Mozambique Travel

Vamizi Island Mozambique

Scuba Diving at &Beyond Vamizi Island Lodge

An afternoon of sun, sea and serenity, and some of the best diving in Mozambique!

Vamizi Island’s waters contain a plethora of marine life and have been deemed one of the healthiest coral reef eco-systems in the world. Vamizi Island is ideally located where the south equatorial current splits- heading north to Tanzania, and south towards the eastern coastline of South Africa. These busy currents are brimming with life-containing large resources of microscopic plankton and krill, a majorly important food source which supports the variety of species found to be living within the coral reef system. Vamizi offers diving for all levels, with shallow pristine coral gardens to lose yourself in for beginners -to deeper slopes to slowly glide down for advanced divers.

Vamizi Island Lodge lies in the northern part of the Quirimbas Archipelago, and beneath the islands shores-lies the Metundo Canyon to the south and Vamizi Canyon to the north. Most of Vamizi is surrounded by a coralline lagoon that is lined by a fringing reef. A combination of wild underwater landscapes, the bounty of tropical ocean currents and an abundance of aquatic life, makes Vamizi a truly world-class diving holiday destination. Dive sites are being discovered all the time, catering for all abilities from the novice to the experienced diver and Vamizi’s PADI dive masters and instructors are always on hand to guide and teach.

Vamizi operates the only water sports centre located on the island, which is also the base for Mozambique and the only shore-based dive centre. The dive centre also offers PADI dive courses, snorkelling, sport fishing, highly selective and ethical spearfishing (while free diving) and free diving trips. We also operate and charter Mozambique liveaboard catamarans for amazing scuba or spearfishing trips that include Vamizi and Lazarus Banks!

Warm waters beckon and show off their exceptional visibility throughout the year, the Quirimbas is so pristinely untouched thanks to their isolated location. Tropical ocean currents attract a variety of marine life, from large game species to colourful reef inhabitants-even little racing seahorses! Research has shown that the reefs around Vamizi Private Island are a perfect breeding area for both fish and corals and are home to a mass spawning of coral that has not been witnessed anywhere else off the African coast. The waters around Vamizi offer the opportunity to dive with grey reef sharks, gigantic potato cod, elegant batfish, snapper and the streamlined barracuda.

Explore a magical underworld beneath the Indian Ocean waves!

Vamizi and its surrounding coral islands provide a much-needed refuge for marine biodiversity-protecting its inhabitants are important! The busy waters of Vamizi Island identified 46 genera of coral species and more than 400 species of fish. Widespread seagrass covers the seabed -a sight to behold- and the coastline is fringed with health teeming mangrove forests, providing an extensive nursery area for the newly bread fish. These nurseries are one of the most important breeding grounds to replenish fish stocks for the sea surrounding Mozambique. Be sure to visit these magnificent protected biomes holding precious secrets of the sea.

The larger marine life encountered in the area includes both protected green and hawksbill turtles, as well as yellowfin tuna, huge schools of barracuda, kingfish, red snappers and even marlin. Divers may encounter pods of humpback dolphins, as well as the majestic whale sharks and even humpbacked whales in their migratory season.

The best and most successful time of year to dive is from September to November when the sea is calmer, the ocean currents relaxed and the water temperature is a pleasantly warm 26 to 28 ºC. There are fifteen main and most exemplary dive sites around Vamizi Island, with more being discovered all the time for your adventure to this remote paradise.

Ponta Papagaio, Skunk Alley, Middle Point, Cave Wall, Babylon, Canal Walk and Chamonix Express:

These spectacular dive sites are located along the wall at the point and can be dived at depths ranging from 10-30m. Stunning sloping topography, impressive infinite coral beds- teeming with reef fish. Barracuda can be found by the dozen in Skunk Alley along with mating Turtles and more than the eye could see of reef-dwelling fish. Skunk Alley and Cave Wall, (aka the House Reef), both offer smooth easy diving-gentle and calm…

These sites are amazing for seeing some of the larger marine flora and fauna, whilst still being shallow and accessible enough for novice divers. Groupers, large Napoleon wrasse and colourful parrotfish are common here, as well as the famously protected Vamizi’s Green and Hawksbill turtles! Incredibly jewelled nudibranchs bring colour to the corals and, if you look carefully and blend like a fish- you might spot camouflaged stonefish, leaf scorpionfish and lobsters hiding in nooks and crannies. Babylon is a very special secluded spot within Vamizi’s waters, boasting some of the most spectacular corals uncannily unbleached and almost always in flower. This site is home to a bounty of different species of puffer fish- which blow themselves up into round spiny balloon-like balls when threatened.

Traverse the seas to Tuki Point, where the diving begins- the dive guide, will lead you across a shallow plateau covered in healthy hard corals. Longnose butterflyfish and vivid blue surgeonfish undisturbed in their protected habitat-go about their business of plucking food from the tips of the coral.

Nearing the drop-off, the underwater seascape begins to change. You may notice that many of the coral heads bare the marks of bites and scrapes, white scars on the surface of the Porites coral colonies and chunks taken off the stout tips of the Pocillopora coral….

Experience the rush as you dip over the lip of the reef wall, and come across schools of fish interacting and plodding along in their natural biome!  Happen upon Humphead parrotfish -likely sightings of these majestic creatures, with their massive beaks chomping their way along the edge of the reef like a herd of grazing cattle! Astonishingly and most rare exclusive collections up to 100 of these grazing giants. Successive dives on Vamizi inshore reefs showcase unforgettable sights to be seen -the coral and bustling species are in excellent health and extraordinarily beautiful.

Metundo Canyon, Neptune’s Arm, Fraggle Rock, and Giants:

The dives on the Metundo Canyon are the most rewarding for advanced divers. The Metundo Canyon lies in the northern part of the Quirimbas Archipelago.  Located between the islands of Metundo to the south and Vamizi to the north.  The canyon is approximately 5 nautical miles wide and drops to some whopping 500 m at its centre.

Especially for advanced divers, a diving expedition to Neptune’s’ Arm is a must-do exemplary experience. Named among the top dive destinations in the world Neptune’s exquisite reef features; beautiful drop-offs, canyons and pinnacles. Diving around Vamizi Island is exceptional, with its top sites being Neptune, Fraggle Rock, and the grand Giants! Neptune’s Arm aptly swept by currents, this is not a dive site for the easily intimidated or indeed novice diver (you do need an advanced ticket to partake) – if there was ever any encouragement needed to do your Advanced PADI, the prize of Neptune’s Arm should suffice. Locally known as ‘Neptune’s Arm,’ (the jewel in the crown) the actual and literal dive site of Neptune is a famous world class dive site currently only dived by those privileged enough to stay on the 5 star resort island of &Beyond Vamizi. Neptune is the only known aggregating place for Grey Reef Sharks in East Africa, and they can be found in large numbers from August through December.

Fraggle Rock and Giants are two mind-blowing dive sites bordering the breath-taking drop-off to one side and coral laden plateau to the other.  Large Potato and Giant Groupers dominate the reef there, where sightings of Grey Reef Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks, and giant Napoleon Wrasses, big numbers of Clown and other Triggers-colours, and sizes will dazzle your mind.