Two Oceans Scuba Academy is a PADI 5 Star Resort situated in the newly revamped Blue Marlin Hotel in Scottburgh South Africa. We are right on the doorstep of the world renowned Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area. The divesites are a short boat ride away from the main beach where we launch daily. The 120 bedroom resort has a fully stocked dive retail shop and offer training from beginner to professional level. This unique facility is the ideal location from where to explore the the beautiful coast line. We also offer baited shark dives and various shark safaris.
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Aliwal Shoal – South Africa. Durban is the largest city in Kwazulu-Natal, and boast a newly build international airport (King Shaka International). A mere 30 minute drive south of Durban is the popular seaside town of Scottburg. We use Scottburg as our base when diving on Aliwal Shoal for numerous reasons. The town has a beautiful blue-flag beach, safe for swimming, sunbathing and surfing. Scottburg offers a variety of different types of accommodation from hotels to a caravan park on the beach. The town also has a small shopping centre and a few very quaint restaurants for your enjoyment. A short boat ride from Scottburg’s main beach and you are at the world renowned Aliwal Shoal. Once rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, the Shoal will surprise you with its beauty on every dive. Aliwal Shoal was named after a sailing vessel- the Aliwal, captained by James Anderson. The vessel almost collided with the Shoal in September of 1849, and a report was issued by Anderson to warn other ships about the possible danger in this area. Aliwal Shoal lies within a marine protected area and runs in a north – south direction on the inner edge of the Mozambiquan current. The Shoal is 1.5km wide, 5 km long and approximately 4 km offshore from Scottburg. Visibility can vary from average to excellent. The Shoal was formed when sand and other deposits got washed in the ocean from sand dunes in the area, over time they formed a calcium carbonate compound that laid the foundation of this sandstone reef. This dune rock structure was later submerged due to heavy rainfall and was colonized by a variety of different types of coral. The reef itself has a pinnacle ridge and gradually drops off on the inner-, and outer edge till it reaches a sandy bottom. The uneven structure of the reef is full of gullies, cracks and overhangs and is home to at least a 1200 tropical and sub-tropical fish species. You will also get to see eels, turtles, rays, and a variety of sharks. The annual Ragged Tooth Shark (Grey Nurse Shark) migration takes place from July to November, when large amounts of “Raggies” congregate on the Shoal to mate. Whales and Dolphins also frequently visit these waters. One of the main attractions is the world famous Tiger Shark Diving on Aliwal Shoal. On these baited dives large amounts of Oceanic Black Tip Sharks and Tiger Shark can be encountered in close range. The best time to book a Tiger Dive is from November to May each year. For Wreck Diving enthusiast Aliwal Shoal offer two wrecks, the Produce and the Nebo. The Produce an old cargo ship was heading South when she struck the Shoal and sank in 1974. The Produce Wreck can be found lying on her starboard side on the sandy bottom at a depth of 30-32 m. The 119 m long ship has a broken back leaving the mid-ship scattered across the area. The Produce is home to giant brindle bass up to 3m in size. The Nebo was carrying material for the building of a railway bridge when she overturned due to incorrect loading on May 20th 1884. The wreck is broken in two parts an lies at a depth of 18 to 26 m. You can be sure to encounter Natal Catfish and the endemic Harlequin Goldies. Lots of Scorpion fish hide on the wreck and other species found here include Ribbontal Rays, Sharpnosed Stingrays, Greyspot Guitarfish and schools of Fusiliers. There is also a big variety of different types of coral and often schools of game fish pass overhead. Aliwal Shoal offers spectacular diving and a variety of different dive site. The conditions can be a bit challenging but it’s worth the effort. There are also a few very pristine dive sites to the south of the main reef, these sites aren’t dived as often and are still very unspoiled. Diving on Aliwal Shoal comes highly recommended and is ideal for avid photographers and fun divers alike. How to get there: Fly into Durban - King Shaka international. Aliwal Shoal is situated 80km from Durban on the N2 Sothern bypass near the town of Scottsburg Visa requirements: link to gov page Currency: South African Rand (ZAR) Oceans and Seas: Indian Ocean Sealife: Ragged tooth shark ( grey nurse shark), tiger shark, oceanic black tip sharkrays, honey comb morays, brindle bass, frog fish, turles, travali, king fish, queen fish, barracuda, pineapple fish, moorish idols, cuitar sharks, dolphins Seasons: Rain showers occure mostly in the summer months. Diving takes place year round. Water temperature: Average water temp is around 22 degrees Dive Sites: Avg Sea Temp: 23 degrees Avg visibility: 12-15 m (max 40 m) Currents: mild to strong Status: Marine Protected Area Procedures: Boat Diving
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