Scuba diving safari
There is nothing quite like swimming with fish and sea turtles, drifting over expansive coral reefs, and exploring the depths of the ocean. Although diving is not quite as accessible as snorkeling, there are plenty of options for a scuba diving safari if you are interested. PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) offers lessons for first-timers on a scuba diving vacation at or in close proximity to a number of properties we use. Our favorites are Manta Resort on Pemba Island, Mnemba Island Lodge and The Palms on Zanzibar; the Watamu and Malindi marine parks in Kenya; Northern Madagascar at Constance Tsarabanjina, and Azura Quilalea in the Quirimbas Archipelago in Mozambique.
For more experienced divers, we recommend the Inhambane region of Mozambique for a scuba diving vacation. This stretch of ocean runs between Barra and Tofo and is world-renowned for its diverse marine life. Inhambane is home to some of the world’s most elusive and rare marine life, including two different species of manta ray, whale sharks, humpback whales, bottlenose and humpback dolphins, smalleye stingrays, leopard sharks, white tip and grey-reef sharks, devil rays, and ribbon tails. This is of course all in addition to smaller fish, sea creatures and beautiful reefs. For this area, we like Sava Dunes, an ecolodge. The lodge also offers access to plenty of other activities including seasonal whale watching from land, kayaking through mangroves, long stretches of beach to walk, and fishing.
The Seychelles is also a world renowned diving destination with incredible marine life. Almost all properties on both Mahe and Praslin offer a scuba diving safari either through a company or their own PADI center. This includes day trips to pristine areas off of the smaller islands in the archipelago.
In Egypt, along the Red Sea Coast, Marsa Alam is best known for its excellent diving and offers crystal-clear waters, idyllic white-sand beaches and spectacular coral reefs. Sharm el Sheikh is located where the northern Red Sea meets the Sinai Peninsula. In addition to being a fun beach town, we like ‘Sharm’ for it’s proximity to Ras Mohammed National Park, as well as many famous dive sites including some notoriously difficult ones like the Blue Hole. The same underwater wonders offered in the Red Sea are accessible from Southern Israel and Jordan.