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SCUBA DIVING

South Africa
South Africa is an ideal location for some spectacular scuba diving as it has an extensive coastline with widely varied conditions and water temperatures. It offers an exciting and unusual dive vacation. The dive operators are professional and equipment is safe. Only duly certified divers are allowed to dive however there are numerous scuba courses on offer for all levels.

The warm Mozambique current that flows down the eastern side of South Africa makes the waters ideal to spot great white sharks, whales, whale sharks, dolphins, turtles, manta and eagle rays, and stunning coral reefs too.

The water around Cape Town is very cold but scuba diving here opens up a whole different world. This is the only place in the world that harbours all 3 kelp forests known to man. Diving in kelp is like being in a forest, floating beneath the canopy and admiring the radiantly colourful reef life.

Striking anemones, nudibranchs, and a variety of small creatures in and around the bright orange and yellow sponges are just some of the sights you will see.

Great White Shark cage diving provides an experience of a lifetime not to mention quite the adrenaline rush. It is strictly regulated and conducted in an ethical way in accordance with international standards. You need not have any diving experience at all, just a short course on safety and the use of the equipment. It is totally safe.
There are two areas where Great White diving is done, Gansbaai and Mosselbaai, These destinations areaccessed from Cape Town International Airport.
Great White Shark Cage diving at Gansbaai:
Daily shark diving/sighting tours (weather permitting) are done off Gansbaai at Dyer Island, one of only two unique areas in the world, where the chances to view the great white shark, is exceptionally high. Other species such as Cape Fur Seals, Jackass penguins, whales and dolphins are also likely to be sighted.
Great White Shark cage diving at Mossel Bay:
Mossel Bay has an abundant marine life of seals, whales, penguins and other sea birds, dolphins, the occasional orca and of course many Great White sharks.
The warm waters of Kwa Zulu Natal provide spectacular sightings of larger marine species, stunning corals and strikingly colourful smaller fish. Dive sites are reached in rubber zodiacs starting with a thrilling launch through the waves. The water temperature in summer is 24+ degrees Celsius and in winter not colder than 19 degrees Celsius. The depths vary from 6 to 40 metres

Several exceptional dive sites are worth a special mention.
Aliwal Shoal, ranked one of the top ten dives in the world by Diver Magazine, is approximately a 30 minute drive south of Durban. During the months of June through to November, Ragged Tooth Sharks as congregate on the Shoal to mate and it is usual to see 15 to 150 of these fierce looking but placid animals on a single dive. From November through to February there is a good chance of spotting huge Tiger Sharks and Hammerheads. Wreck diving is also popular. Other species, depending on the season, include huge Brindle Bass, Manta, Devil and other Rays, whales, eels, dolphins, schools of pelagic fish, and countless more unusual creatures!
Protea Banks is nearby, rated as one of the best shark diving spots in the world and without doubt one of the most adventurous. Hammerhead Sharks migrate to reef in their hundreds during end October/November, along with Copper Sharks and Blackfin Sharks. There are also Bull Sharks, Giant Guitar Sharks, several other shark species, devil, manta eagle rays etc
Visibility at both sites ranges from 5 to 35 meters.
Sodwana Bay is probably South Africa’s most popular dive destination and is approximately 4 hours drive north of Durban. The bay is situated in a marine reserve that now forms part of the World Heritage classified Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park. The stunning reefs are home to an abundance of tropical fish, hard and soft coral, sponges, moray eels, large schools of pelagic fish, potato bass, turtles (hawksbill, loggerhead, green, leatherback) and depending on the time of year, whales (southern right, humpback), whale sharks and dolphins. Visibility is rarely less than 15 meters.

Mozambique
Warm, clear waters, pristine coral reefs and an abundance of sea life make Mozambique a dream dive holiday destination. Add to this a variety of accommodation options ranging from budget to super luxury, fresh seafood and friendly people and you will think you have arrived in paradise.

There are excellent sites all along the coast offering a variety of special sightings including Manta Rays, Whale Sharks, tropical reef and pelagic fish, moray and other eels, nudibranchs, turtles and lots more. Very, very rare are river dolphins and dugongs.

Some of the best diving is in the Bazaruto National Park which includes the islands and reefs off Vilankulo. Protected since 1971, the 5 islands are home to duiker, bushbuck, freshwater crocodiles and over 180 bird species whilst the reefs harbour dugongs, whales, turtles, dolphins and some 2000 fish species.

The islands offer several exclusive lodges whilst budget options are available on the mainland at Vilankulo.

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