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Diving at Vamizi
Diving at Vamizi is a very special experience, as Vamizi guests have the dive sites to themselves. With carpets of stunning fish, dramatic wall dives, unbleached coral as well as 15 dive sites there is plenty of choice for all levels of divers.
Vamizi’s waters are home to an extraordinary diversity of marine life. The island is ideally situated where the south equatorial current splits - heading north to Tanzania, and south to South Africa. Vast numbers of microscopic plankton and krill, a major food source for the vast array of species found within the coral reef system, inhabit these currents.
A recent survey carried out on the waters of Vamizi identified 46 genera of coral species, with more than 400 species of fish. This number, according to studies carried out by scientists at Vamizi, represents over half the number of reef-associated species for the whole of Mozambique.
The waters here have been deemed one of the healthiest coral reef ecosystems on the planet, abundant with what ecologists term ‘indicator species’. These species are so sensitive to changes in the marine climate, that they are the first to disappear if there is a change in reef conditions, including temperature and pH as well as human interferences, such as over-fishing. Vamizi and its surrounding coral islands provide a much-needed refuge for marine biodiversity.
Many of the coral reefs along the East African coast have been marred by bleaching, a condition where the coral dies off owing to thermal stress. Vamizi Island’s proximity to upwelling cool deep water prevents this thermal stress and allows the coral to flourish. Vamizi and its environs provide a sanctuary and potential re-stocking ground for corals which have died out elsewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Widespread sea grass covers the sea bed and the coastline is fringed with mangrove forests, which provide an extensive nursery area for the fish. These nurseries believed to be one of the most important fish breeding grounds around Mozambique.
There are two monsoon winds that prevail along the Mozambique coast: the Kusi (Southern monsoon) blows from April to November and the Kaskazi (Northern monsoon) blows from December through to March. The winds play a big part in the migratory patterns of most pelagic game fish, and as a result, different times of the year are better for certain species. The best time of year to dive is from September to November, when the sea is calmer, the ocean currents are not as strong and the water temperature is a pleasant 26 to 28 ºC.
There are fifteen main dive sites around Vamizi Island, with more being discovered all the time. There are dive sites to cater for all diving abilities, from the novice and experienced divers alike.