Diving in Mozambique is nothing short of spectacular and can easily be named as one of the largest marine life capitals of the world. Whales and whale sharks are common here, migrating through the Mozambique Channel, as are dolphins, manta rays, reef sharks and turtles. Besides all this action, the reefs of Mozambique are in excellent condition and are home to a wide range of small and large marine life.
Tucked away in the most Southern point of Mozambique, only 10km from the border of South Africa, Ponta do Ouro is small village with beautiful beaches, green dune forests and a laid-back atmosphere. The high biodiversity in this area and the unspoiled coral reefs make diving in Ponta do Ouro a great addition to any vacation in Mozambique. To travel to Ponta do Ouro, divers need to cross the South African border at Kosi Bay, only accessible by a 4-wheel drive, or a drive from Maputo.
Some of the most thrilling Mozambique dive sites are located at the Inhambane peninsula. Aptly named ‘land of the good people’ Inhambane makes for a friendly and laid back dive destination. Tofo is a small beach town with sandy roads, wide beaches and exceptional diving. Famous for its manta rays and whale sharks, diving in Tofo is full of surprises. And situated smack in the middle of the humpback whale migration route, these magical creatures can often be seen from the shore between the months of June and October. Inhambane airport has direct connections to Maputo and different South African airports. Transfers can be arranged by road from Maputo, Swaziland and South Africa.
The largely unexplored Quirimbas Archipelago in northern Mozambique consists of 27 untouched islands with rich cultural and historical value. Surrounded by coral reefs and littered with mangroves, these protected islands are feeding and nesting grounds for many species like turtles, dugongs, dolphins, sharks and whales. The gateway to the Quirimbas archipelago is Pemba International Airport, with connections to Maputo, Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam.
In the southern Mozambique diving destinations, like Ponta do Ouro and Tofo beach, water temperatures range between 23 degrees Celsius around August, to 28 degrees around February - a 5 or 3 mm wetsuit is recommended. In the Quirimbas Archipelago, however, water temperatures hardly even drop below 26 degrees Celsius. Dive centers operate all throughout the year, as every season has something different and special to see.
Dive sites in Ponta do Ouro are versatile and offer great opportunities for both beginner and advanced divers. The sandy patches in between the shallow reefs are ideal for training dives. Checkers is a dive for all levels. With depths of between 15 and 18 meters, this site has a nice variety of coral and fish, including potato bass, batfish and frogfish. The more advanced dive ‘Pinnacle’ is a dramatic site in the middle of game-fish territory. Lucky divers will spot barracuda, kingfish, mackerel, manta rays, and sharks like the bull shark and hammerhead shark.
Mantas and whale sharks in Tofo can be seen year round. Even though whale sharks can be sighted at several dive sites, the best way to swim with whale sharks is by an ocean safari snorkeling trip. These majestic giants may seem to swim pretty relaxed, but in reality, they go very fast, which is hard to keep up with in scuba gear. Tofo dive site Manta Reef has several cleaning stations, and ranks as one of the top places in the world to encounter manta rays. Pinnacles and caves make up the topography of this site, which besides manta rays attracts an array of marine life like loggerhead turtles and giant moray eels. Mike’s Cupboard is a protected in-shore reef and is great for a beginner dive in Tofo. Consisting of a series of potholes with caves, ledges, and lots of nooks and crannies, this site covered in soft coral and home to an interesting selection of marine life, including crocodile fish, trumpet fish, and lionfish.
Diving in the Quirimbas Archipelago is largely untouched and unexplored. These tropical waters with beaches and mangroves are popular nesting sites for turtles, dugongs, sharks and rays. The shallower sites and coral bommies, like Rolas Rainbow, are home to colorful residential reef fish, like angelfish, sweetlips and pufferfish. Deeper dive sites and walls, like Rush Hour, offer divers a chance to see game fish, like the Barracuda, king fish, and snapper.
Devocean diving is a 5-star PADI IDC resort in Ponta do Ouro. This team of experienced dive professionals organizes dive training and fun dives to the best of Ponta Do Ouro’s 20+ dive sites. The resort offers a choice to stay in the ‘dive camp’ deluxe-tented accommodation, or in one of the self-catering chalets.
Tofo Scuba is Tofo’s longest running dive operator and a PADI Gold Palm IDC center. With quality equipment and facilities, a professional staff and excellent customer service, Tofo Scuba makes diving in Tofo safe and fun. After the dive, Tofo scuba divers can hang around and enjoy a meal and some drinks in their bar with stellar views of the ocean.
Divers looking for a more personalized experience will find Peri Peri Divers a good choice for diving in Tofo beach. With over 15 years of experience, the owners of this smaller dive center started Peri Peri with the intention of offering a personal and positive dive experience in smaller groups. Recently they paired up with the Marine Mega Fauna Association to organize eco tours under guidance of marine scientist, where divers can learn and get hands-on experience in conservation of marine life like manta rays and whale sharks.
Guludo Beach lodge, in the Quirimbas Archipelago, has won multiple sustainable tourism awards. Integrating philanthropy into a tourism business, this excellent resort with ecological design principles cares for the communities and natural heritage around the area without compromising the quality of the guest experience. As a fully certified PADI dive center they organize dive training and daily trips the best dive sites in the Quirimbas.
For the ultimate tropical island experience with pearly white beaches and swaying palm trees, staying in the palm-thatched chalets of Matemo island is as good as it gets. Combining barefoot luxury and exquisite diving in the Quirimbas Archipelago, Matemo has daily dive trips and offers PADI dive training for both the experienced and novice diver.
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