afield.

Cousine Island Seychelles 8

With an array of both inhabited and uninhabited islands to explore, it goes without saying that here lie some of the best diving opportunities on the planet. The majesty of The Seychelles’ coral atolls and reef islands ensure that over half the country’s waters are preserved as national parks. Within these underwater havens you will be exposed to marine wonders unlike anywhere else in the world.

Diving in Mozambique

For those searching for good vibes and great adventures, Mozambique is the place. A 1,500 mile coastline ranges from soft sands and waving palms to pounding surf, while island archipelagos look straight out of a desert island fantasy.

Diving in Mozambique, there is something for everyone. Novices should head to the Bazaruto National Park, where there are shallow reefs of brightly hued coral, plentiful fish and the occasional turtle and manta ray.

White Pearl Resort Mozambique diving

For experienced divers there are some truly epic options – the plankton-rich waters around the Ponto do Ouro offer excellent shark diving, with bull sharks and hammerheads likely spots. The Quirimbas Archipelago, Africa’s largest marine protected area, boasts sandbars, mangroves and reefs kept wonderfully healthy by cold water currents. Here, you can drift dive the walls of canyons, caves and overhangs. Praia do Tofo is well-known for its whale sharks and giant mantas – it’s almost a guarantee you’ll see these magnificent giants year-round. For humpbacks, visit in August or September for sightings.

Diving in South Africa

South Africa may just take the crown for the best diving in Africa. With a coastline that runs from the wilds of the Atlantic to the warm tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, diving in South Africa not only offers huge variety but plenty of thrills too.

To the east, KwaZulu-Natal boasts Sodwana Bay, located within the borders of the UNESCO-listed iSimangaliso Wetland Park, where the rich marine life rivals that of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Here, thousands of species of fish flit around unspoiled reef, coral gardens and vast sponges. Add some extra adrenaline by heading to the infamous Aliwal Shoal, where you may spot nurse, bull, hammerhead, tiger, black tip and sand tiger sharks gathering around the rocky reef.

In the cooler, kelp-filled waters of the Western Cape, where diving is best in the summer months (October to March), colonies of seals and penguins bring in the big predators. It’s here, in place like Gansbaai, that shark diving is popular, especially exciting between May and July when the annual sardine run brings in schools of great white sharks.

Diving with a Shark

Purveyors of creating unforgettable travel experiences with a purpose, at Niarra Travel we ensure that our guests not only experience the very best of a region but also leave having made a positive impact. If you are interested in booking a diving trip to Africa that incorporates luxury and sustainability, get in touch with our team on +44 (0) 20 3821 5994 (UK), +1 (833) 215 9353 (US), or at explore@niarratravel.com and begin crafting your dream African adventure today.

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