The well known Lighthouse Reef forms a magnificent bay for snorkeling and with many world renowned reefs within easy striking distance, divers can experience underwater beauty at it's best as these are top rated spots on the African East Coast.
The coral garden lies inside the Lighthouse Reef in 2 - 3 meters of water and can be described as one of the finest snorkeling spots of the African East Coast. On a good day, visibility extends to as much as fourty one meters, with thousands of tropical species to be viewed by the entire family.
Jangamo Reef is well known for its incredible whale shark diving opportunities and definitely one of the top places in the world to encounter the majestic whale sharks. Divers are able to dive amongst these amazing gentle giants without a CMAS or other dive qualifications required.
Whale sharks and the odd Humpback Whale are known to be seen all year round though the waters are heavily populated during the Mozambique summer months (September - February). Please note that February is the known time of year for Cyclones, and in case this happens, it has a mojor effect on the visibility as it drops dramatically.
Divers are to be warned and reminded about the rules regarding diving with Whale Sharks, as how close you are allowed to approach these animals as well as touching them. Although Whale Sharks show no threat to divers, they are still extremely powerful sharks and should therefor be respected.
Bottlenose dolphins are the most commonly sighted species along our stretch of coastline. They can be incredibly playful and often surf the bow waves of our diving boat. Sometimes allowing us the opportunity to swim amongst them, depending on their mood.
Manta Reef is world famous for the two Manta cleaning stations, first discovered by Carlos do Rocha in the 1960's. Since then this site has attracted marine biologists, cameramen and divers from around the world. Generally the visibility is between 10 and 30 meters (average of 20 meters). The water temperature in the Indian Ocean varies from 23 to 29 'C. All our dive sites feature an abundance of coral and are all reef dives.
Praia da Rocha
This reef is probably the furthest reef to the north that we dive. The distance to travel is 16 km from Paindane Beach and is more or less a 40 minute boat ride. Depth: 10 - 15 meters with a bottom time of 50 minutes. Topography: The reef consists out of lots of boulders, all cut away 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 coral can also be found on this reef and all the usual small Tropical Fish can be seen here. This is an offshore reef and is therefore not generally affected by currents but may be affected by surge, as the shore side of the reef is a rock face (as the name suggests "Beach of Rocks") It is therefore not dived with a large swell running. Degree of difficulty: This is an easy dive and is suitable for all levels of experience, especially suitable for those looking for a long, slow gentle and interesting dive and of particular interest to the underwater photographer. Visibility: ranges from 10m to 30 m. General: this is a really slow, relaxing and excuisite dive with plenty to see.
Manta reef named after the deep manta cleaning stations, is frequented by large mantas. Manta reef offers two distinct dive sites aptly named Manta Pinnacles, which is the northern tip and Manta Canyons - the southern tip of the reef. Sand sharks, the odd Ragged Tooth Shark and Rays lurk around the sandy fringes. Distance to travel is approximately 14 km and time to travel is about 30 minutes. Visibility ranges from 10- to 30 meters. General: A gentle drift dive from north to south.
Depth: 18 - 24 meters, (max 24 meters), bottom time 32 minutes. Your dive begins with a negative entry to 18 meters on top of the reef and then a further drop-off to 24 meters into the middle of a small amphitheatre teeming with life. Schools of Snappers and Goldies and up to three Spanish Dancers have been located on a single dive. The dive progresses through a series of pinnacles before the first cleaning station is reached, a shallower (21 meters) sandy area called Fishbowl.
Depth: 24 to 32 meters, max 32m.(Close to the reef). Bottom time: 20 minutes. The dive begins with a negative entry to 24 meters on top of the reef and then a further drop-off to 32 meter into the Canyon between the main reef and smaller elongated pinnacles with a gap between of approximately 1 - 1,5 meters between the two. The magnificent Triton Shell can be found here and Scorpion-fish often position themeselves here against the sides of the Canyon and therefore divers need to be careful when they reach this point.
At these cleaning stations, Mantas circle overhead to be cleaned by Sergeant Majors, Cleaner Wrasse and Butterfly fish. In good visibility the dives are amazing with upwards of ten Mantas circling overhead. Even in poor visibility the sight of Mantas appearing from the haze above you is haunting and a moment to be cherished. At the end of the dive your ascent is often accompanied by groups of inquisitive Red Fang Triggerfish and Devil Rays wheeling about your safety stop. Becauese of the depth this dive is only suitable for advanced divers but is an absolute favourite for people completing their advanced course or deep adventure dive. (Ask about Nitrox)
A much larger, deeper reef. Broken up with large sand patches in between, approximately 8km from the launch site. Spectacular sites being Green Tree (25 - 40m), Ecstacy (25 - 30m), and Ougwest (19 - 24m). Giant Morays hide in the caves and crevasses. Hundreds of Snappers and Triggerfish cover the reef like a shower of confetti and rise up from the reef to meet you. An unusual creature frequently found here is the Sea Apple, a large purple and yellow nudibranch-like animal with retracktable gills. This is an excellent dive site for advanced divers. A perfectly planned dive profile will reward you with amazing sightings of Mantas, Marlin, Sailfish and Devil Rays while drifting at your safety stop.
Jangamo Bay Local Reef is located approximately 3km from the Paindane launch site and have 8 - 9 dive sites, providing a variety of diving options at depths between 9 - 24 meters. A large reef, about 600m to 800m long offering caves, gullies, and drop-offs with several dive sites.
Pao Rock, (16 - 21 meters) and Pinnacles are a macro photographer's dream with brightly coloured Nudibranchs, well camouflaged Leaf fish, a variety of Shrimp and a myriad of reef fishes. Caves, (9 - 12 meters) is an amphitheatre with a swim-through cave that features a resident Dragon Moray, Puffer fish, miniature Tobies as well as Murex and Conch shells. Devil's peak (12 - 18 meters) is an almost free standing rock with a swim-through and is home to Potato Bass, banded Cleaner Shrimp and Frogfish.
A characteristic of this reef is the eerie sound coming from the nearby rocks, a distinct "Doeh ......Doeh, doeh, doeh sound that is not just heard but also felt against the chest. Nemo's, Lobsterpot, Hardrock, Batfish Point and Tombstones to mention but a few. The place to see Nudibranchs, Small Fry, Cuttle-fish, Mantis Shrimp, Pipe Fish, Cleaner Shrimp, Sea Moths, Crocodile Fish, Scorpion-fish, Stone Fish, Turtles, White-tip Reef Sharks and a multitude of reef fish plus cowries and Cone shells.
Coral Gardens (Inside Edge)
A site, perfect for snorkeling as well as beginner scuba diving. Depth ranges between 2 - 5 meters, but don't let the shallow depth fool you as competent scuba divers have unreal dives here too. Soft corals, fish and crustaceans abound. Nudibranchs that don't appear in any books. Durban Dancer, banded coral and the not so often seen Marbled Shrimps are all found here and is a perfect spot for the scientist and the beginner.
All our pool scuba training is conductive in this tidal pool, safely in real conditions. The odd whale shark enters the protection of the inside edge to feed, to the delight of snorkellers and scuba divers alike. Even the majestic Mantas come in here to give birth.
Coral Gardens (Outer Edge)
Is a short swim away from the tip of the reef( towards the west)and takes you to the outer edge, starting at 6 meters and dropping to 13 meters. A perfect amphitheatre provides sea-life out of this world. The soft corals are excuisite and offers unbelievably good photographic opportunities. Blue spotted Rays and Guitar sharks are in abundance and lots of juvenile fish of all varieties darting about. Further out, approximately 100 meters beyond, the tip of the reef - Sponges - is found and is aptly named for all the various types and colourful array of sponges found in this reef, starting at 13 meters and gradually dropping down to 19 meters as a broad flat reef where it forms a drop-off to 24 meters. This wall is any photographer's dream and is the beginning of Paindane Ledge, which continues undisturbed for approximately 300 meters. A second to third dive is required to complete the ledge and it is important to dive this spot at the turn of the tide. Honeycomb and Geometric Morays in abundance, Harlequin shrimp hiding in coral heads and Devil Fire Fish by the tens. Masses of fish live here as well as a good chance of finding the latest fishing lure and boat anchor that were fouled and had to be cut loose.
The Reef situated directly behind Paindane reef starts off at 16 meters and drops to 24 meters on the sand with lots of large boulders strewn about creating canyons and overhangs with lots of fish life abound. Conditions need to be good and is dived mainly at high tide to avoid the surges of shallower water. Zambezi and Black tip reef sharks have been found here with an unbelievable array of smaller creatures hiding behind the reefs out of the current. Swimming seawards we run down Angler's Alley. Obviously a favourite spot with the fishermen, hence it's name.
It's important to dive this spot as the tide begins to rise, letting the current do the work for you. Massas of fish live here as well as a good chance of finding the latest fishing lure. Swimming across this reef further seawards, brings you to Paindane Boulders, which forms a drop-off from 22 meters to approximately 28 meters and further down to 35-40 meters in the same geometric layout as the visible reef.
Home to Potato bass and game fish with the good chance of diving with Whale sharks and Mantas. In the Humpback Whale season, June - October, there is a good chance of spotting the whales on a dive and it has happened where the whales circled a group of divers doing their deep and safety stops, a truly remarkable experience.
Paindane Express is not for the fainthearted. Around the point and into the current we go - nautical mile in 30 minutes, no problem! This is game fish paradise with an unbelievable array of smaller creatures hiding behind the reefs out of the current. Potato bass the size of a small car, patrol up and down. Sharks love it here, especially in the deeper areas - Zambezi, Tiger, Dusky and Black tip. Other unusual sightings, such as seahorses hanging onto the sea grass (if you can spot them). Harlequin shrimp hiding in coral heads and lion fish by the tens. It's not uncommon to see over 50 at a time. You need to be a competent diver to get value out of this dive. Buoyancy and control need to be spot on, the DM in sight at all times.
South of Paindane we find Island Rock, which is a vastly different reef to anything else we have. Conditions need to be perfectly calm and is normally dived at high tide. Depth: 12-15 meters (max 15meters) and bottom time is about 15 minutes.
Distance to travel: about 7 km and takes about 10 minutes. Visibility ranges from 10 - 30 meters. General: A gentle surge during the dive which becomes worse as conditions deteriorate. The shallow reef has been carved up into an amphitheatre with huge chunks of rock creating amazing alleyways and swim-throughs. Whale sharks, Mantas and schools of Barracuda and Kingfish often glide up and down the reef. This is a perfect reef for juvenile nurseries and the magnificent Triton Shell.
The Crater (Ralph's Canyon)
A much deeper dive and favourite Blue and Black Marlin fishing spot approximately 18 km south from the launch site. This is mainly a dive for the Deep speciality and Technical dive fraternity. Depths up to 49 meters have been explored with sheer cliff faces starting at 30 meters on the sandy bottom and dropping straight down to 49- and some places to 61 meters(unexplored). Green coral trees and whip coral exceeding 3 meters in length grow on the cliffs with game and bottom fish in abundance. The odd Zambezi shark, about 3 meters in length investigates divers to this area and Potato bass the size of a small car guarding their territory. Visibility ranges from 15 - 20 meters. Everything here is big! Unfortunately no Coelacanths were seen here yet, but could well be around the next turn. This is a Tech diver's dream. Enquire about Nitrox and Trimix.
Contact us to book
(Includes one shallow dive at Coral Gardens Inner)
(Required if you have not dived within 12 months)
ALL SCUBA DIVERS NEED THEIR C-CARDS OR LOG BOOK TO DIVE!