International Travel

Tanzania, Manta Reef Lodge

By Fiona McIntosh

Manta Reef Lodge, Pemba, Tanzania 

ImageHead for Pemba, aim for the northernmost point and you will end up at Manta Reef Lodge. It is not the most accessible of places, but well worth it. This destination requires a flight to Zanzibar, which usually means an overnight stay before flying on to Pemba’s tiny airport. This is followed by a 65 km drive, 15 km of which is on a muddy dirt road. Up here, there is no other boat traffic, no other lodges, no roads and no noise. The nearest dive centre is Pemba Afloat, some distance to the south, and you are more or less guaranteed to be the only boat on the sites.

The beauty and the beast of Bassas Da India

“Been there, done that,” is all you hear these days from well travelled international divers. There are only a few well known and unique prime dive locations in the world such as Galapagos and Cocos and it seems that any well travelled diver worth his salt has visited these sites. For us South Africans it is not easy to travel halfway across the world to get to a dive location, and for many people these places are too far out of reach to consider. By David Caravias.b bassas_da_india

The Kenya, Mombasa, Serena Beach Hotel & Spa

By Fiona McIntosh

Kenya is rightly famous for its wildlife and a safari is what most visitors seek when they touch down in Nairobi. But the country is incredibly diverse and many of its attractions are overlooked. Not surprisingly, the political unrest that followed the elections late last year had a pretty negative effect on tourism at the beginning of 2008, but things have settled down again and there are some great offers to be had from hotels and travel agents seeking to entice visitors back to the country. So if you’re looking for an affordable beach or diving holiday, the Kenyan coast – particularly the glorious beaches between the popular hubs of Mombasa and Malindi – is a good bet.

The Mantas of German Channel

The Mantas of German Channel

In my years of diving I have learned that it is often the most unpromising sites that yield the biggest surprises. You are always caught unawares, and the dive is all the better for it. Such was the experience that hit me and my fellow divers at German Channel, Palau. By Linda van den Heever.

Palau is the dream destination of any diver, and if it’s not, it should be. And as with any dream destination, it has its legends: Ngmelis Wall, Blue Corner, Jellyfish Lake. We dived them all, and it was magnificent.

The mysteries of the Dahab

The Sinai is a mysterious and a special place where Moses and the Israelites wandered the vast and barren prison that is Sinai for 40 years. Long after the Ten Commandments were written, Bedouins adapted their lives to the harsh desert conditions of the Sinai and lived in the high mountains surrounded by desert. Today there are only a few Bedouins that live their lives as their forefathers did, raising livestock and hunting. Today the Bedouins of the Sinai are going through dramatic changes and are forced to rapidly adapt to a new way of life due to the impact of tourism. But changing their lifestyle opens up a whole new world for us to dive and explore the mysterious and an amazing place know Dahab.   By Johan Boshoff

The Sinai Peninsula, or Sinai, is a triangular peninsula that lies between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south – a portion is located in Israel and Jordan but mostly in Egypt. The area is covered with thousands of mountains that are surrounded by deserts. There are times in Sinai when one feels as if the history of the entire world can be read in its stones, from the fossilised reefs of Ras Mohammed to the copper mines of El Maghara. And lying on the east coast of the Sinai Peninsula on the Gulf of Aqaba, overlooking the Red Sea and Saudi Arabia, you will find the town of Dahab. It is one of the oldest and most famous dive areas in the Red Sea, offering some of the most exciting and spectacular diving in Sinai. And as Jacques Cousteau once said, "The Red Sea is a corridor of marvels – the happiest hours of my diving experience have been spent there.

Turkey, Kas

By Fiona McIntosh

ImageSouthern Turkey offers some
of the best and most varied diving experiences in the Mediterranean. Fiona McIntosh checked it out recently.Situated in a sheltered inlet on Turkey’s   sun-soaked south-west Mediterranean coast, Kas is nestled between the larger resorts of Fethiye and Antalya. It was one of the most important marine cities and wine production sites of the Lycian civilization and is surrounded by rock tombs and ruins of the ancient city of Antiphellos. Traditional fishing boats are moored in the small harbour and the masts of slender yachts reflect in the clear turquoise water. On first impressions at least, Kas appears to be a sleepy little town. But looks can be deceptive and with its towering mountains, good diving and spectacular surrounding terrain, Kas is one of Turkey’s prime adventure spots.

Whale Shark Expedition

By Johan Boshoff
Photos by Matthew D Potenski

Kairos – A diving holiday for a good cause

Just off the coast of Tanzania you will find a research ship where anyone that wants to do their bit for nature conservation can join the Kairos Whale Shark Expedition researchers for an unforgettable trip. Not only will you be able to dive some amazing destinations off the Tanzanian coast, but at the same time you can help the researchers to count and tag the gentle giants of the ocean. Whilst enjoying a holiday you could also help to protect these magnificent creatures from distinction.

Where the big things are

Where the big things are

turtle and diver - kicker rock 1Unlike Max I hadn’t worn my wolf suit or made mischief of one kind or another. I hadn’t been sent to my bedroom for it to transform into an island of magical monsters, only reachable after a year of sailing. I wouldn’t want to spend that long on a boat, so I behaved(ish) and looked into going to the Galapagos and spending my nights tucked up on dry land.

Yin and Yang of Komodo

Yin and Yang of Komodo

A large Komodo dragon lethargically raises its head and turns in my direction. I’ve disturbed its laze on a desolate beach on an island of Komodo National Park. This reptile may resemble a harmless lizard but I have been informed otherwise. It is a carnivorous and aggressive cold blooded creature. This description seems fitting considering the surrounding landscape is stark, dry, savannah scrub. The ruthless sun glares off barren rock faces. This is a hostile environment. By Jeanne Liebetrau and Peter Pinnock

Zanzibar and Pemba – something for everyone

The spacious, purpose-built dhow slid through the calm Indian Ocean. Sitting under the shade area of the deck, we were briefed, kitted up, and went through our buddy checks before a giant stride took us into the 30°C sea. Looking down I could just make out the dive site, an old British lighter, 27m below me. It was 9:30 am and the day was going fantastically. By Christopher Bartlettz mnemba atoll and unguja