A conversation with David Magiri, The Manta Resort’s Divemaster
As a young boy growing up in the coastal highlands of Kenya, David Magiri would read stories about sailors and the sea. Inspired by these tales, David went on to complete a 6-month seamanship course when he was old enough. Looking for even more of a connection to the sea he began working as a snorkeling guide for visitors to a marine park on the southern Kenyan coast. It was here that he was selected to train as a dive guide and ultimately rose to divemaster level! In 2010, David joined the dive team at the Manta Resort as divemaster, and in 2013 he completed an instructor training in Zanzibar and has been leading the dive team ever since!
When asked what David’s most spectacular sighting was, he shared that “…once when we were diving at Swiss Reef which is only about a 10-minute boat ride from the resort, we saw two huge whale sharks! The first one was a few minutes after descending to 15 m and we swam after it for about 5 minutes until we couldn’t keep up with it … then towards the end of the dive, we noticed a big shadow above us on looking up, it was another one!”
David’s favorite dive spot is Scorpions Secret, dive site #6 on the dive map. When asked why? David explains “I have witnessed its transformation from broken corals and few fish, to abundant fish and the coral regenerating. Rare sightings like giant frog fish and leaf fish can be seen and it’s ideal for student divers, snorkelers, and experienced divers alike.”
The dive team and entire Manta family are actively involved in conservation activities at the Kwanini Conservation Area of the coral reefs in front of Manta Resort. The dive team help in routine inspections and maintenance of the Underwater Room, as well as training and certifying divers and guiding experienced divers.
Diving here is ideal from August onwards until February. June and July are windy, and sometimes a bit of rain is possible, so diving can’t always be guaranteed. Mid-March until May is the rainy season, not the best time for diving and snorkeling, but it’s still possible on certain days. All of this should be taken with a grain of salt due to the varying weather patterns our world is experiencing.
At the time of this interview with David (end of July 2018), he exclaimed “…humpback whales are now in the area! We normally see them late July and can hang around until September before moving south!” He added that the diving off the west coast of Pemba was fairly good with clear visibility of 20-30 meters and underwater temperatures ranging from 75 – 78 degrees F!! He admitted that there had been some choppy days punctuated by calmer days and added that it will be continually improving into early August.
David wanted to mention that very often, guests staying at the resort do their first dive there. “We have the Discover Scuba Dive program designed for complete beginners. It is a non-certification course that involves a simple, short theory lesson, a pool session to learn basic safety skills and buoyancy control, and a dive in the ocean with the instructor to a maximum of 12m. It takes only 2-3hrs and is ideal for people who are not sure whether they are ready for a full course or just want to enjoy a onetime experience.”
Detail on the dive team and dive center at Manta:
- The dive team is made of 3 instructors, 1 divemaster, 3 boat captains and 3 crew/snorkeling guides for a total of 10.
- The dive center is equipped with all the standard gear for diving and snorkeling. Including:
- Aluminum dive tanks
- Mares and scubapro regulators for diving
- Mares jackets (BCDs) in assorted sizes for diving
- Mares wetsuits, 3mm in both long and shorties with assorted sizes
- Masks, assorted sizes for divers and snorkelers
- Drift buoys and reels which dive guides take for safety
- Life rings, which snorkeling guides take to assist weak swimmers and guests learning to snorkel for the first time
- Life jackets for snorkelers’ safety
- First aid kits for each of our 2 boats plus one in the dive center
- Portable oxygen kit that goes on the boat on every dive trip
- A new Bauer Clean Air System Compressor for refilling dive tanks
- Delayed Surface Marker Buoys which dive which dive guides carry in their pockets for extra safety
For more information please have a look at their dive specials and dive site details HERE!