A snorkeling experience in Mozambique.

The azure waters of the Indian Ocean offer the best snorkeling in Southern Africa.

The Indian Ocean along the coast of Southern Africa boasts some of the most pristine snorkeling spots in the world. Remote and accessible to only a handful of serious travelers, you’ll find yourself in awe not only of the colorful reefs and marine life, but the exclusive nature of your experience. These sites are remote, which also secures their preservation.

Mozambique’s 1000km coastline offers the cream of the crop. The Bazaruto Archipelago is the most reachable, as the islands are only an easy dhow trip from the mainland and Vilankulos Airport. The seabed surrounding this collection of six islands is remarkably unspoiled and teeming with sea life. In addition to ample fish, leatherback, green and Hawksbill turtles can all be found here, along with bottlenose dolphins, manta rays, whale sharks and dugongs. Though idyllic snorkeling and diving sites abound, Two Mile Reef is the most prolific spot.

Further north along the coast (and alluringly isolated), the Quirimbas National Park is a snorkeling utopia. The offshore reefs support an incredible wealth of marine wildlife, including 52 coral and more than 400 species of fish. The snorkeling here is particularly exclusive, as most of the islands are uninhabited save for a few exclusive lodges. Moray eels, stingrays, barracudas, kingfish and other large game fish roam these warm tropical waters, while smaller species include Angelfish, Triggerfish, Sweet lips and Puffer fish.

If your travels are limited to South Africa, then the reefs along KwaZulu-Natal’s extreme North Coast offer the most captivating underwater explorations. Within the Maputaland Marine Reserve, you’ll find the 50km complex of reefs of Sodwana Bay. Snorkelers and divers frequently encounter schools of dolphins, turtles and even a few shark species. This is a truly off-the-beaten track part of the country which is well worth the trek.

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