INFO ABOUT DIVING IN PONTA DO OURO
Ponta do Ouro is 120 km south of Maputo, and only 10 km from the South African border, Kosi Bay. The area was declared a Marine Protected Area, and is managed by the Authorities to ensure that the reefs and their aquatic life retain their original pristine state.
Along with its neighbors Ponta Malongane and Ponta Mamoli, Ponta do Ouro was formerly only accessible by 4x4 vehicle, which helped limit the volume of visitors, and in turn, the area remained relatively intact.
To this day, after the construction of the road that connects Maputo with Ponta do Ouro in 2019, tourism has increased considerably in this town, but thanks to the efforts of local diving centers and marine authorities, the area continues to maintain the virginity of its coast.
>20 diving points
up to 40 m depth
all dive levels
8m semi-rigid boats
mega & microfauna
Ponta, as it is known locally, offers dive sites with depths ranging from 10 to 35 meters, and is home to a wide variety of marine life, including different species of sharks and rays, dolphins, turtles, moray eels, pelagic fish and countless diversity of reef life.
The famous Pinnacles dive site is a 35-40 meter deep dive, located near the coast, approximately 12.5 km, and has become known for shark sightings, where, between the months of September and April, bulls, tigers, hammerheads and silver tips are almost guaranteed, as well as any of the other 11 species of sharks that frequent these waters.
Other popular dive spots are Atlantis, Doodles, Bass City and Waynes World, where more than 1,100 identified species of marine life can be found, offering spectacular underwater photography opportunities of both macro fauna and mega fauna, especially the resident potato groupers that love to get up close to our camera lenses!
Ponta's seabed is made up of huge rocky bars that break the sandy bottom, many of them colonized by gigantic coral structures that give shelter to countless marine species, attracting in turn the great diversity of pelagic species.
Between the months of October and March one can enjoy various species of sea turtles that come to lay their eggs on the local beaches.
DAY OUT DIVING
Timing is everything, so our dive days start early to optimize sightings. After breakfast at the accommodation, we meet at the dive center where we check and prepare the equipment, attend the briefing and after driving for 10 minutes to the boat launch area on the beach where the zodiac awaits us with all the stowed material, our adventure begins.
All the dives in Ponta do Ouro involve entrances from the coast with the zodiacs, so the excitement is guaranteed from early morning. After a most exhilarating entry into the surf, the dive sites are 5 minutes apart for the closest, and 30 minutes for the farthest.
Normally we carry out two dives in a row with a surface interval of 1h30´, but when the conditions do not allow it, we return to land between dives. At the end of the second dive we return to the dive center where we usually arrive after noon, the perfect time to sit down for lunch.
We have located the various dive sites through GPS. Once above the point, we prepare for the entrance, and during this time we calculate what the ship has moved and in what direction, which gives us information about the type of current that we can find. We always plan dives to go with the flow.
We never anchor the zodiac, so we always drift. The descent is in the middle of the blue, and the reference is the buoy and the guide reel. Most of the bottoms do not exceed 35 meters in depth, and the second dives of the day are usually in the shallower reefs of 20 to 25 meters.
During surface intervals in the winter months (June to November), and trips to and from dive sites, depending on weather conditions and sea state, we cruise in search of humpback whales.
If luck is with us, which is usually very common, and the conditions are favorable after evaluating the behavior of the animal, we enter the water using only the mask, the tube and the fins. Equipping yourself with diving equipment and a bottle is not usual in these cases.
Did you know that an ocean safari is the best
way to spot some species?
Diving puts us in direct contact with fascinating sea creatures, but many others are even more enjoyable while swimming on the surface. The waters of Ponta do Ouro give us the opportunity to swim with a group of wild dolphins in their natural habitat, some of which are residents and others are simply passing by.
This experience, suitable for anyone who can swim, combines a complete introduction to the behavior of dolphins and the regulated code of conduct on how to swim and behave in the water with the animal, thus ensuring a sustainable and ecological approach to the activity. The trip usually lasts between 2 and 2.5 hours, and includes all the necessary equipment.
Sightings are not guaranteed but the chances are high. The two species of dolphin that frequent our waters are the bottlenose dolphin, sometimes seen in huge groups approaching, and the humpback dolphin, a much shy species.
WEATHER & SEA CONDITIONS
We can find perfect diving conditions in Ponta do Ouro on any day of the year. Visibility and currents are less dependent on seasonal weather patterns and are more affected by the prevailing tides and winds of the day. On average, Ponta offers 15 meters of visibility, being able to reach up to 30 meters in its best conditions especially during the summer months, or in its worst conditions of up to only 5 meters. The water temperature ranges from 18 ° C to 23 ° C in winter (May - December) and from 24 ° C to 27 ° C in summer (December - April). During the months of August to November it is usually when we can find the most wind days.
We recommend anti-seasickness tablets for those who are prone to seasickness.
We are associated with one of Ponta do Our diving centers located in the best existing area, with excellent modern facilities fully equipped with a swimming pool, changing rooms with hot showers, classrooms where courses are offered, cafeteria - restaurant and unbeatable views.
We have three semi-rigid boats with a capacity of up to 14 divers each, although we usually go with a maximum of 8 divers per boat. Each boat is equipped with 2 Suzuki 115-horsepower 4-stroke engines, depth sounder, emergency oxygen, first aid kit, life jackets, contact radio and emergency plan.
For those who feel the chill on longer dives or during the winter months, we recommend minimum 5mm wetsuits, or even 7mm semi-dry. During the summer, when the water temperature is usually between 24 ° C and 27 ° C with a 5mm it is usually more than enough. For those who prefer to rent, we have 5mm Scubapro suits, as well as a selection of closed fins and masks. The scuba tanks are made of steel and / or aluminum with capacities of 12 lt.
The available nitrox is 32% and up to 40% for those certified. For those who still do not have the qualification and prefer to do it here with us, it can be arranged with Robert and Lacin.
Bull shark, tiger shark, hammerhead shark, silver tip shark, leopard shark, ragged tooth shark, barracuda, potato grouper, honeycomb moray eel (leopard moray), bottlenose dolphin, humpback dolphin, green turtle, loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle, giant frogfish, humpback whale.
Recommended things to bring:
Diving equipment: BCD, regulator, fins, booties, mask and snorkel, wet or dry suit (contact us for more information), gloves, surface marker buoy, flashlight, computer. Possibility of renting material.
Diving qualifications (including Nitrox)
Waterproof jacket and / or windbreaker for boat outings
Waterproof bag (camera and other dry material)
Camera and housings with chargers, memory cards and extra kits needed.