A complete guide to Scuba Diving in Africa, destinations, tips and costs.
Going on a trip is the number one thing that goes through your head when you think about Africa. The African scenery is usually associated with animals like zebras, lions as well as giraffes however, underneath the surface, there is frankly a lot to observe. Divers may go under the water and observe the order of life that lives underneath since the country’s shoreline is filled with such opportunities for them.
Below are a few of the most excellent diving places to explore if you are excited to feast your eyes on much more than safari animals while visiting Africa.
Azura Benguerra Island in Mozambique
This dive area can easily and quickly be accessed in Mozambique because it is situated in close proximity of the reefs. Around the East coast of Africa, this place is among the finest to dive from with its wide range of fish as well as coral. Divers in this place can have an over view of the puffers, hawksbill, stingrays, humpback whales, parrot fish, green turtles, grouper, manta rays, reef sharks, whale sharks plus the clown fish.
ha’ab Rumi South in Sudan
Being among the world’s most popular dive site, Sha’ab Rumi is positioned around twenty six miles from the port of Sudan. You will be taken in boats to a breathtaking lagoon that safe guards the vessels against the wind. Running North West after the dive plus North East against the wall, the most popular region of the dive site is the section of the South plateau. The barracuda, spinner dolphins, hammerhead sharks, pelagic fish and the bottlenose are a few of the species that may be encountered by the divers. It would be your lucky day if you watch the sharks feasting on groupers as well as the red snapper plus it would make for a perfect photo shoot under the water. Situated in the Red sea, the dive site was at one time a station for Jacques Cousteau who in the past observed sharks in this region while in his cage.
Umbria in Sudan
In the 1940’s, the German’s Umbria vessel collapsed in the waters of Sudan and thus this site was renamed after it. Around Africa, this boat that went under as a result of cargo conflicts is nowadays among the greatest dive sites. This boat that rests on its left side with its backside lying 30m against the sand is located near the Wingate Reef. Although the ship is practically fully intact, hard plus soft corals have developed across the entire structure. On the sea floor, you can see the central mast that had been detached and you can also find the ship anchors at 200m. In order to see the Fiat 1100 Lunga motorcars, wooden boxes, detonators, electrical cables plus the aerial bombs divers can pass through the cargo and the hull. The ship travelers shall get an opportunity to view the spiny fish, barracudas, as well as the butterfly fish.
Aliwal Shoal in South Africa
Being one of South Africa’s major sites, Aliwal Shoal harbors a wide range of marine species. Sea turtles, humpback whales, manta rays, moray eels, dolphin schools plus sharks from time to time are some species that can be spotted by divers. This site which is situated 5 km along the Southern Kwa Zulu Natal coastline consists of rugged coral reefs that remained from an old sand dune which at one time erected there. The non-tropical plus the tropical fish and the soft as well as the hard coral make up this reef. It was renamed following the sinking of a vessel nearby in the 1800s. Positioned in proximity to the to the site are a pair of submerged vessels that is to say the SS Nebo and the Norwegian mass carrier which are available for a dive. The Grey Nurse Sharks are usually explore the site during the mating times and divers who stop by between November as well as August and a greater chance of spotting them.
Pemba Island in Zanzibar
Zanzibar is popular all across the island for the stunning dive sites it offers. On average, the temperatures of the water are about 26°C, Majority of the coral reefs are intact plus the view goes for about thirty to forty meters. There are a number of dive sites that one can seek out like the Pole Pole Mountain, Swiss Reef, Njao Gap, Shimba Hills, The Edge, Fundo Gap as well as the Shimba Wall. Some of the sites that are frequented the most because of their unique traits and a variety of marine species include the Fundo gap plus the Njao gap. For sheer wall faces, mountains and coral gardens, explore the Njao Gap. The white tip reef sharks, dog tooth tuna as well as the see green turtles are some of the species you will be able to view. The Fund gap is also frequented by divers because of its strong currents, eagle rays, coral formation, barracuda anemone cities and the clear view.
Mnemba Atoll in Zanzibar
Encompassed by gorgeous coral reefs, Mnemba Island has been considered to be a Marine Conservation zone. Bigger species like the turtles, dolphins and the coral natural system have made this region famous for diving. The entire region is composed of unique homes that shelter the habitats for migratory and citizen birds, dolphins, turtles, about 600 classes of fish that is coral based, humpback whales.
Ss Thistlegorm in Egypt
In 1940, this Merchant Navy vessel of a British model was assembled and submerged after a year into the Red Sea. The ship perished as a result of a bomb explosion although during the earlier 1950s, it was found by Jacques Cousteau. Although the wreck to a greater extent was not remembered, following its discovery by Jacques, it begun to attract recreational divers during the 1990s. The ship provides an accessible entrance for divers due to the manner in which the bomb explosion happened plus it lies at about thirty meters. The cargo which one can still see is the reason as to why divers love going there. While swimming across the ship, rifles, armored vehicles, trucks, boots, motorcycles are some of the cargo that one can see. Putting the internal operations aside, species like stonefish, lionfish, sea turtles, tuna, moray eel and barracuda can also be seen by the divers.
Big Brother in Egypt
Big Brother, an identical dive area to Little Brother is positioned at the Red Sea. It is embodied with a flourishing population of fish with glassfish sweepers as well as anthias being spotted in great numbers. Many soft corals shield this site that contains submerged walls. A few of the major attractions in this area include the sharks and hammerheads, oceanic white tips plus white tip reef sharks can be viewed by divers. At dawn during the winter and autumn times, divers can be able to see thresher sharks if they head out to the site. The duo shipwrecks Aida and Numidia can also be found at this site. There is quite a lot to see so endeavor to take your time and you are strongly advised to begin from the Numidia wreck in order to make your way around the vicinity.
The Great Sardine Run, South Africa
Large schools of sardines move up towards Mozambique on the South Africa coast on an annual basis between the months of July and May. They are quick, strong and are millions in number and when they move, they look like an underwater copy of an out of control buffalo herd. Get yourself ready and go out into the Umkomaas town to get a glimpse at that sight. You will not only spot the sardines desperately setting out for Mozambique but also watch game fish with dolphins wanting a piece of them, sharks that are hungry. Such an exciting sight makes for an outstanding nature performance.
PINNACLES, PONTA DO OURO in MOZAMBIQUE
Famous for its Zambezi and Hammerhead sharks, it is a very deep reef. The coral structures which are solid are a sanctuary to a wide range of game fish, eels as well as reef fish, eels. These parts have a lot of food as a result of the firm currents making the manta rays plus potato bass hang from these parts on a regular basis. The perfect time to visit is during the summer where the animals use it as a water source for feeding. Researchers and divers can use this place for more knowledge and exploration as it is a leading shark area with about nineteen species wandering through.
MEDJUMBE ISLAND in MOZAMBIQUE
This dive area is characterized by major drop that goes down to about 2750 ft. as seen from its name. The dive site may somewhat be terrifying for starters because of the overhangs as well as the caverns stretching from seventy to one hundred feet. Many animals live in this area and so divers should expect to see reef sharks, hump head wrasse, unicorn fish, groupers and snappers. A dive in this place encircled by gorgonian fans plus small caves will make your experience feel like a surreal dream.
SHARM EL SHEIKH in EGYPT
Positioned at the Gulf of Aqaba mouth, the straits create a narrow space that is ideal for divers in the long run. The firm currents provide a wide range of marine species who are in search for food thus offering a rather beautiful performance for the divers. The reef formations are regularly prowled through by the anthias, moray eels, barracudas and sharks. There are other areas around the region that are perfect for diving apart from the straits. It also stretches to the first National Park built in Egypt, the Ras Mohamed National Park. The region is comprised of combined waters amid the Gulf of Suez and the Aqaba Gulf. There are lots of robust coral and related fish with Shark reefs and Yolanda being the famous one as a result of this mix.
GANSBAAI in SOUTH AFRICA
Popular for the shark dives it has, this dive area is situated around two hours from Cape Town’s east. It became a well-known area for sharks to come together and eat because of its nearness to the African penguins as well as the fur seal colonies. The Great White is the most famous shark for yous to experience plus there are several dive companies providing shark cage adventures. This is among the leading things to experience plus beginners are also encouraged to do it.
TABA, FARUN ISLAND in EGYPT
Positioned in the North of Gulf of Aqaba, the dive site is popular for its different proportions of marine species particularly the extraordinary frogfish. Walls and pinnacles that fall to eight feet are also attributes of this site. Many groups of batfish, moray eels, colorful corals and turtles can be found at the bottom of the drop.
HURGHADA, GIFTUN ISLAND, EGYPT
Providing numerous dive sites which are popular for their barracuda and tuna views, steep drops as well as the flourishing coral reef, this is basically a marine sanctuary. Gorgonians plus different groups of marine species fill every ledge and cavern adorning them with fancy decorations for the tourists who go to dive. There are high chances of sighting dolphins and also exploring a few shipwrecks close by.
MANTA REEF TOFO in MOZAMBIQUE
The manta ray cleaning stations are the reason for the popularity of this dive site. The slope into the water is around 80 feet making it identical to an underwater theatre. From under the water, you can be able to see the mantra rays stopping to be washed by the goldies and the butterfly fish on the numerous cleaning spots. On rare occasions, divers can approach the mantras thus enabling them to look at the animals at a much closer angle compared to other dive site alternatives. The deepest point in this area is around thirty meters with the visibility being about twenty meters. Alternatively, divers may also observe several fish species such as the parrotfish, potato bass, guitar fish, scorpion fish plus the snapper with exception of the cleaning.
SODWANA BAY in SOUTH AFRICA
A vortex that entices large numbers of marine species is said to be formed by the dive site walls. Generally sandstone is the foundation in this area since it is favorable for its shallow drops, low and leveled gullies plus pinnacles. The coral also inhabits fish species that are thousands in numbers which is close to those in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Manta rays, turtles and sharks can also be seen in this site by divers. The area is comprised of numerous dive sites so endeavor to pass by some of them rather than staying glued to one. Check out the dive site called Deep Sponge and be able to view big vase-like structures of sponge as well as soft and hard colored coral which develop like wildflowers in the Coral Gardens. Catch a glimpse of the Arches which is an area filled with different sizes and shapes of ledgers and borders. You can alternatively pass by Simon’s cave in search for the white tipped sharks.
What does it feel like to breathe underwater?
As you take a deep breath in and a deep breathe out, there is a peaceful whisper in the air. You are surrounded by warm water plus bubbles. There is a feeling of tranquility, serenity and harmony. The world below the water is over flows with color, life as well as light. You are in close proximity to the fish although you should not touch plus the corals there are breathtaking. It is phenomenal and lots of fun..
Who can learn to dive?
Pretty much everybody. You must be at least ten years old and no upper age limit. You have to physically be in good condition plus good health; you do not have to be an Olympics athlete.
Do I need to get a medical certificate?
We must ensure your fitness for diving as a starter. On the first page of this medical document, please go through the questions. You will not have any reason to see the doctor if you are able to answer ‘’NO’’ for every question. For any question that you say’ ’YES’’ to, you will have to be seen by the doctor before going for diving. Page 2 is for the doctor to complete. You can either go see your doctor in your home country or your tour operator can assist you in locating a doctor who will be able to cater for your medical requirements. It should not be a necessity for the doctor to have the role of diving specialist.
Is this a dangerous activity?
Of course not! A family fun and secure activity is what scuba diving is. Always pay attention to your instructor says and obey the rules for safety.
Is it possible to run short of air?
Highly unlikely but it is possible. You together with your trainer can simply monitor your supply for air. It is similar to reading your car’s petrol gauge. The scuba dive always ends with about 25% for safety reasons which are extra air for around fifteen dive minutes.
In case I am claustrophobic, what happens?
You will be near your instructor at all times for beginners. In case the claustrophobia feeling begins, make a gesture towards your instructor who will take you hand in hand to the surface. The instructors of offered for your Scuba diving have handled any kind of condition for several students and clients. You shall be directed in the most secure and convenient way underwater depending on your personal confidence levels. Your life is in the safest of hands plus this is your opportunity to conquer any future challenges.
Is there a possibility that my ears will pain while scuba diving?
At times when you are jumping into the swimming pool or taking a flight, you may hurt. This is as a result of the rise in the air pressure that compresses your ears. When taking a dive, this will not be an issue because your trainer will show you an easy technique named equalization to avoid this. This technique can also be used by one when swimming and on flights.
Can I still dive while I am having my menstrual period?
The answer to that is yes. If it is possible for you to go on about your daily activities when having your menstrual period, you can definitely dive too. Do not hesitate to consult with the female staff in case you have any additional questions.
If I wear glasses, is it possible for me to dive under water?
The best alternative is to put on contact lenses that are smooth in case you are diving. Renting a mask from us of scuba diving with lenses that are prescribed is also an alternative way. (It is important to note that our dive masks with prescription lenses are limited in number)
Is the water chilly?
Temperatures here are normally around 80F (20°C) even though it gets colder at times. You will be shielded from the cold since you shall be dressed in some of the wet suits.
Will I be able to dive if I have a seasickness condition?
You will be prohibited from taking any lengthy trips on the boat if the medicine for seasickness is available.
What do we do if it begins raining while we have started taking our scuba dive?
As scuba divers, we are in luck because underwater, it does not rain at all. The divers below are not affected by the rain falling onto the surface so you can dive no problem.
How long is the diving period?
Every dive takes about forty five (45) minutes from the time you step into the water.
Can I communicate with the instructor while I am beneath the water?
Of course can. Some of the top things you need to learn as a starter is the way underwater signals are made before you begin diving.