Mozambique has long been known as an attractive diving spot thanks to the thriving marine life along their stretching Indian Ocean coastline. Along the 2500km of Mozambique coastline, there are endless spots and opportunities for great diving, from the southernmost Ponta Do Ouro all the way up to the bay of Pemba.
Whether it’s schools of tropical fish, untouched coral reefs or shipwrecks you’re looking for, you’ll find them all diving in Mozambique. With such a massive coastline, diving is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country.
As such, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of great diving schools of all kind littered up and down the coast – from luxury, all-inclusive ones, all the way down to simple rent-a-suit beach shacks.
As we all know, though, it can be hard to get your footing visiting a new country, and even harder to make on-the-spot-decisions about where to dive, or who to dive with.
To help with this, we’ve put together this guide covering all the best dive schools of different kinds, as well as some great places to stay for divers, and some general tips on how to best enjoy your diving trip to Mozambique.
Ok Squad, let’s dive in!
With tourism along the beachfront being a backbone of the Mozambican economy, it’s no surprise that the country is home to some of the best dive schools around the world.
Whether you’re a seasoned diver or someone who’s heading out into the deep blue for the first time, there’s a school for you out there – And we can ALMOST guarantee you’ll find the perfect match.
The clear Indian Ocean waters are enough to attract anyone to Mozambique for a diving excursion, not to mention the myriad of species of fish from marlin, to tuna, mackerel, and even the majestic sailfish.
Just below, we’ve summed up and reviewed six of the best diving schools in Mozambique, each tailored to serve a unique purpose for everyone on different levels (and budgets) of diving. Let’s have a little swim through them and find the right one for you.
Dive Instructors to die for
Peri Peri Divers has been running for close to 25 years around Tofo, recently just having completed construction and the opening of their all-new revamped dive center in the town.
They’re decked out with some great training pools and facilities, a team of dedicated and encouraging staff, and are a short boat ride away from over 25 reefs for all different levels of divers.
They’re probably one of the best-known diving schools in all of Mozambique, nevermind just the area, and they won’t disappoint with their incredible attention to detail when it comes to both safety and fun, as well as their experience.
Peri Peri Divers offers a whole myriad of different levels of courses, from their “Discover Scuba Diving” course, all the way up to Rescue Diver and Dive Master certifications.
These are all very reasonably priced and suited to different diving skill levels and lengths of stay.
They have over 25 reefs available to visit on excursions which they’ve creatively tagged on levels of ‘spiciness’ or difficulty. For example, their Marble Arch Reef dive, which is a great shallow site for taking underwater photos, has a difficulty of “Lemon & Herb” – whereas the Cavern, where one can see and hear whales at maximum depths of 30m, is listed as “Hot”.
Peri Peri doesn’t offer their own accommodation, although they do have a list of partner lodges and self-catering locations that they’re close with. In addition, if you stay at any of their partner lodges such as the Mozambeat Motel or Vertigo Lodge, you’ll receive a 20% discount on all and any activities with Peri Peri divers.
For more info on accommodation close by in Tofo, take a look at our best places to stay section below.
So, for an introduction to diving and a scuba certification, Peri Peri Divers is the place to be. You’ll be met with endless adventure and fun, and a host of staff who will likely end up your friends by the end of your stay.
Tofo Scuba is a great company to go with for diving courses that won’t break the bank. They have a range of packages available that rank in great in the lower price range of diving courses in Mozambique.
Their dive and stay packages are a great deal, with 14 rooms available which can be booked separately, or appropriately interlinked for family or group stays.
The Tilak lodge is just 600m down the road from the dive center, and about a kilometer from the main town, so everything you need is just a few minutes’ walk away.
The dive courses available at Tofo Scuba cover all the possible packages you could think of. They have everything from ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ all the way up to ‘Divemaster’, with some great options in between such as emergency rescue courses, scuba reviews (for those who just need a refresher course), and even some lovely whale watching packages – perfect to end off a long dive with.
Tofo Scuba also really takes pride in their diving gear, with 40 full sets of Scubapro equipment available for use (which is regularly and meticulously maintained), as well as one of the most advanced air filling stations in the whole of Mozambique. Their team is also passionate about diving, which ensures not only safety but that you’ll have a fun time in the water, even if it turns out diving isn’t really your thing.
While Tofo Scuba might not be the most luxurious or frilly dive center, it’s a great budget option and you won’t be disappointed by what they have on offer. Don’t forget to go check out some of the Tofo nightlife and restaurants for some delectable Mozambican food.
This luxury resort is one of the finest not just in Mozambique, but along the whole east coast of Africa.
It’s truly something out of a movie, with private villas spilling onto white sand beaches, crystal clear warm waters and a whole host of adventurous activities to lose yourself in.
They are PADI 5 Star Certified and located in one of the largest conservation areas in the Indian Ocean – which together make for perfect diving.
They also have boat and fishing tours, although be warned there is a strict catch, tag and release system in place as a conservation method.
Around the resort, you’ll find plenty of things to do like a fully stocked fitness center, a spa, private beach dinners, a pool bar, and some great watersports like jet skiing and boat rides, and sandboarding activities.
Anantara Bazaruto also has a host of packages available to suit each type of guest, from honeymoon and romance offers, to sunset helicopter rides; boat ride offers of diving and whale watching excursions.
While diving is not the main activity at this resort, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in the lap of luxury with diving and opulence close at hand then this is the one for you.
Located right at the southernmost point of Mozambique in the small town of Ponta Do Ouro, lies Back to Basics Adventures, an all-around fantastic dive center and underwater enthusiast’s hub.
From whale watching to becoming a certified scuba diver, there are endless opportunities on offer here.
They offer a range of PADI certified courses for both groups and individuals from all ranges of skill levels. Some of these courses include ‘bubblemaker’, ‘advanced open water’ and ‘dive master’.
All instructors are PADI certified and all courses that they offer include an official card, as well as registration on the PADI network.
Back to Basics also offers accommodation at $30 a night per person in their guest house in Central Ponta Do Ouro. The guest house is in a quiet part of town and only a few minutes walk to the restaurant area, and not far from the local shops and markets where you can buy fresh groceries of a largely tropical variety.
Their guest house is self-admittedly not luxurious, but very cozy and comfortable with outside seating in the garden and a spacious braai area. The house is split into a main house and garden room and sleeps 8 people in total.
This is a great spot for groups to visit, with a beautiful and humble balance between quiet relaxation and a mild local hustle and bustle. While it’s a great spot to have some new diving friends over for drinks and a bit of a party, it’s also a great spot to unwind with all your friends.
Located on a quiet private island, the Azura resort is one of the most idyllic places in Mozambique (and probably the rest of the world too) to have your honeymoon.
Where better to relax with your lover than on a white sand beach, with endless fun and activities at your fingertips? Of course, you can also just relax and take it easy – but where’s the fun in that?
Azura has four open-style villas called the Kaskazi villas, which lie footsteps away from a private beach, have private open-style decks and a butler to wait on your every need.
Their next set of four is the Kusi Villas, designed with less of a modern feel in mind. They’re a step up for the Kaskazi ones, with a number of sweet additions like the private infinity plunge pool.
Finally, the Villa Quilalea is the cream of the crop. It’s a cliff-top villa that opens up straight onto the sea, with a private dining area, private alcove for swimming, a romantically decked out bathroom and more. This would obviously be the ideal honeymoon suite, but the others are by no means out of place for a honeymoon diving retreat.
Being a private island, the dive sites around the Quilalea resort has beautiful access to some of the world’s healthiest unbleached reefs, as well as thriving marine life, and great opportunities for fish spotting or underwater photography.
Azura offers all levels of PADI scuba courses from the kids’ ‘Bubble Maker’ all the way up to divemaster. They stock a host of high-quality diving equipment, and their training pool on the bar deck is perfect for first-timers. They also have a ‘house reef’ which is just a few meters from the shore, perfect for the beginner diver’s first foray into open waters.
Azura’s dive excursions visit 11 reefs close by to the island, all of varying difficulty and environment. On their various dives, you might encounter animal life such as green and hawksbill turtles, humpback whales, reef sharks, and stingrays. If you’re in luck, you might even meet a curious bottlenose dolphin!
All in all, Azura is one of the perfect spots for honeymooners and won’t leave you disappointed for a quality dive and romantic, luxurious stay.
Liquid Dive adventures is a family run company situated close by to the beach of Tofo. They took over the company in 2014, with the aim of running dive courses for anyone interested, from a perspective of being environmentally friendly and on a ‘green mission’.
They are 5 Star PADI certified with a PADI Green Star award for environmental consciousness.
The PADI Green star is awarded for the vision and pursuit in conservation, and Liquid Dive Adventures is the first company in Mozambique to be awarded this accolade.
They have a great profile of water conservation, energy use, and paperless communication, as well as conservation leadership initiatives such as an onsite vegetarian/vegan restaurant, and a Shark Guardian partnership.
Liquid Dive Adventures runs twelve different dive courses covering everything from beginners and kids to specialties like Advanced Open Water and Nitrox Combined, or Emergency Response First Provider. Their courses are all priced in Euros, with the cheapest starting around 50 Euro and the most expensive upwards of 500.
They also supply their own accommodation in the form of 11 eco-friendly cabins. They have private terraces and Scandinavian interiors, as well as a beachfront pool, and are in a mostly private area of the beach that isn’t too far from Tofo’s main areas of restaurants. They are air-conditioned with WiFi and sleep two people per room.
Liquid Dive Adventures also offers some great packages combining nights’ stay and dives, from a 3 Night / 6 Dive package all the way up to a 15 Night / 20 Dive Package. They also have similar whale tour packages if you’re a non-diver, but of course, if you’re reading this then you’re undoubtedly a diving fanatic.
Liquid Dive is an all-round great company to go with for an eco-friendly dive-stay in Mozambique and will leave you feeling satisfied with their leadership efforts in conservation, as well as their welcoming family-run business. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Happi Bar for a cocktail at sunset!
Diving in Mozambique is a wonder for both new and old divers alike, not only thanks to the pristine ocean conditions and underwater wildlife but also the year-round diving-friendly weather conditions in the area. Reef depths sit around 10m – 40m and thanks to the clear Indian Ocean waters, make for some of the best underwater photography sites in the world.
There are plenty of game fish around the reefs, while you’re more likely to see some Moorish idols, butterfly fish or blue striped snappers in school in and around the coral.
There are also some more prized species of fish you can encounter in Mozambique, such as Barracuda, Manta Rays, sharks, and even dolphins and whale sharks.
Sea temps in Mozambique range from 30 degrees Celsius in summer to 21 degrees Celsius in winter, meaning it’s a pretty warm ocean year-round and perfect for diving even in the depths of winter.
These high temperatures are thanks to Mozambique’s tropical climate, which has a wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September.
Water visibility is fantastic, reaching depths of 10-40m, however, when there’s too much plankton you’re going to find yourself in cloudy waters – best to phone ahead and check the weather reports to avoid disappointment.
These conditions are, of course, ideal if you’re bringing a newbie or inexperienced divers with you on your trip.
Diving in Mozambique is year-round, with no real hotspot or a particular time of year that’s better than another. Although there are a few exceptions.
February, and a little bit either way is where typhoons are most likely to happen, so perhaps avoid that window if you’re looking to avoid a possible nasty surprise.
May to November, during their winter season, is the best time to go for cooler temps with less rain, although if you find yourself there in the rainy season it’ll be heavy and sporadic, rather than a constant downpour.
December, as well as the June/July period is the main part of the tourist season, and is the main time of year where you’re going to encounter season rates, as well as high volumes of tourists visiting the area.
All in all, however, you can dive pretty much year-round in Mozambique, as many do. No matter when you find yourself there, you’re still in one of the best dive spots in the world, and as such won’t be left disappointed.
The easiest way to get to Mozambique would be to simply fly direct into one of the many airports dotted up and down the country. Most of these airlines are internationally accessible, and if not, a short connecting flight from Johannesburg, South Africa will do the trick.
Another option would be to fly to Johannesburg, rent a car and drive the 420 km (261 miles) to the border, driving another 50 km to the capital Maputo, and working it out from there.
This would be best advised only for experienced travelers who’ve driven around and navigated foreign countries before. If you haven’t, we’d recommend only getting behind the wheel once you’re set up at your accommodation in Mozambique.
SPLASH! It’s important to remember that scuba diving is an extreme sport. Accidents can happen. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble.
What’s more, because diving can take you all around the world, it’s absolutely essential you make sure you are properly covered by the best scuba diving insurance before leaving your home country.
We recommend going with Dive Assure. Why?
Most of the dive schools we’ve listed offer their own accommodation, or partner with nearby places that are easy to organize and great to stay at. A lot of these spots also make for great accommodation if you’re diving without a school, or not diving at all.
Here’s a list of all the best places to stay in Mozambique for divers, as well as few points and some background on each one.
Pariango Backpackers is affiliated with Tofo scuba who we reviewed further up in this article. There are also adequate cooking facilities, such as a self-catering kitchen and outdoor barbeque.
In addition, there’s wifi in the reception area and a laundry service for the whole backpackers, making it a convenient option for a super-cheap stay.
The backpackers is a 9-minute walk from Tofo Scuba, and about a four to five-minute walk from the main area of the town where you might shop, or go for a drink or a bite to eat.
Zavora lodge is a great place to stay if you want to stay somewhere where your neighbours are all going to be dive fanatics.
It’s close by to Wobbegong Scuba Dive Centre and there is also great diving and fishing at Zavora. The launch bay is protected by a large reef which creates a tidal pool ideal for beginner divers and kids. A shuttle service provides transport to more distant dive spots.
Anantara Bazaruto Island is an island like no other. They offer a Sea View Pool Villa, a Deluxe version of this Villa and most luxurious, the Anantara Pool Villa.
There are a number of dining spots around the island each with different intent and used in rotation (lunch at two outlets a day, and dinner at a rotating outlet).
Their award-winning spa features five treatment rooms, a sauna, a hydrotherapy pool and jacuzzi, and much, much more.
Being one of the most romantic spots to vacation in Mozambique, you’ll probably want to go for the Honeymoon Heaven package at Azura, where the bride receives a 40% discount on everything.
In this package, all meals and house drinks are included in the price. You’ll spend your time diving, swimming and taking whale watching ocean safaris (or open-sided landrover game drives). There’s also private beachfront dining available, which really sums up the nature of this resort.
Baobab Beach Backpackers is just minutes away from Casa Babi, Odyssea Dive as well as KiteSchool Mozambique.
The on-site coffee house, bar and restaurant are all there to suit your sustenance needs, as well as being a great spot to meet fellow divers and other holidaymakers.
The Baobab Beach Backpackers also offers a host of paid activities such as local culture tours, private cooking classes and pub crawls, as well as some on the more extreme end such as windsurfing, bike rental, canoeing and horse rides..
Other than diving, there’s a hell of a lot to do in Mozambique. Most tourists who are there for reasons other than diving are going to see one of three things: big game safaris, food, and culture. Let’s take a look at some cool things to do in Mozambique when you’re not meters below sea level.
Things are pretty laid back in Mozambique – it’s almost like the Hawaii of southern Africa in that regard. While you might not find a thriving party scene or great nightclubs, you’re still going to be met with some fantastic nightlife in the form of beach and cocktail bars, with a smattering of live music and some great seafood.
It’s a great place to get out and about at night, for a meal or a drink and get chatting to some locals, or friendly travelers at a local haunt.
We’ll stress again that the seafood here is not to be missed – you can find some of the freshest fish, shellfish and other sea creatures in this area, and boy do they know how to cook them properly.
If you’re in Tofo, keep an eye out for Tofo-Tofo where you can find an authentic seafood pasta that you won’t forget for years to come.
Mozambique is a pretty underdeveloped country overall, who struggled like so many other African countries to gain their footing post-colonization.
They were left without much to work with after gaining their independence in 1975 after over four hundred years of Portuguese rule, and somewhat naturally tourism became one of the main sources of income countrywide.
From their incredible range of diving opportunities which we’ve already looked at, to fishing, national parks, and other outdoor adventures, there are endless things to do here as a tourist.
The local people are friendly and welcoming, and while you might encounter one or two stubborn faces – for the most part, people will always be more than happy to help you out with directions, a snack, advice on a place to go, and just about anything more.
Whether you decide to rent scuba gear or buy your own, there are some essential items that won’t be provided for you. You would not want to go on your liveaboard adventure without:
Diving Camera – Any normal camera will break if taken diving – even if it’s waterproof it won’t be able to withstand high depth pressure and the focus will not be designed for underwater photography. To share your diving adventures with the world, make sure you have a proper scuba diving camera.
Full Face Snorkel Mask – In between dives, you’ll get countless snorkelling opportunities on your liveaboard trip. For snorkelling, it’s much better to utilise a full face snorkel mask for maximum comfort and 180 viewing! The best ones have an attachment mount for GoPros.
Reusable Water Bottle – Having a durable, reusable and recyclable water bottle that’ll keep liquids cold is essential for both eco awareness and hydration = scuba success! We love the TankH2O – It is all of those things and looks like a scuba tank!
After trying and testing an ocean of backpacks, we’ve come to the coralusion that the Dometool Waterproof Dry Backpack is the number one backpack for divers! Why? Well:
Ok Squad! Here’s the deal. Scuba Diving requires a ton of gear. This should come as no real surprise, considering that the very nature of this sport is to breathe underwater – the exact opposite of what us humans are evolved to do!
When you go on your liveaboard adventure, you have two options on the gear front:
Below is a full listing and description of the entire inventory required to scuba dive. Let’s jump right in:
BCD – A BCD is the jacket divers wear to maintain optimum buoyancy, which they can adjust by operating the inflate and deflate buttons. This makes sure they neither sink to the bottom nor rise to the top of the water! As well as this, the BCD holds the divers regulator(s), dive gauge and air tank.
Regulator / Octopus – The regulator reduces pressurised breathing oxygen to ambient pressure and delivers it to the diver through a mouth piece. Remember, you need two – one for you and a spare for a buddy in case of emergencies!
Scuba Weight Belt – A diving weight belt assists with maintaining optimum buoyancy, by stopping divers from floating to the top of the water. How much weight you take will depend on your build, weight and diving ability.
Dive Gauge – Essential for keeping track of your air consumption and the depth at which you are diving. The best ones also feature compasses and can read the water temperature (useful for bragging rights when you go on extremely cold dives!).
Ultimate Combo Package – Whew! That’s a lot of gear we’ve covered. If you don’t yet have any scuba gear and want to bulk buy at great quality and value, this is the number one scuba starter pack out there.
And there you have it Squad! You are now fully armed and finned to take on Mozambique and have the scuba diving adventure of your life! What are you waiting for!? Get involved now!!
To Diving Squad, the grizzly stats above are appalling, tragic and completely UNACCEPTABLE. That’s why we are working hard towards combating plastic pollution in the ocean.
How do we do this? Through spreading awareness, providing informative guides on eco friendly diving and donating 10% of all profits that we make towards combating plastic pollution in the Ocean.
So, how does Diving Squad make money? Through You! Every time you click on one of our painstakingly, yet lovingly researched liveaboard, gear or insurance links and spend money – we earn a % commission thanks to affiliate partnerships.
We then donate 10% of this towards Marine Conservation Schemes that target plastic pollution.
What does this mean? It means that if you book a Liveaboard through a Diving Squad link – some of that money goes directly towards Marine Conservation. Buy a piece of Gear through a Diving Squad link?
Nice! You’ve just contributed money towards Marine Conservation. Booked yourself Diving Insurance through Diving Squad? Go, go Marine Conservation!
So help us…help you…help the Ocean. Together, we can do this.
To which Marine Conservation charity do we donate, you might ask? Our squad is already hard at work selecting the ideal candidate. The winner will be announced at the end of 2019. Have a suggestion? We’d love to hear… If we pick your suggestion, there just might be something in it for you…
Contact us at: Alex Hatton: [email protected] (Grand Admiral at Diving Squad).