Travelers often visit South Africa on a scuba diving holiday because of its diverse diving conditions and the variety of life which the coastal regions offer.
The coastline stretches over 2,500 km’s with incredible diving spots dotted all along the coast where incredible diving experiences are readily available.
The diving highlights are numerous in South Africa, from Great White Shark diving around the Dyer Islands to diving with sand tiger sharks, hammerhead and whale sharks in Durban.
There are over 1100 species of fish which are found in these waters. Below are some of the top dive spots in and around South Africa.
Dyer Island – The great white shark diving capital of the world
Cage diving with great white sharks is a fairly new adventure sport in South Africa but there are numerous travel operators who offer shark diving packages. The stretch of water which separates Gansbaai and Dyer Island is known as ‘shark alley’.
Gansbaai is approximately 2 hours from Cape Town and less than an hour away from Hermanus which is the best spot in South Africa for whale watching.
Sodwana Bay in Kwazulu Natal – A diverse coral region situated in coastal sand dunes and is part of isimangaliso Wetland Park just north of Durban. The bay is all about the Zambezi and the tiger sharks, whip corals, game fishing and blue and gold fusiliers.
Storms River Mouth & Mossel Bay, Garden Route – An excellent place for scuba diving in South Africa offering a very mild climate for divers and a well sheltered bay.
This is another location which offers adrenaline charged dives with Great White Sharks where you can witness them up close. For those of you who are at the other end of the adrenaline scale, Storms River is the perfect location for you.
This spot is all about vibrant coral reefs and large fish. What makes this location so special is the possibility of some great night diving due to the drop off being a short distance away from the shore, which makes it a great shore dive to.
Clifton Rock, Cape Town – One of the most popular dive spots in South Africa.
Clifton Rock is populair for its social atmosphere and its pristine views. It is located just off one of the busiest beaches in South Africa, just 100 meters from the coastline.
The diving environment encompasses an area of boulders, creating breath taking swim troughs. The site offers a maximum dive depth of about 14m and conditions are usually best in the summer when the swell is usually slower and shorter.
Best times to dive in South Africa?
Since the waters in South Africa reach a cold 19C between July and October, it is recommended that you try and dive in the warmer months between February and March when the temperatures are around 24C.
But if you don’t mind diving wearing a full wet suit or even a dry suit, then you can venture out in the colder months, which is also when the ragged tooth sharks can be predominantly found.
Would you like to scuba dive South Africa or have you been already? Let us know in the comments below
Feel free to contact us. We have multiple partners that offer dive packages + accommodation and scuba lessons in South Africa.
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pics by: hermanusbackpackers
Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.