South Africa Diving
South Africa diving is a must destination for the experienced diver searching for adventure.
South Africa is surrounded by the sea to the west, south and east and has a lengthy coastline. This coastline is swept by two major ocean currents, the Mozambique Agulhas and the Benguela systems. The former is a warm, south-flowing current skirting the east and south coasts as far as Cape Agulhas. The Benguela Current is cold and flows northwards as far as southern Angola along the west coast.
The contrast in temperature between these two currents partly accounts for important differences in climate and vegetation between the east and west coasts of South Africa. It also causes big differences in marine life, because the cold waters of the west coast are much richer in oxygen, nitrates, phosphates and plankton than those of the east coast.
The Atlantic is cooled by the Benguela current coming up from the southern Atlantic and bringing with it water rich in micro-organisms. This accounts for the huge kelp forests found on the Atlantic as well as the fish, seals and whales which feed on the smaller animals. The False Bay is influenced by the tail end of the warmer Mozambique current which moves Southwards down the East coast of Africa. This results in slightly warmer water and different marine life - more invertebrates and colourful sponges.
Average air temperature during the year: 7°C (44°F) to 32°C (90°F)
Average Water surface temperature: 9°C (49°F) to 20°C (68°F)
We recommend diving in dry-suits or good quality 7mm, 2-piece wetsuits and bring a torch for the deeper reefs and wrecks.
Water temperatures average 4°C higher on the east side than on the west.
Coldest time: May through August (Winter)
Warmest time: January and February (Summer)
Contrary to logic the water is at it's coldest in summer. This mean that in summer it's also advisable to take a good wetsuit (a 7mm wetsuit in good condition or a drysuit)
Possible to dive all year round depending on the dive site. Many dive sites are not dived during certain periods of the year because of the poor visibility or rough conditions. Check with the local dive centers before going to dive anywhere!
Best time to dive: June, July, August, March, April and May
Visibility average: 3 to 20m
South Africa diving is very unique. Diving centers know safe and calm diving sites for beginners and students but generally the conditions can be quite hard. Experienced divers will have the oportunity to make a lot of unforgettable dives.
South Africa diving highlights are numerous. South africa is the
paradise for shark lovers! Starting with the Great white shark diving around Dyer Islands South East of the Cape of Good Hope. Diving with
sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) in the region of Durban without forgetting the
great hammerhead and whaleshark.
Sodwana benefits from warm water coming down from Mozambique and thanks to this there is a great variety of sea life including bottle-nosed dolphins, sharks, whale sharks and turtles.
More than 1200 species of fish are found in these waters.
I just wrote a few highlights but you can find more in the regional pages or in the