Whether you want to dive sharks and wrecks on rugged wild coasts, or simply relax with whales and dolphins and enjoy pristine coral reefs and abundant wildlife, Africa has all that and more to offer.
Some of the most recommended diving areas: dive Sharm el Sheikh (dive in Egypt), dive Sudan, dive Zanzibar (dive in Tanzania), dive Seychelles, dive Madagascar, dive Mauritius, dive Mozambique, dive South Africa, and dive Cape Verde.
The best time to dive East Africa, is from September to March. February is the best time for whale sharks.
Diving Sharm el Sheikh is the hotspot of diving in Egypt. The Sinai has become in only a few years one of the most popular destinations for scuba divers from all over the world and is home to many of the world's most popular dive sites. With no rivers or coral bleaching, and little pollution, there is fantastic underwater visibility and abundant coral growth. With over 1200 marine species, many that are found nowhere else, fantastic wrecks such as the SS Thistlegorm, Ghiannis D and the Dunravenand world renowned sites - such as the Ras Mohammed Marine Park, and the Strait of Tiran with its sharks -Sharm el-Sheikh is arguably one of the best dive destinations in the world.
Diving in Sudan is famous for encounters with pelagic. 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 in big schools, silvertips and sometimes silky sharks. It's easy to have manta encounters and the coral as well as the fish life is extraordinary with schools of barracuda and trevally. Visibility is excellent: 20-30m).
Sudan has also amazing wrecks, like the Wreck of the Umbria: 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.
Zanzibar, in Tanzania is reputed to have some of the best diving in the world, and the coral reef structures that surround Unguja and Pemba ensure that the marine life is abundant. Good visibility (20 - 60 metres) and a year-round average water temperature of 27°c ensure that you enjoy your Zanzibar diving experience.
Diving in Zanzibar is an adventure! Enjoy exciting wall dives, night dives and drift dives. In deeper waters, lush coral gardens often stretch as far as the eye can see, and large gamefish (barracuda, kingfish, tuna and wahoo) hunt together with large Napoleonic wrasse, graceful manta rays and sharks. Shallower waters are the playground of tropical fish, including a huge variety of Indo-Pacific marine fauna.
Seychelles diving, with 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean between 4° and 10° south of the Equator, offers diverse and impressive diving opportunities. The Inner Islands, remains of a submerged mountain range, rest on a shallow plateau with prolific marine life. The Outer Islands to the south of the archipelago are all coralline or sand cays and mainly uninhabited, presenting the experienced diver with excellent opportunities to explore where few have gone before.
The late Jacques Cousteau described the waters of Madagascar as the world's most beautiful diving area. When the underwater panorama of diving in Madagascar opens before your eyes, it will truly leave you breathless... which is an unfortunate cliché to use, seeing as you'll be scuba diving or snorkelling at the time! The reef dives range from shallow dives to wall dives. The coral is in pristine condition, as they can only be reached by yacht or large vessels, and it's so large that many sights have yet to be discovered.
Madagascar has recently started to attract the interest of diving. The most popular and beautiful group of islands in the Malagasy republic lie in the Northern tip of the country, namely Nosy Be, which offer fantastic diving where the fish life, coral and snow white beaches are in pristine condition and relatively untouched.
Mauritius Island diving is calified as „Almost as nice as the Maldives“, understandable! it is in fact great to dive in waters warmer than 30° C, choosing among a huge variety of diving-sites and having the great opportunity to meet here and there a hungry shark. The continuous stretch of coral reefs around the island has not only blessed Mauritius diving with beautiful beaches but also offers great diving sites. Diving amongst our tropical fishes may be comparable to diving in an open aquarium.
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.
The underwater world when diving in Mozambique is fantastic, the diving possibilities are almost limitless. There is a beautiful, calm, incredibly bright lagoon. Coral reefs abound within 300 m to 3000+ metres of the shore in all directions. The weather is irrationally gorgeous and visibility is virtually unlimited even at 30 m. Tropical, aquatic life abounds including Whales and Mantas, sharks (even great whites), leaf fish and harlequin shrimps, crocodile fish, etc. The coral is spectacular and varied with many arches and tunnels and caves for those who like to play. As if that wasn't enough, it is probably some of the cheapest diving in the world.
South-Africa diving is considered to have probably the most beautiful sub-tropical reefs on the planet. From 1/4 mile, to 2 mile, 5 mile, 7 mile and 9 mile reefs. Nudibranchs, thousands of reef fish, turtles, rays, mantas, whale sharks, tiger sharks, white sharks, etc. The variety is stupendous. The beaches are endless and the location is African, what else could you wish?
In Aliwal Shoal the Cathedral Rock is an impressive dive, with 30 Ragged Tooth Sharks all swimming in and out the natural rock auditorium. The Shoal has lots soft coral, large schools of pelagics and great macro diving. Swim throughs, caves and crevices give the dive sites character and are great fun to explore.
After three decades of independence, the West African archipelago of Cape Verde is reviving as a relatively new tourist and dive destination in the mid-Atlantic. Its location - some 375 miles off the west coast of Africa - means that this rocky, volcanic archipelago, which consists of ten islands and several islets, has a very African atmosphere in contrast to the Canary Islands, 600 miles to the north.
When diving in Cape Verde, the tourism concentrates in the island of Sal, since it is the most developed island and offers arguably the best diving. In the area of Santa Maria, there is a great variety of reef, cave and wreck dives just a short boat journey from the pier. You won't find any reef-building corals here, but the underwater topography is interesting nonetheless. Most of the caves and overhangs are smothered with beautiful bright yellow polyps and surrounded by a surprising amount of fish.
It is possible to dive all year round in Cape Verde, with temperatures of 26°C in summer and 18°C in winter. A 5mm wetsuit would be ideal for the summer months, whereas during winter, you will need a good 7mm wetsuit or semi-dry with hood and gloves, or even a drysuit. Also, the winter tends to be windy, so something to protect from wind chill on the boat would not go amiss.