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Scuba Diving

On the world Scuba Diving scene, South Africa is up there with the best of them offering superb diving variety, a huge diversity of marine species, spectacular coastal locations and inland, freshwater dive sites. If you are after exhilarating, wow factor diving then you have come to the right place!

South Africans are fortunate to have these diving Meccas right on their doorstep, and international visitors will be thrilled to discover that adding a diving trip onto their African…

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Scuba Diving South Africa
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On the world Scuba Diving scene, South Africa is up there with the best of them offering superb diving variety, a huge diversity of marine species, spectacular coastal locations and inland, freshwater dive sites. If you are after exhilarating, wow factor diving then you have come to the right place!

South Africans are fortunate to have these diving Meccas right on their doorstep, and international visitors will be thrilled to discover that adding a diving trip onto their African wildlife safari is convenient and worthwhile.

Three words sum up diving in South Africa – VARIETY, BIODIVERSITY - WOW!

A whopping 2735 km of Atlantic and Indian Ocean coastline treats divers to an underwater extravaganza. Water temperatures range from 14°C/57°F in Cape Town’s False Bay to 27°C/80°F at Sodwana on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast. Don your favourite fins and experience everything from tropical reefs, kelp forests, temperate rocky reefs, sandy bottoms, caves, exhilarating surf launches, rich feeding grounds, rocky walls, pinnacles, ship wrecks and exquisite corals.

The species list is also out of this world! Divers have opportunities to see a multitude of different sharks including the great white and ragged tooth, Cape fur seals, giant swirling balls of sardines, stingrays, rock cod, dolphins, humpback whales, sailfish, turtles, enormous whale sharks, manta rays, seahorses, lobsters and the odd Cape Gannet diving for a meal. Shark enthusiasts should definitely include Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast to their itinerary for thrilling close encounters with an array of sharks especially ‘raggies’, bull sharks and hammerheads.

There are two events divers should add to their calendars. South Africa’s adrenaline-pumping Sardine Run is not to be missed and is possibly one of the most spectacular dives in the world. Annually between May and July, schools of sardines – billions of them – migrate from the Cape to Protea Banks with a vast assembly of predators in their wake. The ‘Chokka’ Run off Cape St Francis is also a fascinating spectacle where millions of squid gather to mate and spawn. While the squid congregate during summer in bays between the Cape and Port Elizabeth, the shallow chokka bank at Cape St Francis is one of the best places to experience this natural phenomenon.

Browse Dirty Boots’ handy summary of our recommended scuba diving operators in South Africa:

West Coast – Langebaan Divers offers a comprehensive range of dive courses in Langebaan Lagoon.

Cape Town – In Simon’s Town, join Apex Shark Expeditions for shark cage diving in False Bay and snorkeling/diving with seals near Duiker Island. Pisces Divers offers training, an on-site training pool and dive trips in False Bay.

Overberg – Xelant Diving offers training in their on-site pool and dive charters to Fisherhaven’s lagoon and from Hermanus harbour.

Garden Route – Join Adventure’s Edge Dive Centre in Mossel Bay for dive training and charters. Further east, explore Storms River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park marine protected area with Untouched Adventures.

Eastern Cape & Wild Coast – Pro Dive’s three Dive Centres are located in Plettenberg Bay and Port Elizabeth offering courses, kids programmes and dive trips.

Free State – Learn to dive or refresh your skills in Pro Sport Diver’s 16m deep heated pool in Bloemfontein.

North West – Join Klerksdorp Scuba Club for training, underwater sports and dive trips. Miracle Waters Scuba Resort in Brits offers courses and recreational dives in a warm spring water lake.

Gauteng – Head to Henley on Klip for inland diving with Bass Lake Adventures who offer training and social diving in a 23m deep, spring-fed lake. Calypso Dive & Adventure in Johannesburg offers an on-site training facility and dive trips. 

Durban & KwaZulu-Natal North Coast – Learn to dive with Clubventure near Ballito who offer a range of courses. Explore uShaka Marine World’s aquarium with Calypso Dive & Adventure Centre or join one of their training courses or sea dives. Discover Sodwana Bay’s stunning coral reefs with Triton Dive Lodge, and luxurious Thonga Beach Lodge on Mabibi beach offers scuba diving in warm, pristine seas.

South Coast KwaZulu Natal – Experience the Aliwal Shoal diving Mecca with Aliwal Dive Centre in Umkomaas for an incredible shark diving adventure.

Scuba Diving South Africa Operators

Aliwal Dive Centre and Lodge - South Coast KwaZulu-Natal

Established 15 years ago, this PADI 5 Star IDC Centre launches its boats out to Aliwal Shoal. Rated as one of the world’s top 10 dive sites, you’ll find abundant marine life here – not to mention varying dive depths, wrecks and reefs. We also specialise in baited shark dives for a huge adrenalin rush. You can see tiger, oceanic blacktip, Zambezi and dusky sharks without a cage. For the non...

Bass Lake Adventures - Gauteng

Frequented by scuba divers, lovers of outdoor activities and those seeking tranquility and relaxation – Wednesday to Sunday and public holidays. Conveniently situated just south of Johannesburg, off the R59 highway, we offer a unique, varied resort. We have a clean, clear, spring-fed lake and an off-road 4x4 and mountain bike trail, including a wide variety of obstacles, set in a natural us a...

Clubventure - Scuba Diving - KwaZulu-Natal North Coast

Scuba Diving is enjoyed by millions of people all around the world. With that being said, Scuba Diving must provide some kind of excitement, to entice so many people to try it! Scuba allows you to experience relaxation, fun and excitement whilst enjoying the ocean and viewing incredible marine life! You will however need a Scuba Diving qualification, so read on ... Clubventure is located 15km a...

Knysna Dive Charters - Seablue Scuba Safaris - Garden Route

Fall head over heels for the adorable Knysna seahorse! Snorkelling with Seahorses is a water-based adventure with a unique difference and spending time with these tiny, endearing creatures is an experience you will never forget! Join Seablue Scuba Safaris based in the charming town of Knysna on the Garden Route and explore the delicate underwater gardens of the Knysna Lagoon, home to one of or...

Pisces Divers - Scuba Diving - Cape Town

Pisces Divers is a friendly and professional PADI 5-star IDC dive centre conveniently located at the entrance to Simon’s Town, right next to Long Beach and the Simon’s Town train station. This positions us perfectly to offer exciting dives daily. There is a huge variety of dive sites within close range, from shallow shore entries with playful seals, curious Sevengill cowsharks and fascinating...

Pro Dive - Scuba Diving - Eastern Cape & Wild Coast

Pro Dive is a 5-star PADI Dive Centre with 3 branches located in Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg Bay and a branch at the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth which is also a watersport centre offering kiteboarding, stand-up paddling, kayaking and snorkeling over and above the popular dive courses. For those of you who would like to get more involved in marin conservation and marine biology, Pro Dive offers a...

Pro Dive Plettenberg Bay - Scuba Diving - Garden Route

Pro Dive, located in Plettenberg Bay at the Beacon Isle Hotel, a 5 Star PADI Centre with excellent training facilities and spectacular dives sites. Scuba Diving in Plettenberg Bay offers a fireworks display of colourful soft corals, anemones and sponges and rich marine life including shy sharks, rays, octopus and many species of reef fish. PRODUCTS SUITABLE FOR EVERY-ONE - No experience Scuba a...

Pro Sport Diver - Free State

Scuba diving courses: from Open Water through to Divemaster courses, with PADI international certification. Discover Scuba Diving courses take place in the indoor heated pool, as well as Bubblemaker courses for eight and nine year olds. Dive centre facility: Indoor pool with a depth of 16 m heated throughout the year. There is a fully stocked dive shop with all the well-known brands available,...

Shark Cage Diving KZN - South Coast KwaZulu-Natal

See 5–20 sharks on a 30 minute cage dive in the open sea – no diving experience required. The boat trip includes shark viewing, informative talks on them, marine life and conservation, and a visit to shark nets for an explanation of how they work. The whole trip takes about two and a half hours. Sharks guaranteed or your money back. We view the cage diving experience as a way to connect with...

Thonga Beach Lodge - Scuba Diving - Mabibi

Thonga Beach Lodge is a luxurious 24 bed lodge, nestled within the Isimangaliso World Heritage Park on the pristine coast of Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, a magical place with pristine beaches, coastal forests and shimmering lakes. Thonga Beach Lodge captures the essence of a luxury Robinson Crusoe hideaway as each air conditioned suite was been carefully constructed to ensure minimal impact on the...

Triton Dive Lodge - KwaZulu-Natal North Coast

Join us at Triton Dive Lodge and explore the amazing coral reefs of Sodwana Bay. Our unspoilt coastline and endless sandy beaches gently slope into the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean where a pristine tropical underwater paradise awaits you for a diving experience of a lifetime. We have a wide range of accommodation. Other facilities include gear rental, pool, restaurant, lounge, curio and...

Two Oceans Aquarium - Cape Town

Discover life beyond the African waves. The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town is a window into the spectacular oceans surrounding the southern African coast. Through displays ranging from the small and almost mythical Knysna seahorses, to large ragged-tooth sharks, the Aquarium holds wondrous discoveries around every corner. Be mesmerised by the swaying of the giant kelp in the aptly named Kelp...

Umhlanga Scuba - KwaZulu-Natal North Coast

Join us for a thrilling dive in the Aquarium at uShaka Marine World! This experience is for anyone who wants to take the plunge and get wet behind the gills, whether you are a qualified diver or not. The PADI Discover Scuba programme will allow you to try diving with an Instructor in the Aquarium without ever having dived before, you lucky fish! Great vis, warm water, plenty of marine life...

Xelant Diving - Overberg

Xelant Diving is a dive charter and diving school in Fisherhaven near Hermanus. We offer diving gear for hire and for courses. We offer SSI (scuba schools international courses). We have our own custom build 10-meter long and 3-meter deep pool for our students to enjoy their courses. Our Samsa-approved diving boat can carry 10 divers. We also have a compressor to fill your cylinders. We do both...