A luxury diving experience in Northern Mozambique

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A luxury diving experience in Northern Mozambique

Planet Dive founder, Marcus Bull, was lucky enough to recently join a three day trip to northern Mozambique to take in the ultimate luxury at the dive resort of Azura Quilalea. After spending time with South African six-time freedive record holder and ocean conservationist, Hanli Pinsloo, acclaimed underwater photographer and oceanographer Fiona Ayerst, as well as American swim champion turned ocean conservationist and freediver Peter Marshall, it was an experience he won’t soon forget.


Read all about Marcus’ time in Northern Mozambique here:

What to expect from Mozambique

“I had very little idea of what to expect from Mozambique, which I believe to be the case for most people. It is one of those places which rarely comes up in a conversation for Europeans, and does not find itself on the must go to ‘bucket list’ for many. This I think should change, as, from what I have seen so far, Mozambique is one of the most beautiful and tranquil places I have ever been.


Mozambique has had an interesting history, including a struggle against Portuguese rule, finally gaining independence in 1975, followed by a 16-year civil war which came to an end in 1992. Mozambique is now mostly a peaceful country with a discerning luxury tourist industry starting to take hold.

A lot of the best dive resorts are based offshore on remote island locations, a little like the Maldives and for most locations a helicopter or small plane is required to get to your destination. To import all the necessary goods to support a luxury level resort is expensive and, as a result, Mozambique is not a cheap place to visit, but you are rewarded with a truly unique and stunning experience.


Discovering Azura Quilalea

Quilalea is a beautiful small island resort run by Azura. I think what really makes this small island resort work is not only the ability to run a professional luxury offering in a remote location, which is very challenging but also Quilalea is all about the people and personality of the hosts. Azura has excelled in all respects, providing luxury beachfront villa accommodation, backed up with a highly enjoyable diving experiences, and a knowledgeable and personable team.


The managers of the resort worked for many years in the dive travel industry, recently moving to Mozambique from the world-famous Raja Ampat in Indonesia. They bring with them a massive amount of experience and knowledge in running a small upscale dive resort and at the dive centre they are lucky to have one of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic dive instructors in the region.


It is a beautiful place and to combine a stay here with a visit to a remote, upmarket safari camp that gives you a feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, is a truly unique experience.

My experience in Northern Mozambique

I really enjoyed my time at Azura Quilalea and although the diving does not offer up the big hitters or vast reef systems you might find elsewhere, it does have something special to offer. This island gives you the feeling of a true explorer in the water and you will not see another diver anywhere. Dolphin and whale encounters are common, especially in the winter months of April to September and the reefs in the north are among the best to be found in Mozambique.


The visibility is unfortunately unpredictable but Hanli managed to give us a beginner’s introduction into freediving, coupled with a yoga session with techniques particularly designed for freedivers, and we enjoyed some easy rope dives to 10 metres to get a feel for the sport. One of the best experiences for me was getting very close to humpback whales while freediving – an amazing, scary, but incredibly memorable experience. 

What is really special with the diving is that you feel like you are the only one there and it is a great place for macro photographers with starfish, nudibranchs, and turtles all around. Another experience I really enjoyed was kayaking the mangrove channels and islands and simply kicking back and relaxing in this remote destination where luxury, peace and tranquility are the name of the game.”


To book your own adventure to Northern Mozambique, contact us to speak to one of our experts and make your dreams come true!