South Africa is the country situated at the most southern tip of the African continent, which makes scuba diving is possible in the Atlantic as well as in the Indian Ocean, along a coastline that stretches over 2,500 km. The eastern coastline, towards the Mozambique border, is very lush and well-watered, almost tropical. The southern coastline has a more Mediterranean climate with rainy winters and warm, dry summers. Part of the southern coast is called the Garden Route and is filled with vineyards. Outside the southern shores you can find hundreds of ship wrecks, since Cape of Good Hope has always been an extremely dangerous to pass around. This is partly due to a particularly strong wind which blows intermittently in this area 12 months a year.
The economy of South Africa is the largest of the African continent and well kept, modern infrastructure exists throughout the country. The South African currency is called Rand. South Africa has 11 official languages, but you will get by just fine on your English while being on a scuba diving vacation. English has become the most widely spoken language across racial and ethnical barriers in South Africa, while Afrikaans has been somewhat downgraded.
South Africa is well known for the exotic land safaris, but its underwater world is at least as breathtaking and exiting as the savannah. Two oceans merging together creates unique scuba diving conditions and many marine plant and animal species are found no where else in the world. South Africa has a rugged, harsh coast filled with wrecks and great white sharks, but the country also offers relaxing scuba diving among colourful corals reefs with beautiful tropical fish.
Popular scuba diving destinations in South Africa include Aliwal Shoal, Cape Town, Gansbaai, Mosselbaai, Protea Banks, Rocky Bay and Sodwana Bay.
Aliwal Shoal is located between Durban and Port Shepstone on the South African east coast. Visibility varies a lot, from 5 meters up to 40 meters (16 to 131 feet). Summer water temperatures is 24+ ° C (75+ ° F), while winter temperatures hardly ever go below 19 ° C (66+ ° F). The dive sites vary in depths from easily reached 6 meters down to 30+ for deep scuba diving. June to November is when you can encounter Ragged Tooth Sharks since they congregate here to mate. It is not unusual to meet 15 to 50 Ragged Tooth Sharks during one dive. Tiger Sharks and Hammerheads arrive to spend the summer here, and other animals occasionally or permanently living here are dolphins, moray eels, whales, manta rays and devil rays. The dive sites around Aliwal Shoal are Cathedral, Raggie Cave and Shark Alley, The Pinnacles, North- and South Sands, The Nebo and The Produce. The dive sites offers reef dives, drift dives, deep dives and wreck dives.
A lot of scuba divers come to South Africa to dive with the Great White Sharks. Gansbaai and Mosselbaai on the very tip of the African continent are two of the best diving destinations for shark lovers. April to September is the best period since this is when the Great White Shark has a particularly energetic feeding pattern. Gansbaai is a small holiday and fishing village, while Gansbaai is more like a Mediterranean seaside town. Wild life in the Gansbaii and Mosselbaai waters also include Cape Fur Seals, Cape Cormorants, Jackass penguings, Cape Gannets and Dolphins.