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Dive into Africa

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The vast African continent includes some of the world’s most iconic scuba diving adventures. 38 of Africa’s countries have a coastline and the continent offers a huge diversity of diving due to it being bordered by the Indian Ocean in the East and Southeast, the Red Sea in the Northeast, the Mediterranean in the North and the Atlantic Ocean in the West and Southwest.
What better way to spend a holiday than discovering the incredible wildlife of Africa above and below the water? From stunning coral fringed islands to incredible shark encounters, Africa offers some of the finest dive travel adventures worldwide. Read on for a few of our favourites below…

Haliotis – São Vicente, Cape Verde

Tel: +238 522 7781
Email: saovicente@haliotis.pt
Web: www.haliotis.pt/en/centros/cabo-verde/

Cape Verde is an underestimated diving area on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean that will surprise you with such an incredible biodiversity and quantity of life that it seems as if you are in an aquarium!

From colorful fish shoals, huge stingrays, sea turtles, crazy camouflaged frogfishes to the frequently spotted sharks and even mantas rays, combined with warm waters, good visibility and a huge variety of dive spots, it makes the diving here indescribable!

Haliotis dive center is situated in Hotel Oasis Porto Grande – a 4 star Hotel in the center of Mindelo on São Vicente, the most cultural island of Cape Verde where music, art and a party atmosphere is present at every corner.

We offer daily diving and snorkeling trips, snorkeling with sea turtles, try dives and PADI courses all year around.

We offer an unbeatable combination of quality equipment for renting, nice facilities, modern rib boat with two engines to guarantee safety, and a professional and dynamic team of PADI Instructors and Divemasters that will do everything to provide the best experience ever.  Always with safety and fun as the main goal, which will make your stay in São Vicente unforgettable!

Facebook: @haliotissaovicente  |  Instagram: @haliotisdivecentercaboverde


Wining and Diving – South Africa

Image: Frogfish Photography

South Africa’s coastline is wild and rugged and has some of the best marine encounters and diving in the world! It is also home to some superb vineyards and so this is a top destination for Wining & Diving! If you have enough time, then try to fit in several destinations on a tour; take in the Sardine Run, go Great White Shark cage diving, snorkel with Blue and Mako Sharks, try to find Sevengill Sharks in the kelp forest, meet the raggies and oceanic shark species near Aliwal Shoal and make sure you dive with the Cape Fur Seals just down the road from Cape Town….. 

Read more HERE…


Ocean TribeDiani Beach, Kenya

Tel: +254 700 934 854
Email: info@oceantribe.co
Web: www.oceantribe.co

Ocean Tribe offers scuba diving trips and PADI diving courses in Diani Beach, Kenya. Local diving includes fantastic coral reefs and wrecks, all located within a 15 minute boat ride of the dive centre. In addition to standard reef life, Diani is famous for numerous green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles plus guitar rays, and between December and April, chances to see whale sharks and manta rays. Consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in the world, Diani is a must see for divers combined with an African safari trip.

For divers searching for the land and underwater adventure of a lifetime, Ocean Tribe offer bespoke dive and African land safari trips for the chance to see some of the World-famous wildlife. Including hotels and lodge accommodation, dives and a few days in the savannah viewing the spectacle of Kenya’s game followed by the underwater world we know and love, this is not to be missed!


Facebook: @DiveProAfrica  |  Instagram: @oceantribekenya


St Helena – The Secret is Out!

Image: Frogfish Photography

St Helena is one of the most remote islands in the world, often referred to as the Secret of the South Atlantic, where it lies 1,200 miles off Namibia and 2,500 miles off Brazil. How we got to visit this incredible island is a story in itself…..

Read more HERE…


Ocean Spirit Diving – Pereybere, Mauritius

Tel: +230 5905 2479
Email: info@osdiving.com
Web: www.osdiving.com

In the centre of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is on the largely unexplored Mascarene plateau, and only 9% of this paradise has been charted by divers. An independent state which was previously a British colony, Mauritius is an English, French and Creole-speaking Island renowned for its British efficiency, elegant French flair and Creole exuberance, tempered with gentle Hindu harmony.

Sharks circle year-round in the caverns under the Northern Islands and we dive in crystal clear clean water with 80m viz. In winter, seasonal up-wellings bring plankton and the viz can drop to 20m, and the ocean is full of shoaling fish, whales and dolphins. Endangered Hawksbill and Green Turtles are here year-round.

Ocean Spirit is a PADI 5 Star Diving Centre and the only Project Aware Conservation Green Star centre in Pereybere, Mauritius, offering Shark diving, Wreck diving, dramatic drop offs and drifts, exquisite corals, rare macro and abundant marine life in a pollution free pristine environment.

Diving is all about socializing and making new friends, and at Ocean Spirit we make sure you will do exactly that. Our dive masters and instructors love diving, they know their fish and they share their passion. Beach barbecues, lunches and de-briefs mean that you will make new friends from all over the world.


Facebook: @oceanspiritdiving  |  Instagram: @divingmauritius


Diving the Wrecks of Mauritius

Image: Ocean Spirit Diving, courtesy of Jill Holloway

Over 480 ships have been wrecked off the coast of Mauritius over the last 400 years. Most of these wrecks are within easy reach of the dive centres in the North, and a Safari trip to Coin de Mire makes a great day’s diving…..

Read more HERE…


Octopus Divers – Praslin Island, Seychelles

Tel: +248 423 2602
Email: octopus.seychelles@gmail.com
Web: www.octopusdiver.com

Diving center located in Praslin, Seychelles, we offer daily diving trips, intro dives and Padi courses (from Scuba Diver up to Instructor).

Mention ‘Scubaverse’ when booking to receive the following special offer: Single Dive EUR 50 per person and Twin Tank Dive EUR 100 per person.


Facebook: @octopus.seychelles |  Instagram: @octopusdivers.seychelles


Mantas and Whale Sharks gain protection in Mozambique

Image: Dr. Andrea Marshall

After 20 years of research and lobbying efforts, the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) is thrilled to announce a major legislative victory for ocean life in Mozambique. A new commercial fishing law enacts sweeping protections for several threatened species, including whale sharks, manta rays, and all mobula species…..

Read more HERE…


Fun Divers Zanzibar – Nungwi, Zanzibar

Tel: +255 773 116 436
Email: info@fundiverszanzibar.com
Web: www.fundiverszanzibar.com



Fun Divers Zanzibar is the local expert for scuba diving and the only locally owned dive operation in Zanzibar. Our team of friendly Zanzibari grew up in the fishing village of Nungwi and previously experienced the reefs around northern Zanzibar as local fishermen for many years. As a PADI Dive Resort and a Divers Alert Network Industry Partner, we value our customers dive safety and are committed to professional dive training.

The marine reserves of Zanzibar Island (Unguja) offer a huge choice of sites to explore, and the variety of wall and reef dives suit every level of diver qualification. Common marine life sightings are dolphins, sea turtles, tropical reef fish, a large variety of macro marine life and extraordinary sea creatures. Learn why March to the end of May is the ultimate diving season around Zanzibar Island’s north coast.

Fun Divers Zanzibar arrange daily excursions to the best dive sites of Zanzibar Island, which can be reached in 5 to 45 minutes from the base at Nungwi Beach. Diving is guided only in small groups to allow an exclusive and personalised underwater experience. Quality branded dive gear from Scubapro and Mares is provided for hire for free.

Zanzibar Scuba Special

Local PADI Dive Resort Fun Divers Zanzibar is offering a 20% discount on pre-booking dive packages, try diving, scuba diving courses and snorkeling for February until the end of July 2022. Send your booking enquiry by email to info@fundiverszanzibar.com


Facebook: @fundiverszanzibar  |  Instagram: @fun.divers.zanzibar


All about Sharklife

Image: Sharklife, courtesy of PJ Prinsloo

There is nothing quite like seeing an apex predator in the wild and divers are very fortunate to have the privilege to get up close and personal with one of the world’s most striking predators. South Africa is home to a great number of shark species that attract thousands of tourists every year. Great Whites, Tigers and Bull sharks are just some examples of over 100 different shark species living in the oceans around the South African coastline…..

Read more HERE…


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Northern Red Sea Reefs and Wrecks Trip Report, Part 3: The Mighty Thistlegorm

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red sea

Jake Davies boards Ghazala Explorer for an unforgettable Red Sea diving experience…

Overnight, the wind picked up, making the planned morning dive a bit bumpy on the Zodiacs to the drop point on Thomas Reef. There, we would dive along the reef before descending through the canyon and then passing under the arch before ascending the wall with a gentle drift. The site provided great encounters with more pelagic species, including shoals of large barracuda, tuna, and bigeye trevally.

Once back on the boat, it was time to get everything tied down again as we would head back south. This time, with the wind behind us, heading to Ras Mohammed to dive Jackfish Alley for another great gentle drift wall dive before then heading up the coast towards the Gulf of Suez to moor up at the wreck of the Thistlegorm. This being the highlight wreck dive of the trip and for many onboard, including myself, it was the first time diving this iconic wreck. I had heard so much about the wreck from friends, and globally, this is a must on any diver’s list. Fortunately for us, there was only one other boat at the site, which was a rarity. A great briefing was delivered by Ahmed, who provided a detailed background about the wreck’s history along with all the required safety information as the currents and visibility at the site can be variable.

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Kitting up, there was a lot of excitement on deck before entering the water and heading down the shoreline. Descending to the wreck, there was a light northerly current which reduced the visibility, making it feel more like the conditions that can be found off the Welsh coast. At 10m from the bottom, the outline of the wreck appeared as we reached the area of the wreck which had been bombed, as our mooring line was attached to part of the propeller shaft. Arriving on deck, instantly everywhere you looked there were many of the supplies which the ship was carrying, including Bren Carrier tanks and projectiles that instantly stood out.

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We headed around the exterior, taking a look at the large propeller and guns mounted on deck before entering the wreck on the port side to take a look in the holds. It was incredible to see all the trucks, Norton 16H, and BSA motorcycles still perfectly stacked within, providing a real snapshot in time.

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Overall, we had four dives on the Thistlegorm, where for all of the dives we were the only group in the water, and at times, there were just three of us on the whole wreck, which made it even more special, especially knowing that most days the wreck has hundreds of divers. Along with the history of the wreck, there was plenty of marine life on the wreck and around, from big green turtles to batfish, along with shoals of mackerel being hunted by trevally. Some unforgettable dives.

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The final leg of the trip saw us cross back over the Suez Canal to the Gobal Islands where we planned to stay the night and do three dives at the Dolphin House for the potential of sharing the dive with dolphins. The site, which included a channel that was teeming with reef fish, especially large numbers of goatfish that swam in large shoals along the edge of the reef. These were nice relaxing dives to end the week. Unfortunately, the dolphins didn’t show up, which was okay as like all marine life they are difficult to predict and you can’t guarantee what’s going to be seen. With the last dive complete, we headed back to port for the final night where it was time to clean all the kit and pack before the departure flight the next day.

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The whole week from start to finish on Ghazala Explorer was amazing; the boat had all the facilities you need for a comfortable week aboard. The crew were always there to help throughout the day and the chefs providing top quality food which was required after every dive. The itinerary providing some of the best diving with a nice mixture of wreck and reef dives. I would recommend the trip to anyone, whether it’s your first Red Sea liveaboard in the Red Sea or you’re revisiting. Hopefully, it’s not too long before I head back to explore more of the Red Sea onboard Ghazala Explorer.

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To find out more about the Northern Red Sea reef and wrecks itineraries aboard Ghazala Explorer, or to book, contact Scuba Travel now:

Email: dive@scubatravel.com

Tel: +44 (0)1483 411590

www.scubatravel.com

Photos: Jake Davies / Avalon.Red

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Northern Red Sea Reefs and Wrecks Trip Report, Part 2: Wall to Wall Wrecks

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red sea

Jake Davies boards Ghazala Explorer for an unforgettable Red Sea diving experience…

The second day’s diving was a day full of wreck diving at Abu Nuhas, which included the Chrisoula K, Carnatic, and Ghiannis D. The first dive of the day was onto the Chrisoula K, also known as the wreck of tiles. The 98m vessel remains largely intact where she was loaded with tiles which can be seen throughout the hold. The stern sits at 26m and the bow just below the surface. One of the highlights of the wreck is heading inside and seeing the workroom where the machinery used for cutting the tiles are perfectly intact. The bow provided some relaxing scenery as the bright sunlight highlighted the colours of the soft coral reef and the many reef fish.

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Following breakfast, we then headed to the next wreck, which was the Carnatic. The Carnatic is an 89.9m sail steamer vessel that was built in Britain back in 1862. She ran aground on the reef back in 1869 and remains at 27m. At the time, she was carrying a range of items, including 40,000 sterling in gold. An impressive wreck where much of the superstructure remains, and the two large masts lay on the seafloor. The wooden ribs of the hull provide structures for lots of soft corals, and into the stern section, the light beams through, bouncing off the large shoals of glass fish that can be found using the structure as shelter from the larger predators that are found outside of the wreck.

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The final wreck at Abu Nuhas was the Ghiannis D, originally called ‘Shoyo Maru,’ which was 99.5m long and built in Japan back in 1969 before becoming a Greek-registered cargo ship in 1980. The ship then ran aground on the reef on April 19th, 1983, and now sits at the bottom at a depth of 27m. Heading down the line, the stern of the ship remains in good condition compared to the rest of the hull. The highlight of the wreck, though, is heading into the stern section and down the flights of stairs to enter the engine room, which remains in good condition and is definitely worth exploring. After exploring the interior section of the ship, we then headed over to see the rest of the superstructure, where it’s particularly interesting to see the large table corals that have grown at the bow relatively quickly considering the date the ship sank. After surfacing and enjoying some afternoon snacks, we made sure everything was strapped down and secured as we would be heading north and crossing the Gulf of Suez, where the winds were still creating plenty of chop.

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The next morning, it was a short hop to Ras Mohammed Nature Reserve for the next couple of days of diving. The 6am wake-up call came along with the briefing for the first site we would be diving, which was Shark & Yolanda. The low current conditions allowed us to start the dive at Anemone City, where we would drift along the steep, coral-filled wall. These dives involved drifts, as mooring in Ras Mohammed wasn’t allowed to protect the reefs. As a dive site, Shark & Yolanda is well-known and historically had a lot of sharks, but unfortunately not so many in recent years, especially not so early in the season. However, there was always a chance when looking out into the blue.

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The gentle drift took us along the steep walls of the site, with plenty of anemone fish to be seen and a huge variety of corals. It wasn’t long into the dive before we were accompanied by a hawksbill turtle, who drifted with us between the two atolls before parting ways. Between the two reefs, the shallow patch with parts of coral heads surrounded by sand provided the chance to see a few blue-spotted stingrays that were mainly resting underneath the corals and are always a pleasure to see. With this being the morning dive, the early sunlight lit up the walls, providing tranquil moments. Looking out into the blue, there was very little to be seen, but a small shoal of batfish shimmering underneath the sunlight was a moment to capture as we watched them swim by as they watched us.

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Towards the end of the dive, we stopped at the wreck of the Jolanda where the seafloor was scattered with toilets from the containers it was carrying. This provided a unique site to make a safety stop, which was also accompanied by a large barracuda slowly swimming by, along with a hawksbill turtle calmly swimming over the reef as the sun rays danced in the distance.

For the next dive, we headed north to the Strait of Tiran to explore the reefs situated between Tiran Island and Sharm El Sheik, which were named after the British divers who had found them. We started on Jackson before heading to Gordons Reef, where we also did the night dive. All the atolls at these sites provided stunning, bustling coral reefs close to the surface and steep walls to swim along, which always provided the opportunity to keep an eye out for some of the larger species that can be seen in the blue. Midwater around Jackson Reef was filled with red-toothed triggerfish and shoals of banner fish, which at times were so dense that you couldn’t see into the blue. Moments went by peacefully as we enjoyed the slow drift above the reef, watching these shoals swim around under the mid-afternoon sun.

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The night dive at Gordon’s Reef was mainly among the stacks of corals surrounded by sand, which was great to explore under the darkness. After some time circling the corals, we came across what we were really hoping to find, and that was an octopus hunting on the reef. We spent the majority of the dive just watching it crawl among the reef, blending into its changing surroundings through changes in colour and skin texture. It’s always so fascinating and captivating to watch these incredibly intelligent animals, in awe of their ability to carry out these physical changes to perfectly blend into the reef. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the boat to enjoy a well-deserved tasty dinner prepared by the talented chefs onboard.

Check in for the 3rd and final part of this series from Jake tomorrow!

To find out more about the Northern Red Sea reef and wrecks itineraries aboard Ghazala Explorer, or to book, contact Scuba Travel now:

Email: dive@scubatravel.com

Tel: +44 (0)1483 411590

www.scubatravel.com

Photos: Jake Davies / Avalon.Red

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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: www.scubatravel.com/BellaEriny or call 01483 411590 More Less

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