Vamizi Island is located in the North of Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago. This chain of 32 islands stretches along the coast of Mozambique, towards their norther boarder with Tanzania.
The waters around Vamizi are rich in marine life, and the island is ideally situated where the south equatorial current splits heading north to Tanzania and south towards the eastern coastline of South Africa. These nutrient rich currents contain plankton which supports the staggering amount of marine life found around Vamizi.
A 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.
What to expect
You can dive in Vamizi all year round, although the best time of year for diving is from September to November when the sea is the calmest and the ocean currents are not as strong. The water temperature is Vamizi is between 24-30 degrees Celsius although you can have colder thermoclines the deeper you go.
The islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago are lined up north to south along the continental shelve, creating the perfect off shore conditions for some world class wall dives. A long ridge of coral can be found east of Vamizi Island, starting around 10m deep divers can explore the sheer drop-offs as the reef quickly plunges towards the abyss.
As the continental shelve rises from the deep, this abrupt change in bathymetry creates an area of upwelling where colder nutrient rich water rises up along the wall attracting large schools of fish. These currents also attract schools of grey reef sharks and is Vamizi has the last know population of grey reef sharks in Mozambique. Vamizi has its own community sanctuary, protecting the sharks, turtle and coral reefs and has shown positive results in less than 10 years.
There are several dive sites around Vamizi ranging from entry level to advanced and we recommend you have an advanced certification to take advantage of the truly amazing deep wall dives. You can also take you advanced diver certification course at Vamizi as they have a fully equipped diver center on the Island.
One of the most renowned dive sites in Vamizi is Neptune’s Arm. This wall dive is a jewel in the crown of Vamizi diving and is located one hour from the Island. The steep wall starts at ten meters below sea level and recreational scuba divers have the opportunity to explore the first 40m of the wall. Diver can expect to see large school of fish, corals as far as the eye can see, and a friendly resident grouper named nuisance, this is also where you can find the grey reef sharks.
Some of the other advanced dive sites include, Fraggle Rock, Volcano, The abyss & Ponta Papagaio where divers can find themselves immersed in shoals of snappers a thousand strong, swim over gorgonian sea fans or spy sea turtle gliding over the reef. The top of the reef is full of luscious coral reefs suitable for beginner divers or photographers looking for macro shots.
In the shallows you can find Groupers, large Napoleon wrasse and colorful parrotfish, Green and Hawksbill turtles, and macro subjects like nudibranchs, scorpion fish, anemones and plenty of interesting reef fish. You also have the chance to see schools of bumphead parrot fish as shallow as 5m!
If you are interested in diving in Vamizi you can stay at the &Beyond resort, a newly renovated hotel on the Island. Vamizi Island also has an active conservation program and you can find out more information about their sea turtle, grey reef shark and coral conservations programs here.