Artificial reefs created in deeper waters within the Marine Protected Areas of The Sanctuary have shown remarkably rapid increases in fish numbers as well as impressive widening of species observed. Large female fish, critically important to breeding, find protection among the artificial reefs where they can reproduce undisturbed.
The fish attracted to the artificial reefs vary from reef to reef, depending on the age, size and structure of the reef. At least 78 different species of fish have been identified at one reef alone and up to five brindle bass, weighing up to 200 kilograms each, have been seen at one time making the artificial reefs of The Sanctuary one of the few places in the world where such fish can be seen during an “easy” and safe snorkel.
The protection of these areas has created spectacular snorkelling attractions with easy access for visitors. The artificial reef off Mazarette and jetties along The Sanctuary’s coastline are all excellent snorkelling areas notable for their safety and good visibility.
Snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities abound in the natural reef areas along the eastern shoreline of The Sanctuary, reputed to be among the best diving spots in the archipelago which divers from other areas visit regularly.
With the continental shelf nearby this coastline is considered one of the best diving areas in Mozambique. There are many opportunities to dive up to 40m among caves and overhangs with an array of fish and other sea life to rival the best underwater experiences in the world.
Deep sea diving and snorkelling outfitters operating out of Vilanculos can be engaged by private arrangement to guide diving and snorkelling excursions if private facilities are unavailable.
|Name of Reef||GPS coordinates||Depth||Description|
|Brindle Bass||S21 30’12.4 |
|Max. depth: 17m||Soft corals and featuring lots of caves and overhangs. Has a strong current. Large numbers of snappers, angelfish, rubber lips here and keep a look out for brindle bass, reef sharks, kingfish and eagle rays.|
|The Potholes||S21 31’17.6 |
|5 – 12m||Dive on a low tide only in good weather. A great place for black tail reef sharks and nurse sharks, which hang around the caves, potholes and overhangs. Potholes 35m in diameter.|
|Turtle Ridge||S21 31’36.4 |
|Avg. depth 14m||Great for photographers, a flat narrow coral reef excellent for turtles. Lots of reef fish including parrot fish and snappers as well as game fish like barracuda.|
|Greek Temple||S21 36’49.6 |
|12 – 18m||A great dive with caves and overhangs. Best dived at low tide allowing lovely light for photographers.|
|5 Mile Reef||S21 47’10.6 |
|8 – 20m||Not as diverse as 2 mile reef but a good location for spotting the large pelagics and Zambezi sharks. Exploring caves and swimthroughs.|
|2 Mile Reef||S21 48’14.7 |
|10 – 22m||Aquarium of 1-9m, excellent snorkelling on 2.5m tide|
|Magaruque||S21 57’46.5 |
|Avg. depth: 6m|
Max. depth: 14m
|Marline Pinnacle||S22 01’00.1 |
|Avg. depth: 30m|
Max. depth: 37m
|Baluba||S22 02’32.7 |
|8 – 15m||Rocky reef with many hiding holes for morays and crustaceans and ideal location for scorpion fish.|
|Allan’s Realm||S22 07’04.0 |
|20 – 32m||Two pinnacles. Giant guitar sharks, manta rays, schools of barracudas, reef sharks and hammerhead sharks.|
|Camel Humps||S22 08’43.1 |
|14 – 40m||Two twin pinnacles separated by a canyon.|
|Pinnacles||S22 10’15.3 |
|14 – 40m||Large canyons between reefs with large caves. Rays and groupers prominent|
|Amphitheatre||S22 11’45.0 |
|Rich reef life, with large mantas and bull sharks.|