The Indian Ocean off Africa’s coast offers big thrills to snorkellers and scuba divers, with its incredible variety of marine life that includes whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, hundreds of species of colourful fish, and tropical coral reefs! We recommend the following destinations for the best diving and snorkelling opportunities…
Mauritius: boasting the third largest barrier reef in the world, below the surface Mauritius holds an abundance of treasures awaiting discovery! With reefs and wrecks aplenty, the island provides a staggering diversity of marine life and dive experiences. Boasting warm tropical waters and stunning clarity, this is the perfect place to enter a magical underwater world!
Tanzania: a land of extremes – and most importantly for scuba divers, it is enclosed on all sides by water: the Indian Ocean to the east and the Great Rift Valley lakes of Africa (Victoria, Tanganyika, and Malawi) to the north-west, west, and south-west. Shore diving, boat diving, live aboard opportunities, lake diving… these activities allow all levels of divers to get involved!
Pemba Island is Tanzania’s northernmost Indian Ocean island. With colourful reefs surrounded by an amazing cast of fish, this remote coral sea atoll consists of a few fabulous individual dive sites. North Horn is renowned for its sharks – whitetips, grey whales, silvertips, and the occasional hammerhead!
Mnemba Atoll in Zanzibar has an atoll system teeming with fish! It offers drift and wall diving with excellent visibility.
Leven Bank located off the northern tip of Zanzibar, this location is for the more advanced divers who are seeking a unique experience in the wide-open ocean! This area is populated by big game fish, tuna and barracuda.
Mafia Island's stunning reefs that are universally acclaimed! This is an excellent diving destination, where some of the richest reefs in the world provide an exceptional variety of corals and a large diversity of tropical fish.
Mozambique: has a wealth of natural attractions, not least its long stretches of unspoilt Indian Ocean coastline with warm crystal-clear waters. With sea temperatures not falling beneath 21 Celsius, this is a year-round destination with an abundance of marine life and unspoilt coral reefs! Perfect spots for diving are found off the palm-fringed beaches of the northern Quirimbas Archipelago with its 250km stretch of coral islands, as well as off the southern islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago with its reefs that protect some rare marine life. There is also Ponta do Ouro, where you could see a large number of sharks and the rare dugong. Mozambique offers an astounding variety of marine life, from whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, to barracuda, mantas, devil rays, kingfish, giant lobsters, dolphins, and over 6,000 species of fish! All levels of divers are welcome and a range of PADI courses is available, making Mozambique one of the finest diving destinations in the world.
Seychelles: the turquoise warm waters of the Indian Ocean that surround the Seychelles islands are teeming with colourful fish, spectacular coral reefs, and all sorts of wrecks, walls, and drop-offs. With dive sites ranging in depth from 8m to 30m, there are excellent options for both beginners and experienced divers. Around the inner reefs, marine life you can expect to see includes angelfish, butterflyfish, octopus, lionfish, nudibranchs, and mantis shrimp. Slightly farther out, it may be possible to see Napoleon and humphead wrasses, schools of humphead parrotfish, stingrays, reef sharks, and green and hawksbill turtles!