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For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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Your Guide to Diving Africa
including Cape Verde Islands, Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique

All of Undercurrent's information on diving Africa, including articles, reader reports, Chapbook sections, ...

Diving Africa Overview

This is a vast continent bordered by both the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic. The diving off the coast of Kenya and Tanzania can be hit-and-miss. Pemba and Mafia Islands both form channels with reasonable diving and whale shark aggregations when plankton levels are high. Farther south, divers on the coast of Mozambique enjoy whale shark and manta encounters. The Indian Ocean coast of South Africa is known for tropical shark diving and the sardine run (which attracts hordes of predators) at the right time of year. Timing your trip so that it coincides with animal migrations as well as the best diving season is a complicated affair; check with a specialist . . . Diving on the Indian Ocean coast is mainly done from fast rigid inflatables with dramatic surf launches and recoveries . . . Cage diving with great white sharks is the major attraction around Capetown, where water temperatures range from 46°F (8°C) in August to 68°F (20°C) from November through January. The Atlantic coast is not known for good diving.

Africa Seasonal Dive Planner

Kenya: The right time for land packages with game viewing is a complicated affair; animal migrations are scheduled by rain, not calendars. The diving is simpler: September through March is when the winds should be favorable. Whale sharks often cruise the coast about February.

South Africa & Mozambique: The Western Cape province (Cape Town), though it is running out of fresh water, enjoys a Mediterranean-like climate with equable winters and warm summers, but the water is exceptionally cold at around 57°F (14°C). Remember, this is in the southern hemisphere so seasons are reversed to what you might be used to. The country has a 1700-mile (2735km) coastline. As you move north up the Indian Ocean coast, it becomes more tropical. The cold waters of the south Atlantic give way to the warmer Indian Ocean, which is why South African divers head for Sodwana Bay and Aliwal Shoal or continue on to Mozambique and eventually to Inhambane (Tofo). There, the diving is good all year round and water temperature peak at 82°F (28°C) and never go below 72°F (22°C). The Indian Ocean has some huge swells, and surf launches of the boat can be more than exciting.

Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Indigo Safaris Dive and Wildlife Adventure
Indigo Safaris Dive and Wildlife Adventure
The Africa diving and safari specialists, 2 decades' experience, staff in-country. Cape to Equator, plus St Helena, Comores, Seychelles, & Madagascar.
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest, Dive & Adventure Travel
A full service dive travel agency that specializes in Africa. We know Africa. Red Sea Diving, Antiquities, Safari, Wildlife.

Diving Africa Reader Reports and Feature Articles

You must be an Undercurrent Online Member to view the complete members-only reports and articles.
Some articles that can be fully accessed by the public
have a Publicly available articles button..

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Latest Reader Reports from Africa

from the serious divers who read Undercurrent

All Reader Reports from Africa

All 10,000+
Cabo Verde Diving/Hilton Report in Africa/Cape Verde
"Caribbean Diving in Africa"
filed Aug 7, 2023 by Garry Wade Klein (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 2 reports)
3 stars

I was in Cape Verde during the off season. Not very many experienced divers on the island. Most dive shops cater to Try Scubas and ne... ... Read more Photos available

Sea Dragon Report in Africa/Red Sea - Hurghada
"Unremarkable diving with some saftey concerns"
filed May 22, 2023 by Richard Hart (Experience: 251-500 dives, 6 reports, Reviewer )
2 stars

With the recent fires and/or sinking of liveaboards particularly in the Red Sea, I was surprised that there was no mention of smoke det... ... Read more Photos available

AfricanShark Eco Charters Report in Africa/Cape Town, South Africa
"Exhilarating to say the least !"
filed Mar 10, 2023 by Bonnie McKenna (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 11 reports, Sr. Reviewer )
5 stars

I do not know if you can call this a dive since you are inside a cage. Air was supplied through hooka. After a week of poor weather, I... ... Read more

Crystal Divers Mauritius/none Report in Africa/Mauritius
"Great Dive Center"
filed Nov 27, 2022 by Dana Muir (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 4 reports, Reviewer )
5 stars

We dove 48 times with Crystal Divers Mauritius during March-May, 2022. They are an incredibly professional, meticulous, and safety-orie... ... Read more

Spanish Dancer Diver/Amaan Bech Bangalows Report in Africa/Zanzibar Tanzania
"The first dive after Covid13"
filed Nov 26, 2022 by Toshihisa Tsunoda (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 16 reports, Contributor )
4 stars

Tanzania's Zanzibar Island is full of European on the beach and restaurants. No Covid-19 here. The dive sites are arranged in different... ... Read more

See Instant Reader Reports On All Destinations  
  Subscribers Can Submit a Reader Report Here
Complete Articles Available to Undercurrent Online Members; Some Publicly Available as Indicated

Diving Africa Articles - Liveaboards

Available to the Public
Two Groups of Divers Lost Within a Week, it’s every diver’s nightmare, 10/16
National Geographic Explorer, real pirates use nets, 10/09
Two Undiscovered Destinations, and one that stands out, 8/06

Diving Africa Articles - Land Based

Available to the Public
Sub-Tropic Adventures, St. Helena, South Atlantic, Incredible diving in the middle of nowhere, 5/20
Climate Change Affects the Sardine Run, 10/19
Not Getting Enough Time Underwater?, 10/19
The Sardine Run: South Africa, the best ten minutes you’ll ever spend in the water, 9/16
Is the Sardine Run an Endangered Species?, 9/16
A Sparkling South African Side Trip: $16,000, 9/16
Shark Explorers, Cape Town, South Africa, only if you must see great whites in any way possible, 10/15
Mozambique, Mexico, Philippines . . ., more on the Thorfinn, and another Bonaire warning, 10/15
Cozumel, Roatan, South Africa . . ., dive with a “Shadow Diver,” or in a Las Vegas show, 11/14
Seeking More Exotic Diving?, how about Russia, the Sardine Run, or an underwater cemetery?, 10/13
Saying “No” to South Africa’s Cage Diving, 11/10
Saipan, Statia, Lake Malawi, Key Largo..., reports from the back of beyond from “undercover” readers, 7/10
Barra Lodge and Diving, Mozambique, put this African dive site on your bucket list, 2/10
The Seychelles Islands, Indian Ocean, 9/86

Africa Sections from Our Travelin' Diver's Chapbooks

Reader Reports filed for that year

Africa Liveaboards

For Members Only

2023 2022            

For Public

2020 2019 2017 2016 2011 2003    

Land Based Dive Resorts in Africa

For Members Only

2023 2022            

For Public

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
2012 2011 2010 2010
2009 2009
(S Africa)
2007 2007
2006 2006
(S Africa)
2004 2003 2002
2001 2001
(S Africa/Mozambique)

Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving Africa
including Cape Verde Islands, Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique

The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the world All books are available at a significant discount from; just follow the links. -- BD

Reef Fish of the East Indies Reef Fish of the East Indies
by Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdman

It's got a list price of $250 and a weight of 14 pounds, but the price and the poundage will be worth it to add this three-volume set to your library. Renowned marine biologists Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdman have combined 60 years of surveys, fieldwork and research to create the most definitive guide of the Coral Triangle to date, perhaps forever. The 1,292 pages of text and 3,600 photographs (40 percent of which are of fish not seen before in print) gives comprehensive information on every known reef fish species from a region known as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. An essential reference for any scuba diver.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Paul Humann and Ned Deloach

Paul Humann and Ned Deloach have done it again, releasing a definitive identification guide to 1600 extraordinary reef creatures of the Tropical Pacific. with this 500+ page softbound guide, you get upwards of 2000 exceptional photos of shrimp and crabs and stars and worms and lobsters and nudibranchs and slugs and squid and bivalves . . . well, all those invertebrates that move along the reefs of this region without fining, so it seems. There are several photos of some creatures to help you identify them during different life stages, and about ten percent of the book is descriptive copy so you can tie down your identification. Even if you have no plans to go to the tropical Pacific, just to thumb through the pages, gawk at the complexity and uniqueness of these animals, and read a thumbnail sketch will give any serious diver vicarious thrills for endless hours.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Four Fish Diving Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape
by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock

This dynamic duo's book describes 130 dive sites of Raja Ampat, Triton Bay and Cenderawasih Bay, while offering practical information about the area. The detailed descriptions of the sites, complete with GPS coordinates, explains the terrain, how to dive the site, and the kinds of animals, coral and critters you can expect. Excellent photographs will help you identify many of the critters you will encounter.

If you have been to Raja Ampat, or dream about going, this thoughtful and well-illustrated book is for you.

The book is not available at the moment.

Diving Southeast Asia Diving Southeast Asia
by Beth & Shaun Tierney

This just-published, 302-page, soft-bound guide by Beth and Shaun Tierney, is a must for anyone contemplating diving in Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand. Where is Sipadan? Raja Ampat? Komodo? Richeliu Rock? Maps make it easy to pinpoint dive destinations and travel routes. Destination and 250 dive site descriptions (with tables on depth, visibility and currents) help you determine whether you’ll see big fish in the blue or pygmy seahorses in the muck. There’s a lot of supplemental information such as travel tips, health tips, and resorts and liveaboard descriptions.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide
by Gerald R. Allen, Roger Steene.

I was trying to pack light for a change. Surely the Solomon Sea would have good identification books aboard. Not so; the only book on the boat belonged to a fellow passenger. It was one that I had not seen before, the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide, by two of the best fish guys around, Gerry Allen and Roger Steene. The problem was this fellow passenger kept it in a plastic baggie most of the trip and I had to beg to see it. Great book, good traveling size, and it covers everything from fish, shells, marine plants, mammals, corals, and invertebrates to sea birds and more. Now I've got my own, and it won't do you any good to beg me to borrow it. This is one of two books that I will not travel to the Pacific without. Good for travel to the Red Sea, East Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Andaman Sea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii, it has 1,800 color illustrations in a 6x8 1/2 paperback format with 378 pages. $39.95.

Malaysia Macrolife A Diver's Guide to Underwater Malaysia Macrolife
by Andrea and Antonet La Ferrari

We just discovered the ultimate guide to Indo-Pacific macro life. It was published late last year by marine photographers and writers Andrea and Antonet La Ferrari, who have several other winning books in their portfolio. They picture and describe in full detail 600 different species, focusing on those found in the South China, Sulu, and Sulawesi seas. From colorful nudibranchs to cleaner shrimps and pipe fish, to larger species like cuttlefish and clown fish. Each description offers an insight on distribution, habitat, size, life habits, and U/W photo tips. Illustrated with more than 800 extraordinary color photographs and written in a clear, concise, informative style, this book is both a macro and fish field guide for all serious divers from the Maldives to Australia. A must for traveling divers.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Reef Fish ID Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Gerald Allen, Rodger Steene, Paul Humann, & Ned Deloach

At last, here's a comprehensive fish ID guide covering the reefs of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The generous 500-page text, displaying 2,500 underwater photographs of 2,000 species, identifies the myriad fishes that inhabit the warm tropical seas between Thailand and Tahiti. The concise text accompanying each species portrait includes the fish's common, scientific and family names, size, description, visually distinctive features, preferred habitat, typical behavior, depth range, and geographical distribution. This is an essential book for every diver traveling westward. 6x9 inches.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Diving Southeast Asia There's a Cockroach in My Regulator
by Undercurrent

The Best of Undercurrent: Bizarre and Brilliant True Diving Tales from Thirty Years of Undercurrent.

Shipping now is our brand new, 240-page book filled with the best of the unusual, the entertaining, and the jaw dropping stories Undercurrent has published. They’re true, often unbelievable, and always fascinating. We’re offering it to you now for the special price of just $14.95.

Click here to order.

You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.


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