About Scuba Diving in Africa
Diving in Africa can be enjoyed by divers of all levels, from beginners to experienced divers. And the dive sites are just as diverse, ranging from calm dives that put you in the middle of myriad fish species, corals, and whales and dolphins, to exciting dives that provide you with close encounters with sharks.
There are also wreck dives to attract those who enjoy seeing and exploring the wrecks of ships and other manmade objects, as well as night dives which allow people to experience the underwater world in a new way. African dive sites also offer a wonderful opportunity for underwater photographers who wish to capture the true beauty of African marine life and reef systems, as well as underwater rock formations.
When to Dive in Africa
Typically, diving in Africa is possible throughout the year, however, each region of the continent is different, and its waters will vary as well, so you will want to book your trip at the best time of year to be guaranteed encounters with marine life and enjoy warmer water temperatures.
The best time of year for diving in Africa will be dependent upon what area of Africa you are traveling to. For example, the best time to dive in Egypt is from May through August, when the water temperature is warmer, along with the air temperature, and you are more likely to encounter more local marine life.
But you can also dive in Egypt throughout the other months of the year, although you may need to wear a thicker wetsuit due to the colder water temperatures. When diving in South Africa, you will want to consider the season you are traveling in, as well as the dive site you plan on going to, because currents can change, decreasing visibility at certain times of the year.
Dive Location in Africa
- Egypt – The Red Sea of Egypt offers a perfect opportunity for divers of all levels to explore wrecks, reefs, and resident marine life in its warm, clear waters.
- South Africa – This site is considered the scuba diving capital of South Africa, and it is no surprise, since this site, great for all levels of divers, offers incredible views of a protected coral reef system that includes dolphins, whale sharks, and a variety of lovely tropical fish species.
- Kenya – The waters of Hurghada can provide experienced divers with fun swim-throughs, but beginners should avoid these waters, since the currents can be too strong for them to handle.
- Zanzibar – Off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is an island offering wall dives, night dives, reef dives, and drift dives that are great for all levels of divers.
Marine Life Found in Africa
In addition to a variety of colorful hard and soft corals, dive sites in Africa offer you the opportunity of seeing ragged-tooth sharks, great white sharks, gully sharks, spotted cow sharks, whale sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles. Myriad tropical fish species, including schooling fish large and small, are also found throughout the waters surrounding this continent, as are nudibranchs and smaller reef creatures including various invertebrates, as well as sea fans, anemones, and other reef life. In addition, you can swim with seals and rays.
Africa is one of the most diverse continents on the planet. From the desert and historical sites of Egypt to the amazing wildlife of Kenya and the beaches of South Africa, there is something for everyone to explore. The many countries in Africa each have something unique to offer tourists, who visit throughout the year to learn about native cultures, taste the local cuisine, shop for souvenirs, and see sights like no others in the world.
One of the activities that attract tourists is scuba diving, as the waters off the coast of Africa are rich in coral reefs and marine life, including intense sharks. If you are ready to truly go on the adventure of a lifetime, then you are ready to go to Africa.
How to Get to Africa
Book your flight to Africa in advance to ensure you get the travel dates and the rates that you are most comfortable with. You can fly into Africa from just about anywhere in the world, including European nations and the United States, but you may need to book indirect flights and take connecting airlines to your final destination. For example, you can fly into Egypt and then take a flight to the African country you are planning on staying in because there are many flights between African nations.
Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.