Cape Town diving
Scuba diving is a very popular water sport in Cape Town and therefore attracts lots of divers. All kinds of diving are represented at Cape Town's dive sites; from snorkeling, reef and cave diving to deep, wreck and shark diving. You will find plenty of Great white sharks in Cape Town waters due to the abundance of its primary food source, seals. The diving possibilities keep growing from day to day as more dive sites are explored and discovered.
Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with the local dive center for safety, additional information, level required for each dive site and without being accompanied by a professional.
All the information provided is purely informative for our readers and shouldn't be used as is to plan your immersion.
Average annual temperature: 12°C to 18°C (53° F to 64° F).
Average Water surface temperature: From 10°C to 14°C (50° F to 57°F).
Visibility often averaging: Is at its best when water is freezing so be prepared. It is From 16 to 32 feet (5 to 10 meters).
Possible to dive all year round.
Cape Town has always been famous for its shark diving trips. It is considered one of the great experiences scuba divers could gain during their visit to South Africa. Dyer Island is located in about 140 km from Cape Town, and it has some of the best dive sites to encounter these predators. The best season to watch Great white sharks is from May to October.
Pyjama sharks can be seen in shallower dive sites like the A-Frame. This "A"shaped cave is inhabited by many kinds of aqua life. Its depth is ranging from 26 to 49 feet (8 to 15 meters). It is an easy shore dive with usually calm conditions although there may be a surge sometimes. There is a great chance of seeing spotted cowsharks. It is a social feeder and can be seen in groups up to 20 individuals. Female sharks can reach 3 meters length, males are slightly smaller. A good opportunity for underwater photographers to watch them and get great shots.
Cape Town is also known as Cape of storms, this is why it's a real ship graveyard with some spectacular wreck dive sites. Some are old wrecks with a historical back ground, some others are modern.
The Antipolis is a shallow wreck site close to the shore. It is at a maximum depth of 32 (10 meters). The Greek oil tanker sank in 1977. The site is a well protected marine reserve and home to plenty of crayfish.
The Aster is another wreck site. A retired lobster catcher was scuttled in August 1997 to form an artificial reef. The wreck stands upright on a sandy bottom at max. 98 feet (30 meters) depth. Before being sunk all her oil was emptied in the effort to make the Aster diver and fish friendly. The doors and hatches were also removed before the sinking.
The Huis te Kraaiestein is the oldest shipwreck along the South African coast. The ship from the Dutch East Indian Company was wrecked on the rocks of Camps Bay in 1698. Its remains, some iron cannons, anchors and few pieces of wood are extensively overgrown and hard to recognize in the kelp forest. Its depth ranges between 32 to 49 feet (10 to 15 meters). Even though the area is quite sheltered from swell, there is usually some surge due to the shallow waters. The best time to dive this wreck is during the summer months.
There are some interesting reefs in the area of False Bay. The Pie Rock Reef got its name from its strange formation, which looks like a huge pie. The site has a beautiful topography with small caves, pinnacles and walls that are covered with colorful marine life. Try diving near the lighthouse, you will find a beautiful reef with invertebrates in all colors. There is a large cave in the area as well, its depth is from 16 to 56 feet (5 to 20 meters).
Seal Island is located close by, only 6 km from False Bay beaches in the Atlantic Ocean. The island got its name from the huge numbers of Cape Fur seals that occupy it, apparently there are more than 60'000 seals living here. Photographers can take great shots of the Cape Fur seals and also maybe get the rare picture of white sharks breaching out of the water in their hunt for seals. The visibility here is generally about 25ft (7-8m) like in many other sites in South Africa. To see the Great white shark it's best to visit Seal Island between April and mid September. The island is a nature reserve and apart from the seals you can see about 24 different species of birds close to the island or breeding on it.