South Africa, Mozambique

The first thought that enters the minds of most people who consider a vacation to South Africa is of big animals. While it is certainly possible to go only to dive, most visitors enjoy a combination of diving and topside safari. The feature attractions of the underwater world are adrenaline pumping Great White Shark expeditions in Shark Alley between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock. This area is home to an estimated 60,000 Cape Fur Seals, a natural food source for Great Whites.

Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoals, near Durban, provide some great dives where aptly named dive sites provide insight into what to expect. Popular sites include Amphitheatre, Cathedral, Shark Gully, Lionfish Hole and Lace Reef. Throughout the area there is an abundance of hard and soft coral, sponges and 1,200 plus fish species, but the greatest attraction is the variety of commonly seen sharks. Thick concentrations of Ragged Tooths top the list, but other frequently encountered species include Copper, Bull (Zambezi), Hammerhead, Tiger and Whale Sharks.

To the northeast of South Africa lies Mozambique. The diving is as untamed as the countryside, and adventure travelers will find waters rich with life. Massive shoals of baitfish, tuna, Kingfish, sharks, sailfish and schooling barracuda teem beneath the waves, with Ponto do Oro a favorite location.