Scuba Diving in South Africa

South Africa is the most visited part of the continent and a paradise for divers that come here to dive with huge marine animals. The country is very popular among fans of extreme diving. The southern coast is washed by the currents of two oceans, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, so the underwater flora and fauna here are very diverse. Diving in South Africa gives you an opportunity to come across coral fish, sea lions, fur seals, earless seals, as well as whole groups of dolphins, sharks and even whales. You might see the amazing Sardine Run — the annual migration of the South African pilchard, that attracts an array of predators. In addition, off the coast of South Africa you can find a couple of fascinating wreck dives to explore. You can scuba dive throughout the coastline, the depth — from 10 to 60 meters.

Reasons to Visit

Where to go
in South Africa?
Durban is the South African diving capital, which especially attracts those who want to swim with sharks. Here on the coast at the end of summer big groups of whale sharks gather, and the number of these predators is higher than anywhere else in the world. You can also find graceful fish while exploring underwater tunnels and caves. But you have to be careful.
Sodwana Bay offers a big variety of dive sites. Two Mile Reef is famous for shoals of bigeye rockfish and red mullet. You can also see blue rays, moray eels of various colors, parrotfish, clown triggerfish with orange lips. Bottlenose dolphins visit the reef very often and some dolphins may let humans approach them up to 8-10 meters.
The most famous undersea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau called Alival Shoal the one of the most interesting places in the world to practice diving. Aliwal Shoal is famed for its shark sightings, including sand sharks, whale sharks, and the legendary hammerhead sharks, that can be seen in summer. In addition to impressive sharks, expect to see stingrays, sea turtles, dolphins, whales and also rockfish and eels amidst a vibrant coral reef. Amphitheatre and Cathedral are known as the most spectacular dives sites of Aliwal Shoal.
Margate — a seaside resort town is famous for its shark diving spots and a variety of soft reefs. White sharks, tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, and sometimes mako sharks can be found in Protea Banks. Shoals of yellowfin tuna and barracudas look no less impressive. Deep Salmon — a huge reef with a six-meter steep rock will impress you with coral trees of extraordinary beauty and beautiful tropical fish inhabiting it.
The bottom relief of the Cape Peninsula coast consists of numerous reefs, caves with labyrinths and boulders. The currents of the two oceans meet at the point of Cape of Good Hope. There is nothing quite like swimming underwater through a giant kelp forest, but if you are not an advanced diver, stay in clear areas. You can spend hours examining the cargo ship "Maori" sunk in a storm in 1909, or swim with fur seals, stingrays and turtles.
Memo Notes
Currency ZAR - South African Rand
Languages Afrikaans, Swati, Tsonga, Venda, Zulu, English
Timezone UTC +2
Phone code 27
Emergency Help 112

Type C - 230 V, 50 Hz

Type D - 230 V, 50 Hz

Type M - 230 V, 50 Hz

Type N - 230 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in South Africa

South Africa dive shops provide a wide range of tours to popular dive sites, as well as offer dives to witness seasonal phenomena. For example, you can observe sardine migrations or large sharks mating season. Daily diving trips are available at most of the places.

Сlimate & Seasonality

When we meet autumn, summer comes to South Africa. Beginning in September, the temperature rises, and in October it can already reach 35 °C during the day. At the same time, it can be quite cool at night.


January in South Africa is still a summer month. The average temperatures in this period vary from 18 ° C to 27 ° C. But January is also the rainiest month: 135 mm of precipitation from 1200 mm of average annual amount falls in January.


Autumn in South Africa is from mid-April to mid-May, although in some areas it is not defined as a season at all. There is little precipitation at this time, but fogs are frequent. The air temperature is about 23 °C during the day and about 12 °C at night.


Our summer is winter in South Africa, and the end of summer is the time of spring. In June and July, the air temperature is about 18 °C and it rises to 20 °C by the end of August. However, the air temperature does not exceed 10 °C at night.

high season
middle season
low season

The Best Dive Sites

Get face to face with a Great White shark in Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad). Explore the sunken Portuguese passenger liner "Lusitania" in the vicinity of the Cape Peninsula. Discover the numerous small and large inhabitants of the reefs near Aliwal Shoal. Freshwater diving fans should go to Bass Lake and explore the flooded dolomite mines at its bottom.

Health & Safety

There is a high level of crime in South Africa and the country's cities are considered some of the most dangerous in the world. To save yourself from trouble, it is better not to leave tourist areas, and avoid using non-cash payments — credit card fraud is very common here. Be especially careful in the sun and protect your skin from sunburn. Light radiation in South Africa exceeds all indicators familiar to Europeans. Vaccination against malaria and health insurance are mandatory. Although first aid is free, follow-up care can be expensive.

Dangerous Marine Life

South Africa’s waters beckon scuba divers to enter its wild realm and experience cage diving with sharks of different species. However, diving with predators should be organized with the necessary safety measures, so you should follow the general recommendations for diving. In the habitat of great white sharks, you can dive only in a cage.

Eat & Drinks

Seafood is an important component of South African cuisine. In South Africa, you can try shark fins, sea urchin caviar, Achelata with fruit salad and kingklip or, as it is also called, pink cusk-eel. Meat dishes in the local cuisine are represented by lamb meat pilaf with dried fruits, roasted crocodile tail, Biltong dried meat, stewed with water lily buds, spicy sausages, steaks and even meat cookies.
Weak coffee with milk is very popular. As for alcoholic beverages, wines and sparkling drinks from fruit juice are common as well as beer. Almost every local village has its own brewery. Since tap water here may be unsafe to drink, it is advised to consume only bottled water.