If you just want a nice, easy South Africa Scuba Diving tropical dive holiday, head off to Sodwana Bay or Aliwal Shoal and dive, dive, dive.However if you want to do some interesting dives, see a whole range of different sea life, you can do no better than a South Africa Scuba Diving .
Because of our wonderfully long coastline, you can dive in a whole range of different environments, and see how they change with lattitude and water temperature.
South Africa Scuba Diving …Can be shortened, added to ie Mozambique, changed from a Self drive to a guided South Africa Scuba Diving tour.
Start in Cape Town. Settle in and unpack your dive gear. Don?t fret if you?ve forgotten anything ? there are loads of dive shops. The water is cold and you will need, at least, a 7mm (1/4 inch) wetsuit.
Dive. In Cape Town you will dive in mysterious kelp forests with beautiful, colourful, soft and hard, coldwater corals, and a whole range of other reef life. There are also some interesting wrecks, both historical and modern.
Depending on the weather, you may be able to dive the other side of the peninsula, noting the difference in sea temperature and undersea flora between one side of Cape Point and the other.
On the western side of Cape Point, you will find all three of the major genera of kelp growing together ? the only place in the world where that happens (although you have to look hard to find the macrocystis). On the eastern side of the point, there are only two.
If the weather is dicey you can dive in the kelp forest in the Two Oceans Aquarium or in the predator tank. Or both. Actually, perhaps you should do this even if the conditions are good. And consider trying a copper helmet dive in the predator tank something different.
You could head off to Hermanus, where youll find lots of soft corals, crinoids and quite sizeable schools of silver and/or red reef fish. Try a Great White Shark Dive .This is the last dive where you will see kelp after Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa, there isnt any.
Head off to Knysna. A dive on the wreck of the Paquita, in The Heads, is quite exciting and pretty. The wreck is covered with colourful invertebrates and it lies right in the channel connecting the huge lagoon with the sea.
Consequently, dives have to be timed to coincide with slack tide or you could be in for a wild ride.There are also some lovely dives in the ocean outside The Heads. In the lagoon, there is one pretty weird, slightly grubby, very shallow dive, but you are virtually guaranteed a sighting of the rare and endangered Knysna sea horse.
Move on to Plett, where you can choose between some fun little reefs quite close in, or do a longish boat ride to some deep drop-offs. On some of the inshore dives, you may find a pod of a hundred or so dolphins swimming past. But then again, you may not.
Head off to the Stormsriver Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park, where there are marked underwater scuba and snorkel trails. There is also a full service dive operation on site. It’s a great place to spend the night, and perhaps go for a walk or watch whales or dolphins from the veranda of your room.
Take the short drive to Port Elizabeth. Here you will notice that the water is already so much warmer than it was in Cape Town. If you look carefully, you will notice different species of reef life. Here you will find no abalone (or perlemoen) which is so abundant further west.
Another short drive will get you to East London, which has some interesting wrecks but the infrastructure is not too consistent.
You may like to pop into the museum to see the first specimen of coelocanth, which was found off the waters here. Your chances of seeing some tropical vagrants is quite good indeed.
From here you could continue up the Wild Coast but it is … well … wild. And the diving is not consistent, but its good.
There is one very small operator in Coffee Bay but it’s really quite tricky and the chances of the conditions being good are small so perhaps it’s best to give it a miss and head straight to Aliwal Shoal, south of Durban.
The KwaZulu-Natal South Coast has some fantastic diving. There are no coral reefs, but the rocky reefs have lots of coral on them, and you will see a huge percentage of the fish you would see further north. Also in winter, migratory ragged tooth sharks (Carcarias taurus) are in resdince. They may be visited but you need to obey some strict environmental and etiquette rules.
For experienced divers only, Protea Banks is one of the most exciting dives on the whole coast. It?s deep (nearly 40m), far out (about 8km) and in a strong current (up to 5 knots) so it really is not for beginners. Oh yes and it is crawling with sharks of almost every species. Hammerheads, Whites, Bronze whalers (copper sharks) Zambezis (bull sharks) and others. And, of course, many other large pelagics, such as rays and big schools of game fish.
Skip Durban as the diving is not as good as it is either north or south of the city. Head straight to Sodwana Bay. Yes, it is a bit crowded, but it’s wonderful. These are the most southerly coral reefs in the world by courtesy of the warm Mozambique current which keeps the water temperature over 20ºC.
Dive Sodwana. If youve done a lot of tropical diving, this will be quite familiar but there are a few species you wont have seen elsewhere. One of the most beautiful Indian Ocean endemics is the Moorish Idol a fish youre bound to notice.
If you are not on a tight budget, you could enjoy one of the most exclusive diving operations in the world. The diving north of Sodwana Bay is strictly controlled and launches are from one very upmarket dive lodge. But the reefs are virtually pristine.
If youre driving back to Durban, you can dive right up to the time you leave but, if youre driving to Johannesburg treat the drive as a flight as Joburg is 2,000m above sea level and it only takes 6 hours to drive there mostly uphill (obviously)