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Scuba Diving in Mozambique | Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelagos

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Diving in Mozambique

mozambique , qiurimbas and bazaruto archipelagosWracked by decades of civil war, Mozambique was once a forgotten destination in world diving. The end of the conflict in 1992 prompted the gradual return of divers, and revealed the riches that lie in the blue waters off one of Africa’s wildest coastlines.  Scuba Diving in  Mozambique one day will be as famous as diving in Thailand.

Nurturing seas
The fast-moving waters of the Agulhas Current, which passes through the gap between the east coast of Mozambique and the island of Madagascar, are the source of much of Mozambique’s great marine diversity. The reefs in this region are teeming with life, and although the entire coastline has dive sites of merit, there are certain regions that stand out, including Inhaca Island, Ponta do Ouro, the Bazaruto Archipelago, and Cabo San Sebastian.

Far-flung location
Mozambique is by no means an easy dive destination to access. Many of the sites to the south of the country require a sturdy four-wheel drive vehicle to cope with the dirt and sand roads, and the isolated operators and resorts are tucked in behind long stretches of deserted beach. However, Mozambique’s dive sites offer ample reward. The southern region of the country has become well Mozambique known for encounters with huge potato bass and ragged-tooth sharks, whereas farther north, encounters with bull and tiger sharks are a distinct possibility. Humpback whales move through the area in the summer months, and the occasional dugong is sighted in the shallow estuaries along the coast. The Bazaruto Archipelago on Mozambique’s entral coast is an excellent place to see whale sharks, while nearby Vilnaculos is an excellent site to encounter manta rays and dolphins.

Wave-swept wilderness
Mozambique has over 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of coastline, much of it sparsely inhabited. The southern stretches of coast are dominated by sandbars, estuaries, and swamps, while the wilder north is characterized by long beaches and cliffs. The entire coastline is tremendously dramatic and wild, and even the capital Maputo has the famous Inhaca Island—a site famed in the diving world for its large animal encounters—directly offshore.
Dolphins, whale sharks, and manta rays all frequent this site.

Bright future
Mozambique still has a primitive tourist infrastructure, particularly in the northern regions of the country. Malaria is also a significant factor, with most of the country affected at certain times of the year. Nonetheless, Mozambique is making tremendous progress as a tourist destination, with the country’s diving rapidly establishing itself as truly worldclass. Diving here can present challenges for the intrepid traveler, but the isolation and low tourist traffic can be seen as a real advantage in one of Africa’s most
rapidly developing dive destinations.

Scuba Diving in Quirimbas Island

Quirimbas islandsWhen we’re planning our dive trip we always hoping for unforgettable diving experience.  All divers around the world are dreaming to dive in unspoiled ( by humans ) dive sites .  I want to talk about Quirimbas Archipelago (also referred as Querimbas) this archipelago of 27 coral islands is relatively unknown , but it just matter of time as it is becoming the most attractive travel destination in Mozambique. Many of these islands are uninhabited, and Quirimbas accommodation is limited to a handful of luxurious lodges and romantic beach bungalows,  that is why it’s quite easy to locate an empty stretch of beach or virgin reef  and all this just for you.

moray reef_shark triggerfish

Huge diversity of marine wildlife in  these tropical area will amaze even the most experienced divers  in this colorful spot in Indian ocean. Amazing diversity of soft and hard corals can be observed , water temperature almost never drops below 25° by Celsius , thus the condition for diving and snorkeling is excellent almost whole year . Tiny reef fishes and huge game fishes always patrol coral walls . Quite often divers are able to spot big green turtles, reef sharks , leopard moray eels. I’m not even talking about triggerfish , angelfish, potato-brasses which are expected to be seen in each successful dive. But the most joyful part of such travel destination is that there are large number of areas which are unexplored yet and you’ve a good opportunity to discover a new stunning dive site.

Scuba Diving in Bazaruto Archipelago

benguerramainTransparent waters in this area with dark blue signs on them  are markers of existing incredible coral reef ecosystem in the area.  Scuba diving is suitable both for beginners and experienced divers in this area . Most dives are being conducted at range of depth 5m-20m . In warm waters of Indian ocean an abundance of underwater life;  both big and small is expected to be seen.

bazz4 boxfish

What can be expected to be seen

  • Hard and Soft corals
  • Diversity of exotic fishes ( small and big )
  • Giant turtles
  • Groupers and Moray eels
  • Sting rays
  • Black-tail reef sharks at the Potholes
  • Manta rays and Whale sharks  at Cabo San Sebastio (20-40m) – for experienced divers

Scuba Diving in Bazaruto Archipelago

Please note that Padi or NUAI certification is needed to be allowed to conduct a dive , if you’ve no certification there are some centers in where you’ll be able to pass accelerated certification and will be allowed to explore the underwater life of Bazaruto Archipelago.

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  • Filip said:

    Dear all,

    My girlfriend and I – both beginners in scuba diving – will be in surroundings of Pemba and the Quirimbas Archipelago/Islands in August. We would like to take the occassion to dive. It seems that most diving sites are quite difficulty accessible. Are there any PADI centers in the surroundings which organise dive tours and/or where we can rent dive equipment? what would you recommend us?

    Thanks a lot.

  • Diverdude (Author) said:

    Hello Filip ,

    Excellent Choice !! Quirimbas Archipelago is really stunning , and yes there are many Padi dive centers and luxury resorts., So do not worry about renting dive equipment and organizing dive tours. I’ve been in Quilalea Island here , and I was very satisfied , but i must admit it was an expansive 😉

  • Filip said:

    Ok, cool diverdude! baie dankie!

  • Brenda Franck said:

    Hi Flip, Please don’t publish. I do need to be informed, that I can respond. I have very damaging and dishonest comments written by “michealandsal” about myself & Pemba Dive Center. They ignored the briefing, they failed to go down the buoy line, ignored PADI Instructor, then ignored Advanced Diver and ignored myself (Dive Master). Even after a calm post dive briefing: they fail to understand up to now, the dive was cancelled due to lost divers. You’re advice will be appreciated. Thank you

    Re: PADI Registered Centers around the Quirimbas Archipelago are the follows:
    Guludo Lodge, Vamizi Island – Luxury or comfortable accommodation
    and on the edge of the Quirimbas Archipelago Pemba Dive & Bush Camp – comfortable or budget accommodation

  • Suzane said:

    The Bazaruto Archipelago is just perfect for peace, solitude and time to watch the magnificent sunsets.The dive sites are not crowded and spectacular marine life can be seen and even swum with. This protected area is home to whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and whales (Hump Back) as well as the mysterious and rare Dugong.


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