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Diving in South Africa

Everything you have to know and the best Dive Sites

More than 3,000 kilometres of coastline along two oceans, as well as a multifaceted culture and a pleasant climate – South Africa is one of the most popular diving destination in the world, and rightly so. A multitude of diving bases offer unforgettable experiences primarily for fans of large fish species and diverse life forms under water.

Thereby, the temperatures under water are subtropical all-year-round so that a thin diving suit is perfectly sufficient. Besides diving, there are many other touristic sights to be visited – inasmuch it is worth planning a longer holiday here. We will give you some tips regarding the most beautiful diving sites as well as the diving schools in South Africa.

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The best dive sites in South Africa

Even though South Africa is better known for large fish species under water, there are still several wrecks to be seen. We can recommend these locations:

  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park (Sodwana Bay): One of the largest reefs worldwide with about 1,200 fish species – even night dives are impressive here!
  • Gansbaai (Cape Town): Near Cape Town, you can dive in a cage with the great white sharks. Controversial, but pure adrenaline.
  • Smithwinkel Shipwrecks (Cape Town): Five sunken sailboats form an artificial wreck with colourful activity under water.
  • Seal Island (Cape Town): Off this island, there are many seals out and about, which can be observed at close range.
  • Sardine Run (KwaZulu-Natal): In June and July, giant shoals of sardines meet here to migrate up north together. Obviously, predators like sharks are not very far. An exceptional, natural spectacle!
  • Gunner’s Rock (Mossel Bay): In Mossel Bay, there are more than 30 wrecks which make wreck divers’ hearts skip a beat. Particularly exciting is the so-called Gunner’s Rock, quite a large, unknown wreck, which was only discovered in 2002. Due to the depth, it is more appropriate for advanced divers.
  • Aliwal Shoal (Durban): The petrified dunes offer two wrecks, reefs and, above all, spectacular encounters with sharks.

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Diving in South Africa at a glance

  • Peak tourist season: Possible all-year-round thanks to the pleasant temperatures
  • Appropriate for: All diving levels, from beginners to advanced
  • Water temperature: 15 – 28 degrees
  • Entry requirement: Possible up to 90 days with a passport
  • Particular diving experiences: Large fish, primarily whales and sharks tropical fish, current diving, wreck diving
  • Duration of trip: One to two weeks, can be longer if linked to a beach holiday
  • Diving equipment: Can be rented on site in most cases
  • Travelling: By plane up to Durban, Cape Town or Johannesburg, then by rental car


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