Diving experience in South Africa?

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Postby Zig » Wed May 12, 2010 9:39 am

My wife and I are planning a trip to South Africa in August, and I may be able to plan a few dives while we’re there. If you have any experience/suggestions for dive operations or sites in the Cape Town area, please let me know!

Thanks!
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Postby scottg » Wed May 12, 2010 12:10 pm

What will you do in South Africa? I went to kruger park last year, it was amazing.

I have a friend in Capetown who dives and does underwater photography, I asked him to chime in so hopefully we'll hear from him today or tomorrow.

Scott

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Postby AndyT » Wed May 12, 2010 2:10 pm

Hi Zig

I dive in Cape Town just about every weekend. I would suggest going with an operator, the one I use is Pisces Divers - www.piscesdivers.co.za

At that time of year you will most likely be diving in False Bay. You will have a choice of reef diving, wrecks or if conditions are good a dive with our Sevengill cow sharks. No shortage of sites over here ! If you need more info please ask and I will help where I can.

Contact mike@piscesdivers.co.za

Hope this helps

Safe Diving

Andy
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Postby Zig » Wed May 12, 2010 7:19 pm

Andy/Scott,

Thank you very much! We'll be staying along the coast by the Twelve Apostles for a few days, then staying in Kruger. We can't wait!

Andy, what is your take on the Great White cage diving? Have you experienced that, and if so, is it worth it?

Thanks again!
Zig
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Postby AndyT » Thu May 13, 2010 9:02 am

I have been cage diving before, unfortunately the viz wasn't too great. I have another opportunity to go again sometime soon but I will choose better conditions this time. It was a great experience though, and if this is going to be your once in a lifetime chance then give it a go. Mike at Pisces will be able to organize this as well, either in False Bay or Gansbaai.

Nice hotel by the way, way out of my price league though. And it is directly opposite three of the most popular dive sites on the Atlantic coast.
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Postby linky » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:56 am

I know im posting too late for this to be of any use for you holiday.

But in case anyone else reads this particular thread... you can’t possibly go to South Africa on a diving holiday and not go to Sodwana Bay. It is an amazing place with a wide variety of reefs and wildlife. and if you are qualified to do deep dives its one of the best places to see coelacanth.

Here are some links to SA diving sites: some really great places to see:

Sodwana Bay:
http://www.coraldivers.co.za/index.php/ ... mation.htm

Aliwal Shoal
http://www.twobar.co.za/destinations-ma ... nu-60.html

Sardine Run at Aliwal shoal... probably the biggest underwater feeding frenzy ever!
http://www.sardinerun.co.za/

And then there are other sites within the St Lucia estuary that Sodwana Bay form part of, like Mabibi and Kosi bay... all offering outstanding diving.

All of these locations also have lots of other interesting things to offer tourists. Great wildlife, game parks etc etc...


I hope this adds some more info for future visitors, South Africa is a really great place to dive, you wont regret coming here :D
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Postby cyberon » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:51 am

linky wrote:and if you are qualified to do deep dives its one of the best places to see coelacanth.


Thanks for the info but I doubt one would see one of these. They don't normal surface anything less than 70 plus metres during the day and 40 plus metres during the night, a bit out of reach of most typical recreational divers.
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Postby scottg » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:58 am

cyberon wrote:
linky wrote:and if you are qualified to do deep dives its one of the best places to see coelacanth.


Thanks for the info but I doubt one would see one of these. They don't normal surface anything less than 70 plus metres during the day and 40 plus metres during the night, a bit out of reach of most typical recreational divers.


I think that is why he said "if you are qualified" - there are many tech divers who often go past 40 meters.

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Postby linky » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:20 pm

Hi .. yes definitely out of reach for recreational divers, like myself...

But its something I aspire to reach one day, there are lots of people who do go down and see the coelacanth, many professional photographers and tech divers, South Africa has a nice tech diver following, especially with deep locations like the 260M+ Boesmansgat, and 160M Komati springs inland dive spots.

But apart from going deep at Sodwana... It has some really awesome reefs at 14M - 40M.. miles and miles of reef :) You can even travel down the St Lucia Estuary and there are many other dive spots in the same MPA, but chances are you could easily do two weeks of solid diving in Sodwana at depths of 14 - 40m without ever getting bored.

Just a bit of interest, here are some pics of the coelacanth taken earlier this year by French photographer Laurent Ballesta:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?pi ... 1321140415

I hope it wets some appetites to come visit our beautiful country ;)
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Postby scottg » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:00 am

It looks like he's one of the few people to see the Coelacanth underwater, at 100 meters deep.

From what I've read, 100meters is the minimum depth to go to, to see them - and they've only been seen a couple of times by special permit.

One was also photographed underwater in Bunaken, Indonesia at 150meters deep.

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