Mozambique is without a doubt one of the most tropical regions in Africa and Bilene is no exception to that rule. With its shorelines entertaining a host of different activities, one treat many tourists enjoy indulging in is snorkelling and scuba diving. Bilene provides an abundance of opportunities to see some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world whilst being entertained by a variety of ocean life.
If you’re diving in Bilene and need to hire gear, use a dive master or need the services of a charter, the best option is to go through the Palmeiras Water Sport Centre. This dive operation running in Bilene is well managed by a very pleasant and humorous French character named Daniel. The diving operation is further supported and co-owned by Divetek. Besides diving, the centre has a variety of items for hire including kayaks, underwater scooters, snorkelling gear, paddle boards, and mini sailboats.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to diving in the Uembje lagoon and the nearby ocean. The lagoon offers two artificial reefs called ‘Lego Land’ and ‘The Graveyard’, as well as snorkelling at a natural reef within the lagoon. Both artificial reefs are relatively new and the fish in the lagoon have concentrated within the relative safety of these structures. The visibility is surprisingly good in the lagoon as long as you don’t kick up the silt at the bottom.
If you like free diving then you can have tons of fun at these lagoon sites. The Graveyard site is made up of actual tombstone-like concrete structures that have been inscribed with personal phrases from divers. The novelty of this dive site is that you can buy your own tombstone and inscribe it with whatever you please at a minimal fee. The tombstone will then be added to the graveyard and forms part of the dive site. This dive spot makes for a particularly eerie yet unique night dive.
The reef of the lagoon hosts a large variety of creatures including Lionfish, Honeycomb Eels, Pipefish, Boxfish, Pencil Eels and Scorpionfish, to mention a few. But the real stars of the lagoon are the Seahorses! These amazing little creatures once flourished in the lagoon, but sadly their numbers have drastically dropped in the last few years.
If you are looking for a bit more adventure in your diving, the ocean dives at Bilene are an absolute must! The reef and rock formations in this area are astounding with massive boulders, deep gullies and overhangs everywhere that are covered with healthy coral, which means there is an abundance of marine life and colours that flood your visual senses. Most of the reefs are untouched and in pristine condition.
They also offer ‘Big Blue’ dives, where divers are dropped to a depth of 15 m and suspended next to a guideline running from the boat. This creates a unique platform to view some of the larger marine species, such as whales, dolphins, sharks and mantas which have been seen on these Big Blue dives. The only limiting factor of the ocean dives is the fact that exiting through the mouth of the lagoon is dependent on high tide and the general conditions at the mouth. To compensate for this during rougher conditions, they offer back-to-back dives that enable you to have two dives without having to go through the mouth in-between dives. In short these dives are not your average dives, they are a bit more adventurous, but oh so worth it and highly recommended!
Commonly spotted marine animals –
- Moray Eels
- Bottlenose Dolphins
- Humpback Whales (July- September)
- Whale Sharks (October- December)
- Manta Rays