Ponta Do Ouro
The beachfront town of Ponta do Ouro is situated in the very south of Mozambique, only ten kilometres from the South African border at Kosi Bay. Ponto do Ouro, or "Point of Gold" gets its name from the fact that early Portuguese explorers were misled by unreliable maps, thinking that gold might be found there. Upon arrival they found that the dunes were rich in black titanium, and the only gold in the area was the colour of the setting sun shining over the long white beaches. Essentially this area is an extension of South Africa's Maputaland, but far more pristine.
Ponta do Ouro is best accessed through the Kosi Bay border post in KwaZulu Natal. The border is approximately 650kms from Johannesburg and 480kms from Durban, and is open 7 days a week (08h00 to 17h00) - visas are required for foreign nationalities. Between the border and the town, a 4x4 vehicle is required due to the soft sandy roads. Should you not have one, a border transfer can be arranged, and your vehicle can be left at the parking lot just before the border for a nominal day charge – cash only.
Scuba diving enthusiasts can make their way to any of the many magnificent and world renowned reefs in the area. Various vibrantly coloured species of coral, and large marine animals which include the likes of Whale Sharks, Manta Rays and Humpback Whales are regularly sighted in the area. But for the advanced diver, the main attractions are the sharks on the reef called “Pinnacles”, a 12km boat ride from the launch site. This is a deep reef starting at +/- 35m and going down to 45m+. The main attraction – sharks – the Bull (Zambezi), Hammerhead, Black Tip and the beautiful Tiger shark. This is a “warmer water” dive site, so unless you travel between October and April, you might miss the better action.
Accommodation & Dive Centre – Planet Scuba Resort
A wonderful and personalised (B&B) guesthouse with only 16 rooms, built on the top of the first dune, with incredible views over the town and ocean. Rooms are all en-suite, with air-conditioning and full linen – serviced daily. Breakfasts are served on the dining deck overlooking the ocean, whilst a social boma/barbeque (braai) area shares the sea views over 2 x very inviting swimming pools. Wi-Fi is available and there is a TV lounge with selected satellite channels.
Other scrumptious meals are offered, from belly filling pastas to traditional seafood platters – all SQ please.
The professional dive centre is on-site, and the guesthouse is only a 1 or 2 minute walk to the other attractions in town – shops, restaurants, pubs and the beach.