SCUBA Travel Diving GuideSCUBA Diving Africa

SCUBA Diving Destinations: Africa

2 June 2014

Of the top 100 dives in the world, 20% are in Africa with Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania being the best represented. There are 38 countries in Africa which have a coastline. They border the Atlantic Ocean in the West, the Indian Ocean in the East, the Red Sea in the North East and the Mediterranean Sea in the North.

 

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Other SCUBA Diving Destinations

Asia Australia Caribbean Central America Europe The Gulfs Mediterranean North America Pacific Red Sea South America


Diving the Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast Dive Sites | Ivory Coast Dive Operators | Further Reading

Ivory Coast Dive Sites

Elephant wreck
Rating: 4 stars

Acacio wreck
Rating: 3 stars

Bélier
Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

Ivory Coast Dive Operators

GERSMA, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Rating: 4 stars


Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is not the first place you might consider for a SCUBA diving holiday, which guarantees that the dive sites will not be crowded. The country suffered a ten year civil war from 1992 until 2002. In September 2010 the UN Security Council lifted the last remaining sanctions against the Republic, saying that the government had fully re-established control over its territory. Sierra Leone, with its miles of beaches, hopes to emulate Gambia in attracting tourists. There are few health facilities though: make sure you have adequate travel insurance. Current advice for travel to Sierra Leone is on the British Government site. More on Sierra Leone is on the BBC site.

Sierra Leone Dive Operators


Diving Mozambique

Mozambique diving now has it's own section on the site.

Mozambique Dive Sites | Mozambique Dive Operators | Further Reading

Although Mozambique has had economic turmoil, it is an odd mix of first world and third world. If you have the money and the will you can find almost anything in the country. (Money, of course being relative to the fact that most of the population is considered very poor by first world standards. A lot of money in Mozambique is small change in respect to a first world currency). Most dive operations in Mozambique are run by South Africans.

I have dived most of the coast of Mozambique it is fantastic, from Whales and Mantas to leaf fish and harlequin shrimps.
Simon

Diving South Africa

Diving South Africa now has its own section on the site at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/africa/diving-south-africa.html

South Africa Dive Operators

Aliwal Dive Charters. Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

Dive Dimension, 14 Vickers Place, Glenashley, [email protected].
Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

Twelve pounds (GB) a dive. Would definitely dive with them again.
Conrad Smit

Scuba Club. Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

I did my open water one with Scuba Club In Durban, The instructor is very experienced and an excellent dive master. He takes time to show people what is hiding in the nooks and crannies, Which is good 'cos if you are new to the area you aren't sure what to look for. On top of that he is a nutter!! I would definitely be going back. The course cost SAR 1820 Fully inclusive, Even the day after qualifying i never had to pay to hire any equipment from Scuba Club. Definitely a worth while experience!!! .
Shaun Millington

Oceans Alive Diving Lala Manzi Inn, cnr of Moodie and Reynolds Road, Umkomaas. E-mail: [email protected]
Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

These guys are truely professional. All the rental gear is brand new Scubapro equipment, two great boats and the staff is amazing. They made me feel like one of the familily, yet being very professional. Better than the previous operator I dived with at Aliwal Shoal. I Would definately recommend them to anyone who wants to go diving at the Aliwal Shoal. Accommodation was at Lala Manzi hotel. The dive charter is on the same premises so no driving required. Accom is great, food is amazing and the people are great.
Austin, USA, 2006

Immerse Yourself Safaris 49 Fred Street, Kempton Park 1619, Gauteng, East Coast of South Africa. Tel: +27 82 336 8573
Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

They provide a 10 day dive safari with diving at the two main dive areas in South Africa with two nights at a safari lodge. Excellent value for money. They take safety and service beyond any opeator I have ever dived with. I have already booked my next trip! The guides go out of their way to accommodate your every need and then some. There is absolutely nothing we would change or add to the trip. The service, experience, diving, accommodation is worth every penny. It was by far the best holiday we have ever had and we consider ourselves well travelled. We loved the mixture of diving and wildlife safari. Where else in the world can you dive with a whale shark in the morning and watch hippo at lakes edge in the afternoon or horse ride on the beach. The two nights at the game reserve broke up the diving between Sodwana and Aliwal and gave us a chance to see the best of both sea and land animals. Our guides could not have done more to make our stay the best ever and we really hope this review will encourage others to take the trip of a life time .
Laura Munro, UK, 2010

Calypso Dive, Shaka Marine World, Durban.
Rating: 4 stars

Offer everything... Local dives sites, awesome dive trips, shark diving - no cage - WOW (6 Tiger Sharks)!.. Aquarium diving for my kids... So awesome and they're based inside Durban's uShaka Marine World... I couldn't have asked for more. My kids did a discovery course with them inside the aquarium, which was great as i had no worries, especially with my 10 year old. Calypso does all the PADI courses in the aquarium... I would have loved to not have seen the bottom of the swimming pool on my PADI... I remember dead spiders and the odd hair ball... this is far much better.
Jenny Goss

Dive South Africa, 658 Carolina Street, Faerie Glen, Pretoria, South Africa. Tel: (+27) 12 991 3134, Fax (+27) 12 991 5523, E-mail: [email protected].

Flow-In & Social Diving Club Cape Town, 215 Bree Street, Cape Town. Tel: (+27) 21 42 44 691, Fax: (+49) 30 450 88 020 [email protected].
Seals, floating through deep kelp forests, sharks, wrecks, penguins, turtles.

Bottom's up Scuba South Africa. Tel: (+27) 82 493 0102, Fax: (+27) 11 827 7282, [email protected].
Dive training and travel in South Africa.

2KO International Tours [email protected]
for bespoke trip arrangements from the UK.

Oceans Africa Diving Adventures cc No 1 Libra Close, Plettenberg Bay, 6600, South Africa. Tel: +27 (0)73 178 5462, Fax: +27 (0)44 533 2379, E-mail: [email protected]
SCUBA diving and specialist tours in Southern Africa. A collaboration between dive centres, whale watching operators, dive instructors and guides. Specialise in developing custom tours to meet the individual needs of clients.

Aquabud Scuba, Tel: +27 824506635. E-mail: [email protected]
Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

I did my Advanced course with Miguel Nunes, the owner of Aquabud. A true professional, he just made us all so comfortable during the lectures and on the dives. The course was a real value for money. I would recommend anybody to Aquabud, not only the teaching and the coaching in diving, but the friendly manner of their divers. Thank you, Miguel for an awesome time in South Africa. We will be back. Diving in Durban cost as R180 per dive + equipment hire. Aliwal Shoal dive cost R220 + equipment hire. The diving experience was unthinkable, a dream come true. Thank you all the Aquabud buddies you have changed my life.
Phillip Muller, Germany, 2008
The owner of Aquabud Scuba made me at home from the time I met with a huge friendly hug and the divers I dived with they were just as friendly.
Frank Miller, UK, 2008
Aquabud Scuba are charging R220 per dive and R150 for all gear for the day. The service I got from them was excellent. One of my best experiences was with them. They cater for all types of dives and they make you feel welcome at all times. They don't just give you a great dive, but the fun you have with them is priceless. Once again thank you for the great fun I had with you guys at Aquabud Scuba and may your business be Prosperous, just keep up the good work and your professionalism. I'll be back.
Melissa Alves, Brasil, 2008

Amoray Diving, Mseni Lodge, Sodwana Bay National Park, Sodwana Bay, Zululand, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Tel: +27 (0)35-5710284, Fax: +27 (0)35-5710251. E-mail: [email protected]
Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

Amoray Diving, run by Colin. Great setup on the beach - one of two 'permanent' structures. More personal than the big 'sausage factory' outfits. Good crew, friendly staff and Colin's incredible knowledge, make this a must for divers who want to feel part of a family. Cost of dives vary - depending on which reef you are going to. Normally in the R200 to R280 range.
Cheryl Middleton, USA, 2008

Coral Divers, Sodwana Bay, Zululand, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Rating: 1 star 1 star 1 star

Coral Divers is a resort and dive charter in Sodwana Bay. The staff have no clue about customer service but the diving was good.
Tana Torro, Brazil, 2008
Very professional and safety focused dive operator. May well trained DMs from their PADI CDC program. Their boat captains are incredibly good at what they do - important for getting out past the break. I do not want one person's bad experience (obviously something of value lost) to give a false impression of this fantastic place. I have dived in several places in Africa and Asia, and Coral Divers are among the most professional operators I have used. The monkeys come with living in a national park. Don't feed them and they won't bother you.
Darrell Lizamore, 2008

Blueray Adventures, Tel: 083 460 6999, Fax: 086 657 8585, E-mail: [email protected]
Diving safaris in South Africa and Mozambique.

South Africa Accommodation

Coral Divers, Sodwana Bay, Zululand, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Rating: 1 star 1 star 1 star

accommodation at Coral Divers. The theft is out of control, if it's not the locals it's the monkeys. When approched management the answer was that they know about it. Please for your own good stay elsewhere in Sodwana. I'll never stay there if I go back on holiday. I would advise other to to the same, until they are prepared to erradicate the theft. The worse place that I've stayed, but the diving was good.
Tana Torro, Brazil, 2008
I do not want one person's bad experience (obviously something of value lost) to give a false impression of this fantastic place. I have dived and stayed with Coral Divers on several occasions, including my PADI Open Water course. Each time I have been we have been treated very well. Booking and payments have been arranged promptly and without hassle. We have at times used the self-catering option, and the resort will prepare a fire for you to cook on, as well as washing up and cleaning. Very luxurious for self-catering. Will continue to keep coming back. Nice wooden deck with swimming pool. Food good but not the cheapest, Accommodation is good value for money. Set in a beautiful forest. I have dived in several places in Africa and Asia, and Coral Divers are among the most professional operators I have used. The monkeys come with living in a national park. Don't feed them and they won't bother you.
Darrell Lizamore, 2008

Further Reading

South Africa (Footprint Travel Guide)


Diving Tanzania

Tanzania now has its own page - click here for more on diving in Zanzibar and Mafia Island, Tanzania.


Diving Eritrea

Eritrea Dive Sites

Massawa

Lots of fish but also lots of plankton in the water. The main trouble is that you must be accompanied by a Dept. of Marine Affairs (or something like that) guide. They only have a limited number of boats and people make reservations far in advance. We just showed up and were only able to get a guide with a small boat to take us for a couple of 1/2 day trips. The good news is that the equipment they provide is in excellent condition and hassle-free. Plus the locals are super nice, and the local fish fare is terrific.
Gary Lachman.

Dahlak Islands

I finally made it to the Dahlak Islands in the Red Sea off the coast of Eritrea. Outstanding visibility, crowded with fish and bold coral formqtions, and NO PEOPLE! Plus, unlike those in the Caribbean, you can eat the barracuda and they are delicious! This time, I did have some mechanical difficulties with the equipment (faulty regulator) but fortunately the guide had brought along an extra one - no harm, no foul, just a little seawater down the gullet.
Gary Lachman

Further Reading

Lonely Planet: Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti


Diving Sudan

Sudan Dive Sites

Sha'ab Rumi South, Sudan
Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

A narrow plateau starting at 20 Metres stretches out for 50-75 m then drops off at 40 m. It drops to 600 m on all sides. Lots of grey reef sharks, hammerheads are usually there, silvertips and sometimes silky sharks. I have had several manta encounters and the coral as well as the fish life is extraordinary with schools of barracuda and trevally.
Christian Karlsson
Best place for hammerheads in the red sea. During one dive I had almost 50 in front of me. There are also lots of grey and whitetip reef sharks and thousand of barracudas at very close range. Best season for hammerheads is from November till April.
Vladimir Guberinic
The best dive place on the planet. Great visibility (20-30 m), great corals, scalloped hammerheads (once even more than 60! in a group), grey reef sharks, white tip reef sharks, napoleon fish, groups of bumphead parrot fish, etc. on the plateau also sits Jacques Cousteau's shark observation cage. Amazing dive site!!!
Miha, 2007
Fantastic preserved coral reef drops onto a flat outcrop around 23 m - there is a Grey Reef Shark cleaning Station - you can lie in the sand and watch them. The reef then slopes to the depths - 700m+. Schooling Hammerheads. If you want to be surrounded with at least 3 species of shark this is the place - the coral itself is world class on its own - great dive.
Richard Rigby, 2007
Umbria Bow

Wreck of the Umbria, Sudan

On the first dive this huge shipwreck swept away the memories of Thistlegorm and the other Red Sea wrecks. It's a spooky castle covered by corals loaded with 36000 aircraft bombs, cars, wine bottles and so on. The site is visited by mata rays, whale sharks and, at night, tiger sharks. You'll probably be alone on the wreck due to the small numbers of divers visiting the country.
Cristian Magnani
My absolutely favourite wreck. In my opinion it's much better than Thistlegorm. It's because there are just 10-12 liveaboards in Sudan and if you are diving here you can be sure that you'll be alone. As there are not so many divers the ship wreck is in much better condition
Martins, Latvia, 2007

See also: Umbria Photo Gallery.

Umbria Cars Umbria Capstan Umbria Bombs Umbria Prop

Sudan Dive Operators

Don Questo live-aboard, Via Borodin, 19, 56122 Pisa. Tel: 333 64 33 254. E-mail: [email protected]
Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

Don questo is a live-aboard which is the only way to discover the Sudan red sea. All dive sites were actually amazing! The boat is a bit old but has a recompression chamber on board. Staff are very nice and helpful. Food excellent. Sudan is the best diving, and I have been in Australia - Osprey reef, Belize - blue hole, New Zealand - Poor Knights Islands, etc.) Don't go there as mass diving tourism will spoil one of the last remaining paradises on earth!
Miha, 2007

MSY Elegante, Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

Emperor Divers
Tony Backhurst


Diving Egypt

See also Dahab, Elphinstone, The Brothers, Northern Wrecks, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada and the rest of our Red Sea section.

Egypt Dive Sites

Mangrove Bay

300 km south of Hurghada. Shore diving and day boats. The rare Dugong live here and in calm weather you can go to Elphinstone on a day trip. It's run by Ducks Diving Centre in Hurghada.
Matthew Moore

Taba

I recently did a boat dive from Taba on the Red Sea. I had done a lot of snorkelling there in the past but scuba was reserved for the better reefs of Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh. It was a pleasant surprise to find some great diving so close to Taba and in quite pristine conditions. There are some newly opened sites which are accessible only by boat and offer some beautiful and untouched coral. The fish life is not as rich as further south but we saw morays, lots of lionfish, wrasse, and octopus, etc.
We dove with Aqua-Sport who have their own boat at the Taba Hilton. Highly recommended.

Howard Clayman

Samadai
Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

The Dolphine House National Park, where a school of spinner dolphins set up home. Nice drift dive and cave dive.
Celine Montefusco, 2007

Marsa Abu Dabab
Rating: 45 stars

A Bay with Northern and Southern Reef covered with nice coral gardens. The middle is a grass bottom where a DUGONG often comes to eat.
Celine Montefusco, 2007

Soma Bay

Our 10 days in Soma Bay was just wonderful. It's just north of Safaga, about 45 km south of Hurghada. It's on a little peninsular, and at the moment there's hardly anything else there. Given the usual Egyptian approach to these things however, I guess it will be looking like Sharm el Sheikh 10 years from now. There are so few divers and the hard corals are still in great condition. Deepest dive I did was 38 m
Matthew Moore

Egypt Dive Operators

Alex Dive El Almein
Alex Dive El Almein is located inside 5 Stars resort Almaza bay, Alexandria.

ALEXANDRA DIVE CENTRE
ALEXANDRA DIVE CENTRE is located on the Eastern harbor of Alexandria next to Tikka Grill restaurant.

See also Red Sea Section.

Further Reading

See our Red Sea Section.


Diving Tunisia

Find a hotel in Tunisia.

Tell us about your diving experiences in Tunisia...

Mahdia

Mahdia is a touristic town which was the capital of the Fatimide society from the year 905 to 956. About 10 minutes away by boat there are many wrecks from the second world war in 38 and 45 meters. To dive these wrecks contact the Subway Diving School in Mahdia.
Aymen

Port el Kantaoui

First open water dive - experience included plenty of marine life and a little 'cave' diving
Neil, 2010

Tunisia Dive Operators

Please tell us about Tunisian dive centres you have used. Fill in the form at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/recommend.html.

Subway Diving School, Cap d'Afrique, Mahdia, Tunisia. Tel: (+216) 8 556 542.
OdySea, Hotel Le Sultan, Route Touristique Nord, 8050 Hammamet, Tunisia. Tel: (+216) 72 280 588, Fax: (+216) 72 280 373, E-mail: [email protected]
SCUBA Dive Centre, Port Hergla, BP 16 4012 Hergla, Tunisia. Tel: 3 251 387, Fax: 3 251 388, E-mail: [email protected].
Delphinius Diving, 24 Rue Mustapha Kh'Rayief, Ezzahra, 4002 Sousse, Tunisia. Tel: (+216) 9852 0734, Fax: (+216) 7323 5299, E-mail: [email protected]
Alyssa Diving Centre, Hotel Kuriat Palace, 5000 Monastir, Tunisia.

Kantaoui Diving, Port El Kantaoui, Tunisia. E-mail: [email protected]
Rating: 4 stars

"I had an introductory dive session and first open water with this dive school. I found them to be very professional, attentive to the needs of thier clients and had a good command of English. My instructor (Waleed) was excellent and gave me total confidence in his abilities (and mine!) which is obviously important for a first dive. Excellent value for money: two dives and one to one tuition for less than 50.00. Can't wait to go again. "
Neil, 2010
Look out for Port El Kantaoui. I've found it to be up and coming. Ask for dive master Hechem. He's one of the better ones. I have dived with this centre 3 times and have booked for 2008. It has its quirks but its getting better. It's due for a PADI assessment in 2008 for centre qualification. I would recommend you take your own regs with you but that's about all. The price for a dive is 25 dinar (14.00). Well worth it for 1 dive. It has some good dive locations for beginners and some for the more experienced. Remember to ask for Hechem when you book your dive.
Steven Murray, 2007

S.A.A.M. Diving Center, Thalassa Hotel, Monastir, Tunisia. Tel: (+216) 73 521 544, Fax: (+216) 73 212 510, E-mail: [email protected]

The best diving is at SAAM dive centre. I have dived in Tunisia many times and this is by far the most professional
Mick, 2007
Have dived with Hosnia and team about 8 times very professional and friendly.
Roger Lanning, 2008


Diving Malawi

Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi in East Africa, is excellent for both experienced and novice divers with NAUI open water courses for about $120 US with Aqua Africa in Nkata Bay, combine this with 75% of the worlds tropical fish, amazing swim throughs, crocs and hippos and you've got one hell of a dive site.
Adam Henderson

Malawi Dive Operators

Please tell us about Malawi dives and dive centres. Fill in the form at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/recommend.html.

Likoma Island Divers, Likoma Island, Po Box 79, Lake Malawi, Tel: 00265 999 746 122. E-mail: [email protected]
Open all year.


Diving Kenya

Kenya has been promoted to its own page at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/africa/kenya.html. Please go there for updated information.


Diving Mauritius

Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. There is diving all year round but December to March is said to be the best time to go.

We have some very nice dive sites over here: caves, wrecks, and island dives, as well as shark dives.
Cedric Fayolle, Ocean Spirit

Mauritius Dive Sites

Wreck of the Stella Maru, North West Mauritius

The Stella Maru, the Japanese fishing boat, is lying on the sand just in front of the corals and reef, at 25 m max. It has been there for about 15 years with very good life.
Iqbal Yacoob, Madelenadivers, Mauritius

Coral Garden, North West Mauritius

12-18 m. Full of coral with very good fish.
Iqbal Yacoob, Madelenadivers, Mauritius

Emilly and water lilly, North West Mauritius

Two barges with very much fish colour and feel great to be there at 25mts max. Do not forget to take your camera if you do not have one as a great dive!
Iqbal Yacoob, Madelenadivers, Mauritius

Passe St Jacques, Le Morne, Mauritius
Rating: 4 stars

Brilliant dive. Saw Jenkins Rays, Eagles rays, Huge Travelly and huge Vara Vara and an octopus. Overall plenty of fish. Big and small. All the guys who worked there were brilliant.
Martin, UK, 2010

White Tip, Le Morne, Mauritius
Rating: 4 stars

Sharks - 2 Big ones. Excellent Viz.
Martin, UK, 2010

Cathedral

Cave dive, lots of small colourful fish, crayfish, mollusks
Pierre, 2010

Mauritius Dive Operators

Ocean Spirit Royal Road, Pereybere, Mauritius Island. Tel: 230 766 31 68, Fax: 230 282 08 99, E-mail: [email protected]
We are a little dive center in the north of the Island, small and friendly to change a bit from the big Industries.

Madelenadivers Mauritius Island. E-mail: [email protected]

Exploration Sous-Marine LTEE Villas Caroline Hotel, Flic-en-flac, Mauritius Island. E-mail: [email protected]

Madelenadivers Mauritius Island. E-mail: [email protected]

Dive Sail Diving E-mail: [email protected].
"Situated North, East and West of Mauritius and offers a scuba diving passport which allows you to discover the island at a package price. The drift diving on the east coast pass is highly recomended with diving around the gunners coin island from the LUX*Grand Gaube Hotel as well as the artifical wreks and coral reefs from the Oberoi hotel."
Stephane

Indian Resort South West Coast, Mauritius Island.
Rating: 4 stars

Emperator Dive Centre Cap Malhereux, North side of Mauritius Island.
Rating: 4 stars

"Did several dives with Emperator Dive Centre in Cap Malhereux on the North side of the island. Professional and a fantastic centre to dive with. Lots of 25 - 32m dives off Coin de Mire Island with a wonderful variety of sea life."
Vanessa Ryan, 2011

Further Reading

Mauritius (Globetrotter Travel Guides)
Coral Reef Fishes: Indo-Pacific and Caribbean
A Diver's Guide to Reef Life


Cape Verde

You can dive all year round in Cape Verde. Temperatures range from around 27 oC in Summer to 19 oC in Winter. For winter months you will need a 7 mm wetsuit, a 5mm one in summer.

Burakona, Sal Island

Volcanic place full of caves. Nice sea life.
Fernando Marin

Cape Verde Dive Operators

Orca Dive Club, Hotel Sab Sab, Cabo Verde, [email protected].
CaboVerdeDiving, Praia Santa Maria 4111 Ilha do Sal, Cabo Verde, [email protected]
Pro Atlantic, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal, Cabo Verde, [email protected]


Your Comments

We endeavour to keep this site as informative and current as possible. If you would like to recommend, or warn about, a particular dive or diving location we'd love to hear from you. Want to ask a question? Why not do so at our Diving Board.

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Books of the World's Best SCUBA Diving

Fifty Places to Dive Before You Die
Chris Santella, 2008, 224 pages, Hardback
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Diving the World
Beth and Shaun Tierney, Footprint Travel Guides, 2014, 352 pages, Paperback
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Ultimate Diving Adventures: 100 Extraordinary Experiences Under Water
by Len Deeley and Karen Gargani, John Wiley & Sons, 2009, 218 pages, Paperback
Details some of the best dive sites around the world, with some lovely photographs. The authors have included many of the dives listed in our top 10 list.
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