The waters off the east
coast of southern Africa are rich in marine life, from Whale sharks to
the smallest cleaner shrimp there is something to interest everyone. The
reefs in South Africa and the southern part of Mozambique are made up of fossilised sand dunes with a covering of hard and
soft corals and algae, making a very colourful backdrop whilst the hard
corals start making an appearance in the central Mozambique area,
increasing in quantity and size the further north you go. Depths range
from a few metres to 35 metres plus.
Brief Coastal tour of
Starting in the Cape, the
seas are cool and will seem familiar to British divers, except here you
may encounter the odd Great White shark! The area is better known for
its Great white cage diving, although there is 'normal' diving in and
around the kelp forests and seal colonies.
Off Durban the temperature
increases and life changes to semi-tropical with a diverse range of reef
life. This area is best dived for shark activity (Tigers, Blacktips,
Zamzabis, Hammerheads, Ragged-tooth) although there are several reefs
and a couple of wrecks adding variety. Humpback whales and dolphins also
visit the area, particularly in winter during the Sardine Run.
Further north, the reefs of
Sodwana Bay and southern Mozambique play host to great shoals of
colourful fish and turtles visit the area to lay eggs on the vast sandy
beaches. Humpback whales, Whale sharks and Mantas are seasonal visitors.
Travelling to the central
Mozambique regions of Inhambane and the Bazaruto Archipelago the first hard
corals start making an appearance and marine life is prolific
with a wide variety of reef life. This area is becoming known as the
place to see Whale sharks and Mantas, and Humpback whales cruise past
the coast in large numbers on their annual migration.
Moving on to northern
Mozambique, the coastal town of Pemba is the gateway to the Quirimbas
Archipelago where the warm waters encourage growth of huge fan corals,
providing a classic backdrop to those underwater pictures. This is
truly tropical reef diving!
Off the coast of Africa,
the islands of the Seychelles, Mauritius and Zanzibar are a tropical
paradise with turquoise clear waters and fringing reefs. Diving is
year-round with a variety of reef life and marine visitors including turtles, Whale sharks