Seven of Africa’s Most Popular Diving Destinations
Scuba diving is considered an extreme sport, but speak to any diver and they will tell you that the magical under water world is worth overcoming your Mammalian Dive Reflex.
Find Nemo, swim with dolphins, and see a spectrum of colours you didn’t know could exist all in one place.
Here are the top picks when diving in Africa.
Sodwana Bay, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa
Situated in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the reefs of Sodwana Bay are thought to be the southern most coral reefs in the Southern Hemisphere.
Driving on the only road into the town, you may think it is nothing special, but head on into the reserve and the miles long stretches of white beach and natural mangroves will make you want to stay.
Under water you can expect to find all the normal stars, but real treats include reef sharks, manta rays, and dolphin swims on your way to and from the diving sites.
Mozambique, East Coast of Africa
Although many of Mozambique’s reefs have been badly affected by the dynamite fishing trade practiced off its unprotected coast.
The reefs and marine Megafauna are still breath taking. Go at the right time of year and you could be spoilt with sightings of Oceanic Manta Rays, that’s seven meters of friendly Manta. Enough to keep you busy for a good 50-minute dive.
Zanzibar, Tanzania, East Coast of Africa
With its perfect tropical island beaches, Zanzibar is a perfect holiday destination. The diving off the Zanzibar coast is for divers that enjoy beautiful coral reef walls, visibility as far as the eye can see, and a plethora of tiny critters, waiting for the trained eye to spot them. Expect frog-fish, ghost-pipefish, and seahorses all surrounded by stretches of white sand.
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Diving on the Cape Peninsula is a cold affair. So decent diving protection is a must, however Cape Town has been repeatedly voted the top non-tropical diving destination in the world. Once you are under the water you are greeted by basket stars and Gorgonian sea fans.
Cape Town diving is particularly famous for shipwrecks to dive on. An opportunity to swim through hundred-year-old history, and during your surface intervals you can play some online pokies for real money.
Aliwal Shoal, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa
There are two things that Aliwal Shoal is famous for, it’s hair raising surf launches, and sharks. Once you’ve survived the boat launch that takes place from the beach, through the surf, you can choose from multiple shark encounters.
Raggy cave is well known for the ragged tooth sharks that like to spend their time there, if you are lucky you could encounter a shoal of hammerhead sharks or you can choose to do the baited dive with tiger sharks and blacktip reef sharks. Not for the faint hearted.
Sardine Run, Wild Coast, South Africa
Every year in June/July the African Wild Coast becomes a feeding frenzy, as millions of sardines make their migration up the coastline to breed.
This swimming buffet is followed by every type of ocean predator, from birds to whales and is basically an underwater Death Valley.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to dive with whales, dolphins, and sharks all at the same time. Watch the dolphins create a bait ball, forcing the sardines closer together and closer to the surface, while the sharks dart through mouths open collecting what is the easiest meal they’ll have all year.
Malawi, East Africa Rift
Scuba diving is probably not the first thing to come to mind when thinking of Lake Malawi, but it is one of the top ten rated diving destinations in the world. The water is crystal clear and full of thousands of the colourful cichlids, a UNESCO world heritage site, dive the walls and canyons as filmed by David Attenborough.