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Monday 11 December 2017
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Mozambique: A Haven For Scuba Diving

Mozambique: A Haven For Scuba Diving

 

Mozambique is arguably the best diving country in the world, a haven for scuba diving.

Every diver from novices to professionals will fall in love with this beautiful country, it has a diverse ecosystem which includes spectacular coral reefs, pristine mangrove forests and warm deep sea currents. Here, you will find both large and small marine life.

Mozambique is a big country in terms of area covered but a small country in terms of the population. Mozambique shares its borders with Tanzania, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa inland while the Indian Ocean lies to the east.

Mozambiquan beauty extends to the country’s population, it is a nation of warm, welcoming and progressive people.

Any talk of Mozambique tourism without mentioning the nation’s thriving diving eco-tourism industry would be immature.

Mozambique has all the ecosystems which support diving making it the mecca of diving in the world. Mozambique’s ocean currents, coral reefs, and mangrove forests support a high biodiversity of marine species including dolphins, reef sharks, manta rays, turtles, whale sharks, whales, and fish.

The ocean, Mozambique Channel and the many meandering rivers crisscrossing the country provide some of the best scuba diving spots in the world.

Here, are the top five scuba diving sites in Mozambique:

Pemba

Pemba is the deep sea capital when it comes to diving sites in Mozambique. It is the world’s 3rd largest port and its many magnificent deep dives make it a spectacular destination for professional divers. Those starting out diving can also find their haven in Pemba in the shallower reefs which support multi-level diving.

There are 9 different diving spots in Pemba all of which have their own particular beauties.

• The Gap- an inshore reef with continental shelf drops varying in depth from 10 up to 100 meters. Mostly small fish are present here. The Gap is mostly suitable for professional and experienced divers who have expertise in deep sea diving.
• Pyro Banks- located a few kilometers from The Gap, Pyro Banks is a shallow reef (15m) with lots of corals and diverse fish species.
• Playground- this is a shallow wall north of Pemba Bay that is mostly covered by overhangs and caves. Though it is shallow, only advanced divers with years of experience are allowed to dive in.
• Willys Reef- this is a deep ridge that measures 30 meters in depth. Newbies are allowed to gain deep diving experience on Willys Reef. Willys Reef has a high biodiversity including turtles, rays, Black Marlin and reef sharks.
• River Mouth- this is found at the mouth of river Tari and is generally covered by large boulders. Its depth reaches 24m and for advanced divers, they can spot reef sharks, rays, and Napoleon Wrasse.
• Baobab Rocks- covered almost entirely by huge boulders, Baobab Rocks has a depth of 30m and is mostly suitable for experienced divers. Baobab Rocks has sandy slopes and there are plenty of crocodile fish in the waters.
• Farol Ledge- Farol Ledge starts shallower inland getting deeper and deeper as it protrudes into the sea. The average depth in the diving area is 30m.
• Penguin Shaol- this is a coral whip forest with an average depth of 30m. Generally, much of marine species in Mozambique can be found here.
• Whip coral Garden- these are underwater hills covered in coral sponges. Divers can only explore Whipcoral Garden when the conditions are good.

Pomene and Morrungulo

Though Pomene and Morrungulo are Mozambique’s remote areas, they offer pristine beaches and reefs for visitors. To get to Pomene and Morrungulo, you will travel some 3 hours away from the tarred main road but the attractions which await you will comfort you. There are over 10 diving sites in Pomene and Morrungulo.

These are 3 of the best diving spots:

• Trojans Gauntlet- this open site not only offers a great diving experience but also a beautiful natural viewing spectacle. The topography is stunning with some rolling hills covered in lush evergreen grass with a few dotted trees. The open reef is shallow with an average depth of 18m and any diver is free to test Trojans Gauntlet waters.
• Robs Ridge- a shallow ridge (15m) which runs across the coast, Robs Ridge has an abundance of tropical fish and corals.
• Caves and Overhangs- a perfect diving reef for both experienced and novice divers. This reef is punctuated by stunning caves and rocky islands. Caves and Overhangs has an average depth of 12m.
Other great diving spots in Pomene and Morrungulo include King Deep, Jakes Crack, Baixo Sylvia Reef, Sleepy Hollow, The Hand, Pension, Zambia Shaol, Pinnacle Reef, Big Surprise, and Rappies Playstation.

Vilanculos and Bazaruto

The islands of Vilanculos and Bazaruto lie calmly in the Indian Ocean inviting all to see and explore their many beautiful coral reefs and old ship wrecks. The islands of Vilanculos have a high biodiversity which includes humpback whales, sea turtles, Zambezi sharks and also the rare dugongs.
There are over 10 diving spots in the islands of Vilanculos and Bazaruto and these are the top 3;
• Canyon Deep and Marlin Pinnacles- these are found in Vilanculos and they are deep reefs with rising pinnacles. The average depth is 33m. Canyon Deep and Marlin Pinnacles are infamous for being home to all the biggies.
• Linene Reef- a shallow reef which is particularly impressive due to its coral formations that take the form of castles. Mostly pelagic fish are found in the Linene Reef.
• Potholes- a shallow reef (average depth of 12m) consisting of a series of tunnels and potholes hosting diverse marine life and soft corals.
Other diving spots in the islands of Vilanculos and Bazaruto include Baluba Reef, Caves, Amphitheatre and San Sebastian, Brindle Bass Ridge, Manta Ray Reef, Rainbow Runner Reef, Turtle Ridge, Greek Temple, South Point, Zenguelemo Point, Fossil Reef, 2, 5, 9, 12-mile reefs and Margaruque.

Zavora, Tofo, and Barra

The towns of Zavora, Tofo, and Barra are all found in the Inhambane province. Much of the diving spots in these towns are quite new and there are much more yet to be explored spots. Tofo is well known for being the one place in Mozambique with a large number of whale sharks, Barra has some beautiful gardens around its reefs while Zavora’s reefs both inshore and deep are quite new. In Zavora, there is also the Klipfontein ship wreck which offers a great diving experience. There are 22 diving spots in these towns combined and here are the top 3 spots;
• Amazon- this is a huge stone structure that has some beautiful gullies, crevices, and corals in between. Amazon is perfect for deep divers with drift experience. Though biggies can be spotted here and there, schools of swimming fish are mostly the common phenomena here.
• Office- this is a deep reef that is infamous for its abundance of the manta rays. During the day manta rays can be spotted circling round in turns. Office has an average of 18m depth.
• Barra Lagoon- this dive offers a unique diving experience in the mangrove swamps. Barra Lagoon is well known for its big host of seahorses.
Other diving spots in the towns of Zavora, Tofo and Barra are Drifters, Coliseum, Skylight, Barra Express, Anchor Bay, Buddies, Estrada, Lions Den, Sherwood Forest, Mikes Cupboard, The Salon, Giants Castle, Clownfish Reef, Chamber of Secrets, Simons Town, Krakatoa, Praia de Roche, Manta Reef, and Deep Reef.

Quirimbas Archipelago

Quirimbas Archipelago is a world class dive located between the islands of Ibo and Matemo. Qurirmbas Archipelago offers exquisite diving adventures for both novice and experienced divers. You can spot dolphins in any of the 40+ diving spots which are nestled in the Quirimbas Archipelago.

Here are the best 3 diving spots in Quirimbas Archipelago:

• Zala Bank- the dives in Zala Bank are a combination of soft and hard corals.the Zala Banks reefs are particularly made stunning by the dizzy drop offs, mangrove forests and breathtaking topography making your stay here unforgettable.
• Rolas Island- the Rolas Island is the school for diving. The reefs are covered by coral gardens and there is an abundance of reef fish.
• Quilalea Island- this is a wonderful dive remote island. The island has many virgin reefs and a small wall on one side with beautifully curling overhangs. Quilalea Island is also perfect for night dives and has an abundance of marine life.
Other diving spots in Quirimbas Archipelago include Sambi Sambi, Rocha Rocks, The Far Side and The Edge of Reason among many others.