If you suffer from vertigo then it is probably best to stick to sloping reefs as opposed to drop-offs and walls, with some going down to 600m! But if heights are not an issue for you, wall diving can prove to be some of the most interesting and exciting diving you can do.
For starters, let's clear up exactly what 'wall diving' means in diving terms. Essentially it is diving on an underwater cliff face, more commonly a reef edge that runs from shallow to deep, often dropping off very suddenly to the depths of the ocean.
Diving along an underwater cliff can be spectacular for a number of reasons. Firstly, your point of reference is the wall ahead of you with absolutely nothing beneath your fins which makes you feel as if you are floating weightless in thin air! Having said that, it does mean that your buoyancy has to be pretty good as there is no seabed beneath you to prevent you from descending too deep. Often strong currents are associated with this topography, with upward or downward currents running along the wall so in some cases it is not really for the beginner.
Secondly, it is the marine life associated with the wall that makes it such spectacular diving. They really have something for every diver, whether it's the macro you are after, the big stuff or coral. They are often overflowing with soft corals, fans and sponges growing at every angle with all manner of critters and reef fish lurking around. Not to mention crustaceans, octopus, the list goes on!
In terms of the bigger stuff, overhangs, crevices and caverns are common where you may find reef sharks, rays and snoozing turtles. Don't forget to look out to the blue where you may see schools of pelagic fish such as tuna, grouper and jacks.
The best wall diving in the world
Here are a few spots we think are some of the best wall diving in the world:
- Northern Sulawesi - some of the best walls in Asia are around Bunaken Island.
- Quirimbas Archipelago - around 40 mins by boat from Vamizi Island is the world-class wall dive of Fraggle Rock.
- Palau - several world-class wall dives including Blue Corner wall and Ngemelis wall.
- Sipadan - off the east coast of Borneo the walls of this small tropical island drop down to 700m.
- Ambergris Caye - the world famous 'Blue Hole', a sink hole descending to 124m, makes for amazing wall diving with huge stalactites and sharks aplenty!
Want to do some wall diving? Get in touch to find out more.