Namibia is very well known for its diamonds and, as a result, most of its coastline is closed for diving. The other big factor to consider is that most of its coast is also desert, which makes it inaccesable or very difficult to reach. There are three cities on the coastline: Luderitz, Swakopmunt and Walvisbay. Here's the map.
There are, however, two fresh water lakes (Lake Guinas and Lake Otjikoto) that you can dive, one of which has a lot of World War II artifacts. This is not done very often as there are no dive centres in Namibia so diving is done as club trips. (We haven't been able to find any accredited dive centres in Namibia. The Namibia Tourist Board website says "the coast presents a daunting challenge, as sea temperatures vary from 9-C to 17-C and visibility is often as little as half a metre, at best no more than three metres.")
However, Namibia is great for safaris, hot air balloon rides, quad biking, 4x4 trips and climbing the highest sand dunes in the world.
This information has been sent to us by Jan de Bruyn who is a dive master with Pisces Divers in Cape Town. Thanks Jan!
If anyone hears of any other diving opportunities that spring up, please let us know.
- Lake Otjikoto, which is approximately 20km from Tsumeb, and a small mining town north of Windhoek. Lake Otjikoto is renowned worldwide for the World War I artifacts, hidden beneath its surface. These artefacts were thrown in the lake in 1915 by the "Schutztruppe" colonial armed force of Imperial Germany. This lake has two diveable parts:
- the first known as "The Reef" which it is shallow and ranges between 25m - 35m, toilets and Kudu horns are amongst the things you can see,
- the deeper part where the cannons, a small boat and scattered munitions can be found at 45m - 55m. The silt at the bottom of the lake is 3m deep and, resulting in some of artefacts being hidden.
The second dive spot is Lake Guinas and is approximately 30km from Tsumeb. This lake is only for technical divers with 30 metre cliffs. The only way to get in the water is by climbing down the cliffs or by getting lowered by a small basket from a pump station. The pump station is about 10 storeys (30 meters) above the water. The bottom of the lake starts at around 100 metres and then bridges off into caves with unknown depths. The bottom is silt free and visibility around 30 metres.
- At Lake Otjikoto, there is a campsite with electricity, communal toilets and showers. There are no diving facilities at the site, so divers who come here have to be fully equipped.
- There is no accommodation at Lake Guinas, so you will either have to stay in Tsumeb or at the camping grounds at lake Otjikoto. The nearest shops, service stations and medical facilities are in Tsumeb.
- Malaria precautions are essential in the northern third of the country from November to June and along the Kavango and Kunene rivers throughout the year. Here's the malaria map.