Safari And Diving Tour : Africa’s Best Diving Spots To Combine With A Safari : While safari vacations and amazing wildlife encounters on land are perhaps what Africa is best known for, the oceans nearby its shores offer equally amazing opportunities. We’ve compiled a list of Africa’s top diving locations, as well as some of the lodges that provide totally immersive marine experiences, so you can find Nemo or learn from an octopus. While novices can safely learn to dive in warm, clear water, experienced divers will enjoy discovering entirely new species and underwater landscapes.
Manta Resort, Tanzania
Pemba Island, which is to the north of Zanzibar, is less well-known than its bigger neighbor unless you enjoy diving. Then you probably already know about Pemba’s reputation for having some of the most pristine coral reefs in the Indian Ocean, which are teeming with vibrant, active fish and invertebrate life. With more than a dozen dive sites to choose from, Manta Resort offers a barefoot luxury option that matches the abundance of the marine life below. You can choose between coral gardens and blue-water drop-offs. The resort has a five-star PADI diving school and an incredible underwater guest room where you can genuinely sleep with fish.
The Seychelles are made up of a variety of islands that are dispersed across a sizable portion of the Indian Ocean. While they all have unique personalities, they all share one thing in common: they all appear exactly as you would expect a tropical island to, and reality never lets you down. Reef diving in the Seychelles is particularly rewarding and enjoyable because the waters off the islands are among the clearest in the world. In fact, a few opulent lodges have ‘house reefs’ that are reachable right from the beach. Even those who don’t dive can snorkel at some of them because they are so close. Since the Seychelles are rightfully well-known as a honeymoon destination, these islands are the ideal place to celebrate if you’ve recently tied the knot. It’s difficult to pick a favorite island—it’s like being asked which of your children you love best—but we especially cherished the tranquility and laid-back vibe of the far-flung Alphonse Island Resort.
Lake Malawi, Malawi
Among the dive sites on our list, Lake Malawi is exceptional because it isn’t at all salty. One of the networks of freshwater Rift Valley Lakes that stretch the entire length of Africa, Lake Malawi is home to rare cichlid fish species that are exclusive to Lake Malawi. Divers find this place particularly fascinating because of the colorful appearance and unusual mating habits of the local inhabitants. Lake Malawi is referred to as the “lake of stars” because, at night, when local fishermen use lamps to lure their prey, the water’s reflections of the African sky above serve as a mirror. While the lakeshore has a more bohemian atmosphere, we suggest staying at either Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island or Mumbo Island, which is located further to the south.
Mnemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania
This stunning resort, which is close to Zanzibar, offers the ideal contrast to the charming bustle of the main island. You can happily pass the time strolling on the beach, watching the sunset on a traditional dhow cruise, or taking advantage of massage and spa services. Azure waters and curves of white sand create the desert island vibe your soul has been craving. There is also the underwater world, where the warm waters of the Mnemba Atoll are home to numerous dolphins and, during certain seasons, turtles (which breed on the island’s beaches).
Benguerra Island, Mozambique
Mozambique’s marine jewel is the lovely Benguerra Atoll in the Bazaruto Archipelago; in fact, the region has been designated a National Park due to the abundance of its marine life. There are abundant shoals of fish in the delectably warm waters off Africa’s East Coast, and whale shark migration is known to pass through this region occasionally throughout the year. Everything else you will see is dwarfed by these gentle giants, but the smaller species are just as fascinating. You’ll also have a lot of options for luxurious lodging. For a truly authentic feel, Azura Benguerra was hand-built by local artisans from organic materials, while Benguerra Island Lodge has a fully functional PADI dive center and a beachside bar constructed from a former dhow.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
You can be sure that you will receive a warm welcome along this section of South Africa’s coastline because “Port Elizabeth” is also known as the “friendly city.” Two factors put Port Elizabeth firmly on the map of marine wildlife. First, just offshore is what humpback whales use as a whale freeway when migrating during the southern hemisphere winter. This region is the center of the annual Sardine Run, which takes place in April and May and is a remarkable natural phenomenon in which enormous shoals of sardines congregate to feed in the nutrient-rich waters. Sardine-like in their close quarters, they draw the attention of every kind of predator imaginable, including sharks, dolphin schools, and ravenous whales, while seabirds dive in from above to snag a snack. Local dive operators with experience can get you close to the action for incredible experiences.
Cape Town, South Africa.
The waters off Cape Town, including False Bay, are some of the most incredible dive sites in the world because two oceans—one warm and one cold—meet at the Cape of Good Hope. You may have seen the amazing giant kelp forests on screen in the Oscar-winning Netflix film “My Octopus Teacher,” but in person, they are much more impressive. The octopus, their striped adversary, the pyjama shark, and countless other species all call these towering fronds of seaweed home. You can also explore fascinating tidal pools from mid-October to mid-February, which is considered the summer season. The Western Cape’s top-notch eateries and wineries are the perfect places to celebrate your underwater discoveries after a day of diving.
Do you want to take in these magnificent views? To plan your upcoming adventure, get in touch with our Africa travel specialists.