Scuba diving on the Aliwal Shoal was first dived in 1960 when the first dives were pioneered on the reef. It was described as a reef filled with life from tropical and colder waters that flow up the South African east coast starting in the Western Cape. Today the reef teams with life from the smallest critters, fish life of all types and most importantly sharks.
Aliwal Shoal Shark Diving
Three options are available if you’d like to participate in a shark diving experience. Every dive in winter can be considered a shark dive due to the high numbers of ragged-tooth sharks that visit the reef from May to October. Secondly, there are baited shark dives where you can do a scuba dive or thirdly a shark snorkel. The snorkeling can be done by non-scuba individuals although you should be able to swim to be able to participate.
Wreck & Reef Scuba Diving
The Aliwal Shoal is considered as one of the most diverse sub-tropical reefs on earth. The reef spans an incredible 60 kilometers parallel to the coastline, giving us a clue to its formation, over 80 000 years ago when it was a coastal dune system. We dive the northernmost regions of the reef where the ocean floor rises to 10 meters at the pinnacles. The reef is responsible for both wrecks (Produce and Nebo) which rest on the northern end of the reef.
On request, we have the option of trekking south to Shelly Beach where we take a ride out to Protea Banks where there are opportunities to spot schooling scalloped hammerhead sharks, thresher sharks on occasion with many unexpected sightings of great white and tiger sharks. The dives are mid-water drift dives with few opportunities to reach the ocean floor. Protea Banks is part of the reef system that reaches as far north as Umkomaas.
Book a Dive / Book a Package
Tailored Dive Packages
Would you like to stay for up to a week or more? It makes sense to stay a while longer to experience the ever-changing conditions. Some days we may have exquisite conditions while some may offer us exiting drift dive opportunities. On those non-diveable days, we go overland and explore the coast and interior for something exciting to do. Have a look at our packages for cost-saving options and for a truly amazing stay in Umkomaas.
Scuba Diving Courses
Taking the first step towards breathing underwater may sound daunting but its really quite safe and easy to do if you have the itch to put your head below water and find out for yourself how beautiful life is under the sea. Join the may new scuba divers qualifying weekly with our open water scuba diving qualification with options to become a professional scuba divemaster or instructor.