The scuba diving in Africa offers some of the best and most colorful coral reefs in the red sea as well as incredible encounters with pelagics in Mozambique and South Africa.
The red sea from Egypt is the most famous diving area in Africa. Egypts best locations are the Blue Hole close to Dahab, the breathtaking wrecks in the north (including one of the best wrecks in the world, the Thistlegorm), large pelagics like oceanic white tip, grey reef, thresher and hammerhead sharks at the Brother islands and Daedalus as well as massive unspoilt coral reef structures in the south. Visibility is mostly incredible creating aquarium-like conditions. Many of these are best visited on a liveaboard. These are surprisingly affordable starting at USD 600 per week.
Besides being one of the best places for whale shark encounters on scuba the country is famous for all kinds of large pelagics. Typical encounters are mantas, bull sharks, hammerheads, reef shark, leopard shark, mola mola, turtles, barracuda, kingfish, marlin, sailfish, dolphin and humpback whales passing through in the right season. Famous destinations are Tofo, Inhabame, Ponta do Ouro, Pomene and Zavora.
South Africa is most famous for its sardine run which can be observed by very lucky divers between May and July almost every year. What makes the diving special here besides this is the abundance of different shark species. The best places to dive with sharks are Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoal. Species to be encountered include oceanic black tip, ragged tooth (sand tiger), zambezi (bull), tiger, guitar and dusky shark.
In the area around Cape Town it is possible to dive with playful sea lions. The sites there are covered in kelp forests where divers might catch a glimpse of a sevengill cow shark.
Sodwana Bay in the north east is home to the only coral reef of South Africa with heaps of seahorses, pipefish, eels, juvenile fish and shrimp.
The dive sites around Zanzibar and Mafia are covered in mostly hard coral and inhabited by tropical fish, moray eels, lobster, stingray, turtles, grouper and larger pelagics like barracuda, trevally, tuna and kingfish. Very lucky divers might even encounter some sharks including hammerheads. The visibility can be up to 40 m on a good day.
The five marine protected areas in Kenya offer amazing wreck diving as well as colorful coral with abundant tropical fish, some small creatures and large pelagic encounters.
The scuba diving in Madagascar is probably not the best in the world. However, during winter the humpback whales gather around the island to mate or give birth. During this time it is possible to observe the whales from the surface in Sainte Marie and if very lucky even during a dive. For sure the whales can be heard during diving on the reefs with some endemic fish. Whale sharks are around Nosy Be during the season from Sep until Dec. These can mostly be seen snorkling.
The Seychelles are mainly famous for incredibly white beaches and palm trees. The perfect island paradise. It does offers some nice diving too on coral reefs with tropical fish and walls. Out in the blue pelagics like schooling barracudas, sometimes mantas and even whale sharks might be encountered during the right season.
The diving around Mauritius is said to be very diverse. The island is surrounded by a barrier reef made out of colorful coral, walls, caverns and arches. Some of the favourite sights are ancient wrecks, a cave-like large swim-through with a lot of light penetrating in, huge rock structures, eagle rays and hammerheads.