Diving, Deep Sea

Diving devotees from around the world are flocking to the KwaZulu-Natal coast to experience the vibrant tropical reefs, scenic wrecks and impressive variety of marine life. Pleasant weather, balmy clear water and warm hospitality makes this a great diving destination throughout the year. The well established infrastructures include seasoned and professional dive charters, scuba schools, equipment hire and a range of places to stay.

Despite the large population of various shark species, no shark attack has ever been recorded on a scuba diver along this coast line. Aliwal Shoal, an easy 40-minute drive from Durban, lies offshore from Umkomaas, the diving mecca of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

A 5km boat trip, normally preceded by an exhilarating surf launch, takes divers out to the fossilised sand dune where warm water reef fish and cold water fish converge around a variety of sponges and soft & hard corals. Ragged tooth sharks hang out at the 4m Cathedral rock arch from July to November.

The wreck of the Produce, a Norwegian freighter that struck Aliwal Shoal in 1974, rests about 30 metres down. The older, but fairly intact wreck of the Nabo lies bottom-up North and shore-wards of Aliwal Shoal where it sank in 1884. The maximum depth is 30m.

For those qualified to dive to 30m, Protea Banks, 8kms offshore from Shelly Beach, is a must. This large dive site comprises of a wide variety of caves, ridges and amphitheatres teaming with marine life. A great variety of sharks can be spotted at the Arena and The Caves.