South Africa offers an amazing diversity of dive sites from the kelp
beds of the cold Atlantic Ocean rich in marine diamonds, marine mammals
and cold water corals to the sub- tropical reefs off Natal. For the more
adventurous there is a 282 metre deep waterfilled cave in the northern
Cape Province where a South African diver recently broke the world record
for deep diving in a cave.
Large groups of whale sharks congregate off the coast of Mozambique and Natal during summer. I this area is ragged toothed (grey nurse) sharks, tiger sharks and Zambesi sharks are also found. The Natal sardine run, where tons of sardines beach themselves every year provides a feast for sharks, game fish, sea birds and man alike.
This wide marine biodiversity is the result of two mighty sea currents. On the west coast the cold Benguela Current flows northwards from the southern Atlantic Ocean. On the east coast the tropical Mozambique and South Equatorial Currents flow southwards to form the Aghulas Current. On the South Coast the warm, temperate Aghulas counter-current results in a marine ecosystem different to that of the other zones.
The Cape of Good Hope is situated 40kms from Cape Town on the original trade route from Europe to the East. Early Portuguese explorers named it "The Cape of Storms" and for this reason it is rich in shipwrecks, both old and new. Sir Francis Drake, the first Englishman to round the Cape of Good Hope in 1850, described this unforgettable sight thus: "This Cape is a most stately thing, and the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth."
Within a 30 minute drive from Cape Town you can, during the suitable season, see seals, dolphins, penguins or whales, or dive on a number of interesting reefs and shipwrecks.
The above introduction to Diving in South Africa was submitted by Charles Maxwell of Capetown. His site is located at http://www.underwatervideo.co.za
The photograph to the right was submitted by Graham Lambert of Capetown South Africa on a shark diving expedition. Click on the photograph to see more pictures and his article describing the adventure
Adventurers Dive Log