South Africa is not just about big game animals and safaris. Below the surface there is ample for thrill seekers to see, and keep the adrenaline pumping. Long and beautiful coastlines deliver a varied range of diving conditions, from the cooler waters off Cape Town to the more tropical diving on the east. ScubaEarth users rate these spots as must dive locations in this wondrous country:
With a variety of reefs at your fingertips, Sodwana Bay is a pristine underwater paradise waiting to be explored. Boasting an abundance of iridescent coral life interspersed amongst pinnacles, drop-offs, and gullies, the stunning reefs are also home to a selection of large and small critters including more than 1200 varieties of fish. The two, five, seven and nine mile reefs (aptly named according to their distance from the shore) each offer a different habitat for divers to explore within the world heritage listed iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Divers flock to this southern point in South Africa to take a dip in some of the most shark friendly waters in the world. Known mostly for the population of ragged tooth sharks, Aliwal Shoal is becoming a shark hub, as species such as tiger sharks, hammerheads, Zambezi (bull) sharks, and even the elusive Great White pass through. Also not to be missed, if you’re visiting at the right time of year, is the annual Sardine Run. Occurring each year between May and July a flurry of activity ensues as billions of sardines make their way north up the eastern coastline. A sight not to be missed given the opportunity, as large pelagic species such as sharks and dolphins follow in pursuit.
Stretching approximately 30km across, False Bay is a huge inlet of diverse diving and equally diverse marine life. Just a short trip from Cape Town, what awaits is a magical world of kelp forests, sandy bottom dives or coral gardens with spectacular sea fans. An enormous assortment of creatures come out to play like the friendly cape fur seals. Long Beach, a dive site on the western side of the bay, is often frequented for night dives.
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