Mozambique is a scenic country located in Western Africa. Rich in natural resources and with an inviting tropical climate, the country has great potential for becoming an important travel destination for those looking to escape urban centers in search of nature. Mozambique offers a number of attractions, yet few truly know the potential it holds when it comes to scuba diving.
Mozambique sits on a strait, which means pelagic encounters are very common. From different species of large pelagic animals such as sharks and manta rays to sea turtles and barracudas, the waters surrounding the country have plenty to offer when it comes to marine life. Besides the abundant variety of marine life, Mozambique is also the perfect place to see unspoiled coral reefs.
Diver and sea turtle in Ponta do Ouro. Photo by Derek Keats
Scuba diving in Mozambique is possible throughout the year, but the weather may sometimes pose a few impediments. The dry season usually starts in May and ends in October and it is considered the best time to dive here, as you’ll experience the best visibility. The rainy season runs November through April and while the water is warm, the diving conditions may not be as great due to rain and wind.
The water temperature in Mozambique is pleasant throughout the year, ranging from 24° C/75° F in August to about 28° C/83° C during the first months of the year.
Each dive site has different diving conditions, so you may experience mild to strong currents depending on where you travel within the country.
The water visibility in Mozambique is typically very good, ranging from 18 meters/59 feet during the rainy season to over 40 meters/131 feet during the dry season.
Scuba diving off Tofo and Inhambane, two destinations located just 30 km/18 miles apart, is a real treat as you’ll get to see plenty of marine megafauna. The plankton-rich waters of the region attract species such as humpback whales, whale sharks, white-tip sharks, black-tip sharks, hammerhead sharks, leopard sharks, and manta rays. Some of the best dive sites include Manta Reef and Giants’ Castle. The diving conditions are good year-round, but the visibility is usually only 10-15 meters (33-49 feet) because of the plankton. The outer reefs experience strong currents and choppy seas, which is why they’re recommended to experienced divers.
Smalleye Stingray off Inhambane. Photo by Jay.corriveau
Ponta do Ouro is a small coastal town popular mostly for bull and hammerhead shark encounters, but humpback whales and whale sharks can also be spotted in season. With over 20 dive sites to explore along the reefs, there’s something for everyone here. All spots are home to bio-diverse marine life that along with different species of sharks also includes sea turtles, dolphins, manta rays, and eagle rays. Plus, visibility is one of the best in Mozambique, ranging from 30 to 40 meters (98-131 feet).
Pemba Bay is rich in sea life and pristine coral reefs featuring a variety of hard and soft corals. Divers can encounter a wide variety of species of tropical reef fish, different species of dolphins, and whales (August to October). If you’re lucky, you may even spot an ocean sunfish here. The average visibility in Pemba is around 15 meters/49 feet and one may encounter strong current at some of the dive sites.