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Scuba Diving South Africa


Known for its diversity, South Africa scuba diving can be divided into five coastal regions, each displaying the beauty of the underwater world in all its facets. In the winter months, in KwaZulu-Natal, the migration of the ragged-tooth sharks is a wondrous event. Since this is a shark region, a wide variety of sharks can be found here. Not all sharks are dangerous – the hammerhead, lemon, and copper sharks. South Africas, Sodwana Bay area is perfect for night scuba dives. Dolphins, whale sharks, drop-offs and mushroom-shaped pinnacles; turtles, coral, invertebrates can be seen. One of the best sites is in Margate (The Arena) which features most of the shark species.

Scuba diving the Eastern Cape Coast of South Africa is alive with vivid coloured sponges, soft and hard corals as well as gorgonians, sharks and other fish. Spearfishing and seafood collecting is very popular in this region, for example crayfish, perlemoen (abalone) and oysters. Colorful reefs and caves are represented, too. The best site in this area is undoubtedly The Pinnacles in Port Elizabeth where rock walls form brightly painted surfaces and sheer drop-offs lend dramatic dimension. Hard coral of the semi-precious variety can also be found here.

A most beautiful part of the country, Garden Route, offers vibrant soft and hard corals including sunburst, starburst and the distinctive white “cauliflower” corals. Great White, pajama and hammerhead sharks, as well as stingrays are common in this region. The area is also rich in wrecks that host a valuable collection of corals, soft and hard, as well as sea fans, basket stars and an impressive collection of small fish and predators. A definite attraction to this area are the delicate sea horses at Knysna. Four species of whales also frequent this region, like Killer, Southern Right and Humpback whales. Dolphins and seals are also regular visitors throughout the year. The area is rich in mussels and oysters.

South Africa’s Southern Cape Coast boasts of different and colourful reefs. Shark Cage scuba Diving at either Dyer Island or Mossel Bay offers a different view on the Great White Shark. Hermanus has quite a few dive sites, Whale Rock being one of the best. A large flat section, covered with redbait, falls down with soft corals, seafans, sponges and criniods, and crayfish fascinate you for hours on end.

Kelp forests, reefs and wrecks are plentiful in the South-Western Cape. Reefs are covered with nudibranchs, anemones, urchins, starfish, seafans and sponges. An excellent wreck site is “The wrecks of Smitswinkel Bay” near Kalk Bay. These five wrecks teem with pretty white, red, yellow and mauve soft corals, as well as a marvelous array of marine life. Rocks teem with big fish such as yellowtail, stumpnose, roman and sharks. Octopuses, cuttlefish, galjoen, Hottentot dog sharks and cowries can also be found here.

South Africa scuba diving provides for a wide variety indeed, so come and relax in the warm waters of the West Coast, or explore the rocks and wrecks of the South Coast. Whatever way you go, you can be sure of underwater beauty everywhere.

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