Scuba Diving in Inhambane

The diving in Inhambane is simply mind-boggling. The world famous Manta Reef and Gallaria bring divers of all levels to Mozambique’s Inhambane region to find Giant Manta Rays, Whale Sharks, turtles and other splendid sea creatures. Find a wide choice of professional scuba diving operations in one of the world’s best diving spots ever.

The dive sites around Inhambane offer great opportunities to get up close and personal with Manta Rays on every dive! Whale Sharks are also around most of the year, the high season being between October and April – catch sightings of up to 20 at a time during a boat ride out to the dive sites. Sometimes up to eight of the gentle giants join divers on a single trip.

As you can see, Inhambane is one of Mozambique’s best diving and fishing regions and even the rare dugong cruises the bay. The region is also the largest cashew nut growing area in Mozambique – the versatile coconut and citrus fruits also come from here. Eat fresh fruit daily before dining on wonderful seafood in local restaurants.

Inhambane diving rewards novice and professional divers with close up encounters with Humpback Whales which visit the region between June and October and can often be seen breaching, sailing and lob tailing.

There is a fantastic range of marine life, and the reefs are in pristine condition. Most of the diving takes place early in the morning, because this is normally when the weather and sea conditions are best. It is usual to do two dives per day, however it is often possible to enjoy more than two dives should the weather, sea and surf conditions permit this. Make your dive holiday enquiry here today.

Suggested diving resorts in the area:
Areia Branca
Barra Lodge
Blue Footprints Eco Lodge
Flamingo Bay Lodge
Pleasure Bay Resort
Pomene Lodge

Manta Reef
Depth:  21 to 26 meters
This is Barra Lodge’s  showcase dive. A gentle drift dive from North to South, your dive begins with a negative entry, 26 metres into the middle of a small amphitheatre teeming with life. The dive progresses through a series of pinnacles before the first cleaning station is reached, a shallower (21m) sandy area. At this cleaning station, Mantas circle overhead to be cleaned by Goldies, Cleaner Wrasse and Butterflyfish. This dive is amazing with upwards of ten huge 4 – 5 meter Mantas circling overhead. At the end of the dive, your ascent is often accompanied by groups of inquisitive Devil Rays wheeling about your safety stop.

Depth:  22 to 28 meters
This reef is shaped like an L, formed by two ledges with craters and large swim-throughs. As the name implies, it is wild, untamed and totally unspoiled as it is seldom visited. Because it is so far out to sea, the visibility is generally very good and the reef is teeming with both reef and pelagic fish. It is also one of the very few places where sharks are seen. These include Leopard sharks, Whitetips, Blacktips, and very occasionally Tiger Sharks. Mantas, Giant Eagle Rays and Ribbon Tail Rays are seen on most dives. Amazon is also home to a huge resident Loggerhead Turtle.

Giants Castle
Depth: 26 to 33 meters
This presents a 6 to 7-metre tall wall running for two kilometres. The wall drops from 26 to 33 metres and runs North to South with the predominant current. When conditions are right this is a fantastic dive, often overlooked by divers who know of the more famous Manta Reef. The crenellated wall is inhabited by Giant Potato Bass (hence the name) and features several Manta cleaning stations. This is definitely a pelagic dive with a proliferation of game fish including Great Barracuda, Kingfish, Pick Handle Pike and Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Devil Rays, Bowmouth Guitar Sharks, and, uniquely in this area, Blue Marlin. The memory of a descent through schools of Barracuda onto a Manta Ray cleaning station while Devil Rays circle above is unforgettable.

The Office
Depth: 19 to 24 meters
This is a rock pinnacle, 10 kilometres straight out to sea, coming up from a depth of over 90 meters. The reef is made up of a number of ledges and gullies, part of which includes an extremely rare Manta cleaning station. This is primarily a drift dive with the current running from North to South. The cleaning station is situated on the Northern point of the reef and divers will be treated to the sight of Mantas being cleaned by Cleaner Wrasse. Also seen on this reef are a number of resident Leopard Sharks, White Tip Sharks and Potato Bass, a vast array of game fish can be seen on most dives.

Sherwood Forest
Depth:  27 meters to 39 meters
An 80-meter dome cut away around the bottom and covered with green coral trees (hence the name). These coral trees are home to millions of Goldies, and are a spectacular sight, especially for the keen photographer. Also seen under the dome are large Potato Bass and a resident Brindle Bass (aptly named Robin Hood). This site is home to Mantas, Devil Rays and a variety of game fish.

Anchor Bay
Depth:  9 to 12 meters
This is a large flat circular reef made up of rock and large plate corals with an assortment of beautiful soft corals and sponges. All the normal tropical fish can be seen as well as Crocodile fish, Stonefish, Lionfish and often a school of juvenile Barracuda. This is one of the only inshore reefs where Mantas can be seen, often cavorting on the surface. It is common to see Whale Sharks, Humpback and Bryde’s Whales on the journey. This reef is named after the very large and old sailing ship’s anchor which can be seen here.

Buddies Reef
Depth:  7 to 10 meters
This is an oval rocky reef cut by channels and gullies. With a shallow average depth, this reef offers an opportunity to study some of the smaller fish and nudibranches that this area offers. Pairs of Clownfish and other Anemonefish are common, often with young. Black Spotted and Honeycomb Morays lurk under the ledges and Lobsters and Crayfish hide in the gullies. Coachmen, Moorish Idols, the magnificent Juvenile Emperor and other Angel Fish move in clouds above the reef.

Depth: 14 to 18 meters
This inshore reef resembles a sunken volcano crater or caldera. The ‘crater’ is on average 2-4 metres lower than the surrounding rock, creating a wall around the site. This supports coral life typical of Inhambane’s inshore reefs. Hard and soft corals abound as well as reef and game fish. The centre of the crater is dominated by a number of rocky outcrops amidst the sand offering a slow winding dive with a couple of swim-throughs. This dive also offers one of the best chances to see and snorkel with, Whale Sharks on the journey to and from the dive site.

Pria da Roscha
Depth: 10 meters to 15 meters
This reef is made up of numerous huge boulders, all cutaway on the bottom to form a maze of gullies and swim-throughs, to the point where it resembles a grotto. A vast variety of soft corals can also be found on this reef. All the usual small Tropical Fish can be seen. This is an offshore reef and is therefore not generally affected by currents, but can be affected by a surge as the shore side of the reef is a rock face (as the name suggests ‘Place of the Rocks’).

Chamber of Secrets
Depth: 14 to 21 meters
This reef is shaped like a horseshoe. At 14 meters around the top and 19 metres around the base, it forms a ragged wall lined with six swim-throughs and numerous overhangs and caves. The centre of the horseshoe is a flat, white sandy area frequented by Blue Spotted Rays, Blue Stingrays and Whip-Tailed rays. As the name suggests, it is full of surprises. This reef offers the best chance of seeing Whale Sharks on scuba as it is right in the path of the migrating Whale Sharks. Other sightings normally include Morays, Lizardfish, Trumpetfish, Lionfish (Common and Clearfin), Scorpionfish, and a multitude of reef fish.

Simon’s Town
Depth: 14 meters to 18 meters
Find large chimneys of rock with an amazing amount of holes and gullies running outwards in all directions. A great dive when visibility is good, with large shoals of game fish swimming overhead.

Clownfish Reef
Depth: 9 meters to 10 meters
A fairly flat reef with a lot of living Rock and Plate Coral and small tropical fish. This reef is ideal for a very gentle dive with no current and surge.

Mikes Cupboard
Depth: 14 meters to 16 meters.
A series of Giant pot-holes linked together with caves, overhangs and gullies. As this is an inshore reef, it is not really affected by current. Of particular interest is the vast assortment of soft corals. All the normal array of tropical fishes can be seen, as well as large numbers of Flute and Trumpetfish. Other interesting species not seen anywhere else in this area are the ‘crocodile’ fish and the ‘leaf’ fish which both appear in abundance. This is one of the few reefs in this area where dolphins may be seen on scuba. An absolutely stunning reef, with an abundance of soft coral, a wide variety of nudibranches and plenty of tropical and game fish. Giant crayfish are also amongst the many different species of marine life found on this reef. Also an excellent spot for Whale Shark viewing.

Praia do Roche (Beach of rocks)

Level of dive: Open Water Depth: 5 metres to 18 metres
Soft and hard Corals are scattered among the pinnacles and boulders that cover this area. Swim-throughs and gullies make this a fun dive, and, along with the shallow depth, this is a great site for photographers and those who want to practice skills.

Devil Firefish, Cleaner Shrimp, Crayfish and Morays hide among the nooks with Spanish Dancers, lobsters and Octopus. When there is a big swell, there is too much surge to enjoy this site.

Level of Dive: Open Water Depth: 15 metres to 18 metres
A lovely site, very popular with photographers with lots of macro life. The reef is a long ridge with boulders scattered around, overhangs and caves containing Honeycomb, Black Cheek and Geometric Morays, Firefish and Paperfish. Cleaner shrimp are in abundance and give the site its name, while Trumpet fish happily swim right past your mask. In the sand and among the boulders, Octopus, Blue Spotted Rays and Ribbontail Rays hover.

Barra Lagoon
Level of Dive: Advanced (excellent buoyancy control required) Depth: 3 metres to 5 metres
This is a unique dive location towards the edge of the mangrove swamps and the main reason to dive here are the Sea Horses. These can be found wrapped around the Sea fans and Pipefish and there have been sightings of the extremely rare Dugong in this area. It is an amazing macro location and you can spend 90 minutes easily here and still have plenty to see. Because of the very delicate nature of the surroundings, only experienced divers with excellent buoyancy control can dive here, as even small sand particles kicked up can blind the seahorses.

Lions Den
Level of Dive: Open water Depth: 9 metres to 11 metres
A gentle flat reef with lots of Plate Coral, small tropical fish and of course Lion Fish. Good site for learning and reacquainting yourself with diving.

Level of Dive: Advanced    Depth: 21 metres to 30 metres
Shaped like a large amphitheatre with a 10-metre wall around the edge which drops down, with ledges and gullies into the centre. Plenty of fish occupies the arena and the huge Honeycomb Moray has been nicknamed ‘Russell the Gladiator’. Keep your eyes open for Guitar Sharks in the sand and Potato Bass over the wall. Experience with negative entry, deep dives and ability to descend quickly to this depth is essential.

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