Is the Snorkelling Good in Mozambique? Hell Yeah!

Snorkelling in Mozambique is probably the most popular outdoor ‘in the ocean activity’ on this side of Africa. This is a definitive guide to the best places to snorkel in Mozambique opens up a treasure chest of Indian Ocean holiday opportunities in Tofo, Barra, Ponta do Ouro, Ponta Mamoli and the Bazaruto Islands of course. Snorkelling in Mozambique! All you need to know about the best reefs and dive spots for snorkelling along the coast and Bazaruto Archipelago right here. Holiday package deals! Tailor-made for your dream snorkelling holiday needs. Hell yeah, the snorkelling IS good in Mozambique!

couple diving off a boat in the ocean
The best diving in Mozambique is the marine national parks. These are some of the best dive sites anywhere on earth.

A summer holiday in Mozambique is incomplete without snorkelling and diving adventures to swim with dolphins, whale sharks and manta rays. Many visitors to the warm East African coast prefer to snorkel in shallower waters for an easier, faster entry into captivating ocean menageries without having to don scuba diving equipment.  All you have to do is swim off a pearly white beach from a luxury villa, fins and mask at the ready.  

The Best Places to Snorkel in Mozambique

This comprehensive guide to Mozambique snorkelling meccas takes you from the deep south, past Maputo Bay to Vilankulo, the gateway to the awe-inspiring Bazaruto Islands. Sit back and relax as we guide you to the best places to snorkel in Mozambique – from the dolphin bays of Ponta do Ouro and Ponta Mamoli down south to the lively Bay of Maputo. A short boat ride away lies the thriving ocean sports hub of Machangulo Peninsula and the Inhaca Island research sanctuary. Heading north to Inhambane’s surfing hub of Tofo and the beautiful beaches of Praia de Barra, snorkellers are in for an underwater drama when they get close to whale sharks and manta rays! A private villa in Vilankulo is the ideal base from which to explore one of the best places to snorkel in Mozambique, the Bazaruto Archipelago. 

Snorkelling in Ponta do Ouro and Ponta Mamoli

Snorkelling in Mozambique takes on a whole new meaning when you go snorkelling with dolphins in Ponta do Ouro. All you have to do is find the fabulous dolphin conservation groupDolphin Encountours to take you out swimming with the dolphins and experience something deeply spiritual as you connect with such intelligent ethereal beings. Angie Gullan is a dolphin expert who goes out of her way to make a safe space for humans and dolphins to connect in the habitat of wild dolphins. Every swim with dolphins contributes to their research, their well-being and their ongoing conservation in the Indian Ocean. Dolphin swimming excursions last between 2 to 5 hours and are regulated via a strict code of conduct to ensure the safety of the dolphins and their habitat.  

Swim with the dolphins

Mozambique explorers who want to swim with the dolphins should treat themselves to classy accommodation at the magnificent White Pearl Resorts for a week on a unique dolphin safari deal. This contemporary hotel is set in lush dune forests with careful emphasis on the sparking ocean views and the sugary beach below. 

Maputo Bay and Machangulo Peninsula

Some visitors may want to stop awhile in Maputo to sample the food and party vibe at the best nightclubs and restaurants before booking snorkelling trips to Inhaca Island. Mixing business with pleasure is a great way to holiday in Mozambique and where better to do this than in Maputo, the vibrant capital of a warm-hearted country. Snorkelling spots from Maputo Bay are easy to get to – simply grab a quick boat ride to Inhaca Island for the dive or snorkel of your life! Day trippers love the island for its preserved biodiversity, mangrove swamps, beaches, and swims.  

People snorkeling in the clear waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago
Snorkelling provides the opportunity to observe underwater life in a natural setting without the complicated equipment and training required for scuba diving.

Not far away is the magnificent Machangulo Peninsula and private nature reserve, a wild, untouched piece of land jutting into the Indian Ocean on the eastern side of Maputo Bay. It’s one of the best Mozambique family holiday destinations and Machangulo Beach Lodge boasts a state-of-the-art marine activity centre. Take the children down there to try some snorkelling adventures or a PADI dive course. They will boat you out to the Inhaca Island Marine Reserve to explore its mind-blowing 2 km of pristine reefs on their island picnic snorkeling trip.

Stunning accommodation at the amazing Machangulo Beach Lodge.

Aerial view of the coastline and beach in Mozambique
Aerial view of Machangulo Beach Lodge and the coastline around it.

Inhaca Island

The closest untouched snorkelling spot to Maputo for very good swimmers is Inhaca Island, a coral reef running up its west coast from Praia do Coral. Traditional fisherfolk still reside on the island, located inside Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve which harbours myriad reef fish and turtles. Get into the water at low tide to see the best corals and exquisite seagrass beds where seahorses and starfish hide. Don’t miss snorkelling in the shallow, spectacular Coral Gardens (or Barreira Vermelha), a wallof hard and soft corals reaching about 400 m long where parrot fish, damsels, bannerfish, triggerfish, octopus and lobsters flit. 

Tofo and Barra Beaches

Snorkelling in Inhambane is magical because this region is famous for its charismatic megafauna sightings, whale watching in season and biodiverse mangroves and estuaries. Snorkelers can look out for tiny seahorses in the Barra Estuary or plan their Mozambique holidays to fall within the best whale shark spotting season from September to February. These huge gentle giants congregate offshore to tuck into the plankton blooms at this time. Tofo has some truly excellent diving in healthy reefs hosting magnificent reef sharks, whales and dolphins. Don’t miss Manta Reef, home of three cleaning stations where numerous Mantas gather.  

An aerial view of guests snorkeling with whale sharks in Mozambique
A group of guests snorkelling off a dhow with whale sharks. A once in a lifetime experience!

Swim with Whale Sharks

The Bazaruto Archipelago

The Bazaruto Archipelago can be seen offshore from Vilankulo and is one of the most popular snorkelling spots in all of Mozambique. Dive into warm clear waters between the 6 tiny islands to see an array of underwater splendour – choose the bays around Santa Carolina Island, Benguerra Island and Margaruque Island. On a good day, avid snorkellers may see whale sharks, rare dugongs and plenty of silver game fish. 

There’s an exciting array of accommodation choices in bountiful beach hotels, seaside lodges, island villas, village guest houses and family-run bed and breakfasts to host you and your snorkelling dreams.  Mozambique’s Bazaruto Islands are the grandest snorkelling holiday destination in Africa. 

Diving and Snorkelling Holidays for Families in Mozambique

Diving and snorkelling go hand in hand with family holidays in Mozambique. All children need is a mask, snorkel and fins for hours spent in warm clear waters looking at fish, seaweeds, corals and more. Imagine a value-for-money self-catering family experience in the huge dune forests of the Machangulo Peninsula where water activities are the name of the game. We love these family snorkelling destinations in Mozambique:


aerial shot of the Cabo beach villas
Cabo Beach Villas offer classy special family deals.

Cabo Beach Villas are so close to Maputo that you can take a boat or drive there to stock up on fresh foods or just to explore the mesmerising bay. Santa Maria village is a 10-minute boat ride away and if you chose a self-drive holiday, you could use your own vehicle to take a trip into Maputo to see the sights.

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Large outdoors dining table with cutlery set during sunset at Rio Azul in Mozambique
Rio Azul Lodge is a family paradise.

Rio Azul Lodge is located on the banks of the Govuro River and the name means “Blue River”. This luxury lodge is a premier fishing resort in Mozambique with facilities and activities on the estuary and the beach to keep everyone happy. Snorkelling is super satisfying off the edges of the estuary and mangroves where the waves ebb and flow. Excursions to Santa Carolina (Paradise Island) offer excellent snorkelling opportunities within the Bazaruto Archipelago and can be combined with picnic lunches to the islands.

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Outdoor swimming pool surrounded by the deck and sunbeds at Sentidos Beach Retreat in Inhambane
Sentidos Beach Retreat is a natural oasis for children.

One of the newest additions to admirable beach accommodation in Inhambane is the pretty Sentidos Beach Retreat, perfectly placed between a lagoon with a mangrove swamp, the ocean and a long white beach. This is a child’s playground with birds and wildlife everywhere to be seen, as well as plenty of underwater fun when snorkelling is the chosen water sport! There’s a central restaurant and swimming pool too and it’s only a short 30 minutes to the town.

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Explore world-class snorkelling spots off Vilanculos where you can swim near whale sharks and manta rays. Further afield are the idyllic islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago, also located within a prime marine sanctuary, so offering a rich array of turtles, fame fish, mantas, whales and sharks, not forgetting all the tiny fascinating critters in between that make snorkelling such a rewarding ocean based past time for all ages. 

These magic isles all offer extraordinary snorkelling experiences, safe and warm, and close to the luxury accommodation you choose. 

  • The pro diving instructors at the awesome Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa grew up in the area so know the waters like the back of their hands. 
  • Choose a top-of-the-range diving package at extravagant &Beyond Benguerra Island for your lavish holiday in an island paradise. Get kitted out at their fully equipped dive centre where PADI courses and snorkelling fill your days.
  • Learn how to dive and get some extraordinary snorkelling hours in at the brilliant Azura Benguerra PADI 5* Dive Centre. 

Mozambique is a snorkelling paradise so get out your mask and flippers and go ahead, book that trip today!

Browse our top 10 accommodation venues for the best snorkelling destinations in Mozambique.