This article is intended to provide the already qualified Scuba diver with information which will help to plan dives in the waters of Mozambique, whether as a local resident or a visitor. Information is provided without prejudice, and is not guaranteed accurate or complete. Use it at your own risk.
Mozambique has a tropical climate with two seasons, a wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September. Rainfall is heavy along the coast and decreases in the north and south. Cyclones are common during the wet season.
The sea temperature is tropical. Water temperatures range from 29˚C in summer to 22˚C in winter, and will seldom be below 24˚C. Diving is year round. People from cooler climates may find winter more comfortable, and there are fewer mosquitos as this is the dry season.
Visibility can range from 8-40 m, depending on the amount of plankton in the water.
The marine ecology of Mozambique is classified as Tropical Indo-Pacific, which is the most diverse marine ecology known. Obviously not all species from this bioregion will be found in all parts of it, but this is an indication of the diversity which can be expected here. A wide range of reef building corals, and also other coral types can be found here, along with a diverse invertebrate fauna sharing the shelter and habitat provided by the corals. Fish are also represented by a large diversity of species, many of which are particularly colourful.
Humpback whales can be spotted during their migration from June until November.
Whale sharks are present all year round and in abundance between November and March. These gentle
giants can reach up to 12m in length and weigh up to 20tonnes.
A small bay just south of Inhambane on a long stretch of sandy coastline. The reefs are sedimentary rock with a covering of hard and soft corals and other invertebrates. Marine life is Indo-Pacific. The bay is more know as Guinjata Bay, however the correct name for this area is Praia de Jangamo.
About half way between Inhambane to the south and Vilanculos to the north.
About one and a half hours from Inhambane by road, and six hours from Maputo.
Depth range 6 to 40m.
Water temperatures about 24°C in winter to 29°C in summer.
Humpback whales visit from June tyo October.
Dive sites include:
Sylvia shoal — about 12km north of Ponta Morrungulo. The shoal is about 14km long, rising from bottom at about 22m to around 10m on top, with a shallow point at 8m. The reef is home to a large variety of nudibranchs, turtles, mantas, rays, eels and sharks
Aladdin's Palace — In the middle of Sylvia shoal. The reef is about 35m wide, on a sand bottom. There is a cleaning station on the seawrd side of the reef which is frequently visited by mantas. The reef includestable corals and large crevices, in which large rock lobster can be seen. Moray eels also lurk in the cracks, and schools of barracuda and kingfish are often seen above the reef. Residents include grouper, potato bass, and turtles. Eagle rays, devil rays and white tip sharks are also to be seen.
Distance to site: 14.5km, Maximum depth: 26m on the seaward side, Top of the reef: 9m, Average depth:16m, Skill level: Basic
Tokyo Drift — Clear water in the Mozambique current. Reef with hard and soft corals and a wide variety of reef fish species. Also eagle rays, devil rays, and mantas may be seen, and possibly a shark or two. Hammerheads,Tiger sharks, Bull sharks and Oceanic black tip sharks have been spotted here.
Distance to site: 16km, Maximum depth: 40m, Average depth: 28m, Skill level: Advanced
New Year reef — A 9km long reef system south of Sylvia shoal.
Sherwoods Bookshelf — About 1km east of the New Years reef system. It has a 300m long rocky fault line. There are massive green tree corals large numbers of reef fish. On the outside of the shoals of reef fish there are often large game fish.
Maximum depth 32m
King Deep — The site is named after the South African underwater photographer, Dennis King, because this is the furthest north that the Tiger Angel Fish, which he identified, has been recorded. On the reef there are forests of Green Tree Coral with large numbers of coral fish sheltering from predators such as Kingfish and Barracuda. You may also see Potato Bass, Mantas, Sharks, Eagle Rays and other game fish.