South Africa is considered to have probably the most beautiful sub-tropical reefs on the planet. Nudibranchs, thousands of reef fish, turtles, rays, mantas, whale sharks, tiger sharks, white sharks, etc. The variety is stupendous. The beaches are endless and the location is African, what else could you wish?
In the North area, in Sodwana Bay you can find the Quarter mile reef, the 2 mile reef, the 5 mile reef, the 7 mile reef and 9 mile reef, and these beautiful coral reefs are often visited by pelagic sharks. Aliwal shoal is a popular drift dive site which is the home for tiger sharks and raggies. And Protea banks is home for bull shark and hammerheads.
If you like long boats rides you can do a dive in pelagic water to dive with blue sharks and mako.
South Africa also hosts the famous Sardine Run, where millions of sardines follow the cold winter currents moving north toward the warm Indian Ocean. A band of cold water gets pushed up the coast by changing weather patterns. This band funnels massive shoals of sardines up the East coast of South Africa which of course attracts predators. It starts in East London or Port Elizabeth but the hotspot is in Port St john. So besides lots of sardines this will be a great spot to see whales, dolphins, sharks and other fishes. The best time to see it is in June and July.
This is a paradise for sharks. You most likely will see blue sharks, mako, seven gills cow shark, tiger shark. But also bull shark and leopard shark can be seen. If you are really lucky even killer whales (orca), whales and dolphins. In Sodwana Bay you'll see tropical reef fish, turtles and whale sharks. The most famous dive sites are in Sodwana Bay, Aliwal shoal and dive sites outside Simons town, right next to Cape Town.
The diving conditions in South Africa vary from area to area: Sodwana has tropical water and warm climate (between 20-30°C). But the further south you get, the colder it will be (between 10-16°C). Therefore in Sodwana will you be fine with a 3 mm wetsuit, but in Cape town it gets really cold and a 7-11 mm wetsuit or a dry suit is the best option. Visibility in Sodwana can reach up to 40 m but 15-20 is the normal case. In pelagic water is the visibility really good. And beware o the strong currents in Protea, which can surprise an inexperienced diver.
May – October is season for whale shark in Sodwana. November-March is best season for the sharks in Protea. Sardine in run has season between June – July.
You will find dive shops in Cape town or Simons town. And also in the cities and towns along coast.
(By Susanne Stigsson)
Amazing South Africa has got it all. Here you can go on safaris and see "the big five", have a sip of tasty wines in vineyards, trekking in mountains and diving with sharks. South Africa is located on mst southern tip of Africa, and is surrounded by two big oceans, Atlantic ocean in west and Indian ocean in east. South Africa is a hotspot for sharks, here are over 100 different species.
South Africa diving is a must destination for the experienced diver searching for adventure. Its diving highlights are numerous: it is the paradise for shark lovers! Starting with the Great white shark diving around Dyer Islands South East of the Cape of Good Hope. Diving with sand tiger sharks in the region of Durban, and not to forget the great hammerhead and whale shark.
Sodwana benefits from warm water coming down from Mozambique and thanks to this there is a great variety of sea life including bottle-nosed dolphins, sharks, whale sharks and turtles. More than 1200 species of fish are found in these waters.
There are international flights to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. From here you can take buses, domestic flights or maybe the best option, rent a car. There are trains from Cape Town to Simons town.
If you are on budget you can get find cheap backpacker hostels or if you want to spoil yourself on your vacation you'll also find more expensive hotels.
Besides diving, you can visit the famous Krüger park, do some wine tasting in Paarl and the wine farms just outside Cape town, or go to Cape Aghulas and see where Atlantic ocean meets Indian Ocean. Outside Simons Town can you visit penguins. Go to the southern point in Cape Point, and visit townships outside Cape Town or Johannesburg.
(By Susanne Stigsson)