This week would have marked the eightieth birthday of quite possibly the coolest musician of all time, Fela Kuti. The Nigerian entertainer brought the sounds of Afrobeat to the world and made more people dance. Listening to him this morning I thought, “hey, I haven’t done an Africa article in a while.”
It’s a vast continent of varying landscapes, cultures, and nations. For those who haven’t been, it’s a lot to take in. Deserts, tropics, cities, villages… all spanning across six time zones and 8,000 kilometers from North to South. In the next couple of minutes, hopefully you’ll have a better idea of what to look for when you make the trip. Let’s roll.
Mozambique is already going to blow your mind. Like its broken-off partner Madagascar on the other side of the water, the nation’s borders hold a vast array of wildlife, with the sea being no exception. Be ready to spot the big shots as whale sharks, massive rays and turtles, as well as dugongs frequent the shores.
The Umbria Wreck
Haunting views abound at this well preserved wreck site. You’re going to need some great training and gear to fully explore the scuttled Italian ship, but it’s well worth it. When you’re on the surface, you can also sample Sudanese cuisine, which is easily some of the best on Earth.
The Red Sea
This is something that’s on just about every bucket list, but how many people who aren’t from the region actually get out and do it? The Red Sea’s unbeatable reefs are teeming with sharks, pelagic fish, and dolphins. To match, above ground, there’s something for every budget, you can stay at a simple hostel or a magnificent dive resort.
Located on the East Coast of South Africa, Sodwana Bay is a nice escape within a wetlands park away from the hustle of other parts of South Africa. Considered by many to be the premiere piece of diving landscape in the country, the bay boasts multiple coral reefs with unique ecosystems and a rainbow of fish to match. If you head deep enough, you can even spot coelacanth.
It’s not the most popular place to dive on the continent, but Nigeria is what got me thinking of this article today. Lagos is a great place to go if you want to experience a bit of West African flavor while at the same time not feeling the crowds of other dives. With crystal clear waters making for high visibility in mysterious wrecks and vibrant reefs, this paradise is a great place to calm your senses.
– Todd Allen Williams, Senior Editor
For more great dive experiences check out the Africa section of Planet Deepblu.
For more Fela Kuti, here’s a great video…