Scuba Diving in Angola

by Paula McCullough
Luanda, the capital of Angola.

Luanda, the capital of Angola.

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Situated along the west coast of Africa, Angola is drawing the attention of divers, windsurfers and fishermen. The beaches offer uninterrupted views, clear water, white sand, and reefs. The coastal towns are simple fishing communities that are slowly developing accommodations and amenities to attract vacationers. For now, many of the beaches are unexplored and generally uncrowded, making them ideal destinations for water sports enthusiasts.

Lucira Beach

With its extensive reef and light currents, Lucira Beach is an ideal scuba site for less experienced divers, but with a depth reaching 656 feet, seasoned divers will have plenty to explore. The beach is easily accessible, has an average depth of 32 feet and good visibility. The dangers to divers are the sharp reef and dangerous species swimming in them, as well as fishermen’s nets. The small town of Lucira is a simple village that has little to offer in the way of accommodations or shopping. Camping along the Chapeu Armado is popular among vacationers.

Bibala Beach

Located in the Namibe Province in the southernmost section of Angola, beautiful Bibala Beach is another favorite tourist spot for scuba diving and other water sports. Bibala Beach is also popular due to the legend that its water has healing properties. Whether true or not, time spent there scuba diving or simply enjoying its beauty is sure to heal the soul. While visiting this desert province, look for the Welwitschia mirabilis, a plant that looks much like a giant octopus and can be as big as 9 feet around. The Namib desert is also known for hunting, attracting game hunters from around the world.

Benguela Beaches

Located in western Angola, Benguela is primarily a fishing community, and features several beautiful beaches ideal for scuba diving. These include: Kaota, Kaotinha, Baia, and Baia Farta. With the area's sweeping panoramic views and turquoise water, divers will enjoy exploring the inlets and coves that line the coast. The city of Benguela has the second largest population in Angola and offers comfortable accommodations for tourists. You could also stay in nearby Luanda, the capital of Angola.

Das Miragens and Azul

On the Namibe Peninsula, Das Miragens and Azul are beautiful beaches that draw water lovers. Divers enjoy exploring the coastline in the calm, clear waters in this region. If your traveling companions aren't into diving, these beaches are also excellent for snorkeling. With their plentiful white sand, they are great places to sunbathe and relax. Visit the Iona National Park while you're in the area. It features unique rock formations and popular African wildlife, such as panthers and antelope.

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