Facing the Punta Cavazzi lighthouse, with the mountains of Sicily on the horizon, Secca d'Africa hides a varied dive site full of surprises!
Just over a 10-minute boat ride from the port of Ustica, on the western side of the island, Secca d'Africa lies just off the Punta Cavazzi lighthouse. As soon as you arrive, you will notice the top of the rocks at a depth of about 5 metres and, thanks to Ustica's crystal-clear waters, you can immediately observe, directly from the boat, several damselfish and wrasse swimming undisturbed. The shoal is divided into several very interesting and varied areas.
Starting from the top of the cap and taking the island of Ustica as a reference, swimming to the left, one quickly encounters a beautiful canyon at a depth of about 12 metres, around which numerous banded bream swim. Once past the canyon, the ridge area begins, a suggestive stretch of land ranging from 15 to 30 metres in depth. Keeping to the left wall of the ridge, you come across the "M" arch, a fascinating arch with two large openings. Inside, it is easy to observe nudibranches, slipper lobster and Monoplex parthenopeus. Beyond the arch, the slope continues for about 50 metres before ending at a depth of 35 metres. Just before the end of the ridge, you can observe the characteristic fish of this underwater dive, the magnificent Brown meagre! A large family hides in a crack at a depth of about 24 metres and they often let themselves be observed and photographed. In the deep area after the ridge there is a huge canyon at a depth of 25 to 40 metres, one of the most visually appealing areas where huge brown groupers hide!
Departing instead from the cap and swimming in the opposite direction to the island of Ustica, there is an impressive canyon that, from a depth of about 12 metres, quickly leads to a cliff more than 35 metres deep. The wall is very colourful, rich in nudibranches, sponges, orange madrepore and large crustaceans such as: crabs, slipper lobsters and lobsters. Keeping to the right of the wall, there are two magnificent points of interest: the first is a cave at a depth of about 35 metres with a large opening more than 5 metres wide, inside which numerous parapandali, the typical shrimps of Ustica, make the environment lively and frenetic; a second point of interest is an incredible tunnel that slowly ascends to a vertical exit at a depth of 15 metres. The inside of the tunnel is studded with small holes, from which the sun's rays filter through, creating beautiful plays of light. Finally, returning to the cap area, one is fascinated by the great variety of fish that animate the shallow area: bream, brown and golden groupers, parrotfish and thousands of damselfish make even the safety stop fun and lively!
Secca d'Africa is an underwater dive in Sicily like few others, offering a landscape full of surprises and interesting insights as well as a great biodiversity waiting to be discovered!