From the kelp forests of the southern tip of Africa to the sea grass plains of the Kenyan coasts, Africa’s beaches truly have something for every snorkelling enthusiast. The warm currents of the Indian Ocean carried from the Indian subcontinent have allowed for the development of beautiful arrays of coral and vivid sea creatures along Africa’s southeast coastlines, and island beaches of ivory-colored sand from Madagascar to Mauritius provide a beautiful backdrop to any underwater adventure.
Aliwal Shoal – South Africa
3 miles from the South African city of Durban on the country’s eastern coast, the area known as Unkomaas offers unparalleled opportunities to view sharks, rays, turtles, and octopi, as well as smaller critters like nudibranchs, eels, and fish. Aliwal Shoal is named after one of two shipwrecks in the vicinity of the shoal, and the submerged vessels offer exciting sightseeing possibilities. The area is an especially popular shark-spotting site between July and November when the grey rag-tooth shark enjoys its breeding season.
Nanatha Bay – Mozambique
Mozambique has more than a thousand miles of beautiful coastline, dotted with mangroves and lagoons, so it’s hard to choose just one. Some are easily accessible, like Nanatha Bay, but there are more elusive snorkelling and diving spots that require off-road vehicles. Nanatha Bay is home to a house reef: there you can see clownfish, starfish, numerous species of angelfish and sweetlips, to name a few, and witness an array of coral and seagrass beds. A national marine reserve since 2007, it spans a mile of shell white sand lapped by gentle turquoise waves.
Nungwi Beach – Zanzibar
Any snorkelling aficionado or absolute beginner will be spoiled for choice when visiting the Zanzibar archipelago. Mnemba Island is the most famous spot and for this reason we’ve left it off the list, it reportedly gets quite crowded. Nungwi Beach is best known for its beginner snorkelling spots that offer unparalleled access to a host of beautiful fishes: clownfish, cowfish, razorfish, scorpionfish, shrimps, and ghost pipefish are some of the likely suspects even a newbie snorkeler can expect to encounter in its shallow waters.
Watamu Beach – Kenya
Comprising part of the Watamu-Malindi marine nature preserve, alongside nearby Blue Lagoon Beach and Turtle Bay, Watamu Beach is part of a UNESCO world heritage site, renowned for its biodiversity. The reefs accessible from this spot offers sights of over 600 species of fish, and there is the chance of seeing numerous turtle species and even swimming with dolphins.
The 500 square kilometre Coral Gardens are the central attraction of Watamu Beach.
Tsarabanjina Island – Madagascar
Home to 4500km of coral reefs, Madagascar is a snorkeler’s paradise. Plus, there are amazing beaches to relax and enjoy the action at Australian online betting sites Tsarabanjina Island, part of the Mitsio archipelago, is an accessible ring of coastline with a conveniently located resort nearby, that is suitable for newcomers and experienced snorkelers alike.
Accessible only by a two-hour boat ride from the mainland, the waters of Tsarabanjina offer visitors a chance to swim past clownfish, oriental sweetlips, parrotfish, butterflyfish, moray eels, and Moorish idols are some of the most resplendent fishes, as well as hawk billed and green sea turtles.