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Dive Review of Odyssea Dive/Casa Babi in
Africa/Vilankulo

Odyssea Dive/Casa Babi: "Mozambique diving - Vilankulos", Sep, 2015,

by Christine Mistler, AZ, US ( 2 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 8384.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I was looking for a place to dive, not too hard to reach from S.A., after a two week, inland African adventure with non-diver friends because I try to dive every chance I get, even if it means tacking it on at the end of another vacation. I have to say, getting to Vilankulos turned out to be not so easy for this American but I can't say I regret it. For one thing, obtaining a Visa turned out to be a spendy, time consuming affair (you have to get it in advance, or else risk being turned away at the border). I wouldn't consider this region a world class dive destination waiting to be discovered (and, indeed, most of the clients were from not so far way spots in Africa or Europe) but, paradoxically, that was part of its charm and allure.
The corals were as healthy and unspoiled as anything I've seen in 25 years and we had the reef to ourselves most of the time. In fact, the corals were amazing! So many different colors, shapes and sizes; truly a divine forest. And LOTS of fish, fields of swaying anemones (guarded fiercely by clownfish) and a manta ray. To be honest, I didn't realize what it was until somebody told me. By the time I caught sight of it, it was nothing but a giant shape, fading in the distance. Nudibranchs were to be found, if one was able to pause and have a close look around. The group I was with, however, seemed more intent on covering the most ground and focusing on the larger creatures such as groups of devil rays and the mega-sized honeycomb morays, which were common and not shy at all about swimming in the open. Another creature, big and not shy, was the loggerhead turtle.
The diving sites are located in the stunning, and protected, Bazaruto Archipelago; bit of a boat ride but well worth it. The seemingly endless, silky, stretches of white sand, plus a sparkling Indian ocean also make it a worthwhile destination for beach aficionados. The town of Vilankulo is laid back and the people are friendly and not into hustling the tourists, unlike many other, similar destinations. That may soon change, as the area grows and attracts more travelers.
The dive shop, Odyssea Dive, is basic but well run and managed. I felt completely safe and in competent hands. There were always very thorough safety checks before every dive and there were always two dive masters if the Zodiac contained more than four (experienced) divers - it held no more than 10, I think. I did not wish to haul my dive equipment for two plus weeks across Africa so I left everything at home. Odyssea Dive provides all rental gear but I regret not packing at least my fins and mask, which would have made things a little more comfortable. Also, if good old fashioned spit is not your thing, I recommend packing some de-fog, which I overlooked. BCDs and regulators seemed solid and well maintained. Wet suits, like the masks and fins, were a mixed bag but perfectly adequate.
The lodging at the attached Casa Babi, was excellent, managing to be both simple and elegant, obviously designed with a diver's comfort in mind. You can stay other places but guests of Casa Babi get a discount and first priority on the often sold out dive boats. Other dive operators with any detectable presence appeared to belong to the exclusive resorts located on a few small islands that seemed uninhabited except for the guests (who were flown in by helicopter) and those that served them. The resorts appeared to be luxurious but struck me as remote and sterile, compared to the immersive experience I received at Casa Babi, where I was treated to local dishes and music and culture every day. Plus, they had six resident dogs, where I could get my dog fix - bonus for this lover of animals, both aquatic and non-

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Sea of Cortez (San Carlos, La Paz), Hawaii, Little Cayman, Bonaire, Belize, Fiji, Cozumel, Honduras
Closest Airport Vilankulos Getting There Easiest by air, avoid LAM unless saving a few bucks is totally worth the hassles they will very likely inflict.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 70-80°F / 21-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20-40 Ft/ 6-12 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions 2 tank dives with lunch. Dive boat back by afternoon. No late, or night diving; sites may be too remote, conditions unpredictable? Dives max about 60 feet but last about 1 hour. This seemed o.k. with everyone. Some dives had considerable current, low vis. All dives were fascinating.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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