A feast of diving awaits you at some of Africa's most celebrated dive sites.
Aliwal Shoal is fast becoming world famous as the dive site where divers can safely swim with the grizzly looking Ragged Tooth shark, plus an abundance of other sharks and stunning, colourful reef life.
In Sodwana Bay and Southern Mozambique, coral reefs spread as far as the eye can see with hundreds of coral species and thousands of fish species, manta rays, dolphins and whales sharks.
White beaches, thick coconut groves that line the coast, freshly caught seafood and beach camps - a true Robinson Crusoe eco-adventure awaits.
To top it all off - a safari! Go in search of the Big 5, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino and much, much more. Quite simply there is no other dive destination on earth that can offer what Africa can - a breathtaking wildlife safari above and below the water!.
Day 1 - 3 Diving Aliwal Shoal
Jacques Cousteau' rated Aliwal Shoal as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world! Arriving at Durban airport you will be met and transferred the short distance to Umkomaas - gateway to the Aliwal Shoal where you will spend two days diving on this famous reef.
From July to November, the ragged tooth sharks are on the shoal in abundance, as they annually migrate to the shoal, which is their preferred resting ground. Dolphins are frequently seen at the shoal and both dolphins and whales on the launches. The Aliwal shoal is home to over 1200 species of fish, as well as turtles, rays, manta's, angelfish and butterfly fish. Apart from raggies, there are other lesser known sharks on the shoal, sightings also include great whites, tigers, white tips and whale sharks.
The reef offers varied, spectacular and thrilling diving where no two dives are the same. There is an abundance of hard and soft coral, stunning coral fish and sponges to be seen, but the greatest attraction for divers must surely be the concentration of ragged-tooth sharks.
The sharks offer fantastic photo opportunities, as one may approach very close, but divers should always keep in mind that sharks are some of the most unpredictable creatures on earth and care must be taken not to aggravate or provoke them. Shoals of hammerhead sharks have been sighted on Aliwal in the past.
Whale sharks are quite common, and an absolute pleasure to see. Apart from these awe-inspiring creatures, there are also big sea turtles, huge potato bass, and game fish such as kingfish, wahoo and tunny to be seen on the reef.
Overnight: Hotel. Breakfast
Days 4 - 7 Southern Mozambique
Close to exotic diving destinations such as Mauritius, Maldives and the Seychelles, Mozambique has to be the world's best kept scuba diving secret! Think tropical desert islands, palm fringed powder white beaches and crystal clear waters, then you are imagining your Southern Mozambique safari tour.
In Mozambique you don't have to spend a fortune chartering a motor yacht to take you to some far-flung un-inhabited island or tiny atoll in the middle of the ocean to dive 'untouched' pristine reefs. You can simply take a leisurely walk down to the beach from your rustic beach camp on this Mozambique safari tour!
Ponta do Ouro and Ponta Malongane
You will be transferred up the coast from Umkomaas to the border of Mozambique, where you will be collected by your dive resort. Just a few kilometres across the border you will discover 2 of Africa's newest and best scuba diving vacation destinations - Ponta do Ouro and Ponta Malongane. Rustic camps and beach chalets, surrounded by huge swaying coconut palms and the Indian Ocean just yards away give you the chance to experience a true 'Robinson Crusoe' lifestyle while still enjoying the highest standards of dive facilities and service.
Towering dunes clad in indigenous forest overlook kilometres of sun drenched, deserted pure white beaches, crystal clear seas and 22 virtually untouched coral reefs that promise some of the best diving of your life. Scattered around the protected bay are reefs, gullies and caves between 10m and 40m depth, making it possible for all certification levels to dive here.
Average visibility is 30-40m and water temperatures vary from 22 to 26 degrees C. Whale sharks and dolphins are common sightings. Game fish abound, potato bass, scorpion fish, turtles, rays, big grouper, humpback whales and of course tropical fish in their millions.
Overnight: Walk-in safari tent. Breakfast/Dinner
Day 8 - 11 SODWANA BAY
'Diving on the reefs at Sodwana Bay, near South Africa's border with Mozambique is an experience of visual overload. There is not one surgeonfish species but 20, not one moray eel but a dozen. Corals, fishes, anemones, shrimps-everything comes in multiples. Trying to take it all in is like listening to a jazz tune with a million variations' (National Geographic Aug 02)
Sodwana is regarded as one of the top dive sites in the world and its reefs are home to an astonishing variety of marine creatures - a biodiversity that compares with the best in the world and much of it yet to be discovered. 83% of all the world's marine fish families are represented at Sodwana Bay!
There are over 1200 species of Indo-Pacific tropical fish. Hundreds of species of hard and soft corals and sponges have been identified to date along with at least 25 shark and ray species. Five species of sea turtle, the hawksbill, green, olive ridley, loggerhead and leatherback (Sodwana is a nesting site for loggerhead and leatherback turtles) not to mention the big stuff like humpback whales, whale sharks, nurse sharks, manta rays, dolphins, marlin and sailfish all found at this one dive site!
The Maputaland coast is unlike any other in the world. It is the only location that has tropical Indo-Pacific fishes, Southern Ocean fishes, European fishes that reach here via the African west coast, circum-global fishes, deep-sea fishes and endemic South African species. Even the famed 'living dinosaur'- the Coelacanth were spotted recently at Sodwana Bay.
Sodwana can be dived by all levels of diver as reef depth varies between 9 and 38 metres. Visibility is often 15 to 20 meters, up to 40 meters and water temp is a comfortable 19 to 29 degrees C.
Above the Water
Sodwana Bay is surrounded by high sand dunes and dense subtropical forest and sits within the Greater St Lucia Wetlands National Park and World Heritage Site. These wetlands form a series of lakes - each with its own unique character and ecology. Crocodile, hippo, small mammals including bush babies, genets, duiker, striped mongoose and a rich variety of bird-life abound.
Overnight: Chalet. Breakfast/Dinner
DAY 12 - 14 ZULU NYALA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Nestled between Mkuze, Hluhluwe and St. Lucia reserves, this section of paradise is home to a wide variety of game from majestic elephant, rhino, buffalo and stealthy predators to abundant plains game and a wealth of bird life.
There are loads of optional activities to keep you occupied. Accompanied by well-trained guides, guests can explore the hills and plains for rhino, buffalo, cheetah, zebra, herds of giraffe, kudu and the spiral-horned Nyala.
Track elephant on foot or explore the reserve in open 4x4 vehicles. In the moonlight hours the thickets are probed by spotlight, searching for a glimpse of the elusive leopard, wandering hyena and other seldom seen nocturnal creatures. The Riverboat Cruise - between forest-lined banks of the Mzinene River provides magical tranquillity, essential for the interested birdwatcher or those who just wish to absorb the atmosphere of African sunsets. Game viewing from horseback, is an exhilarating experience for the active. Optional bushwalks, canoe excursions and picnic lunches add to first hand experiences of the bush. Overnight: Lodge.
On day 14 you will be transferred back to Durban airport.
End of Service.
Itinerary as Specified, accommodation, all transfers, 16 dives weights and tanks included. Meals, breakfast (B), lunch (L), dinner (D) where specified. Meals not show are to the client's expense.
Visa and passport costs, Medical insurance, Gratuities and items of a personal nature, All drinks, Meals not shown as included. Optional activities, activities at Zulu Nyala Game Reserve, National Park entrance fees, International flights to/from South Africa. Everything not indicated as included above, E & O.E
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