To Enter Its Wild And Wooly Realm
Running The Gamut From Sharks To Tiny Sardines
Capping the southern tip of the sprawling continent of Africa is a diverse, multicultural nation with a 2735-kilometer/1700-mile coastline on two oceans. South Africa’s waters beckon scuba divers to enter its wild and wooly realm. The dive experience here is as varied as the people, running the gamut from big sharks to throngs of tiny sardines. You’ll find tropical reefs in the northeast and temperate rocky reefs in the west. Some of the best diving here involves colder water, strong currents and launching from the surf – bring your appetite for adventure and reap the rewards of marine life encounters you’ll remember for a lifetime.
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Visibility – Can vary quite a bit but is generally good at major dive destinations, beyond 20 metres/66 feet.
Water Temperature – Averages range from 27°C/80°F at Sodwana, down to 14°C/57°F at False Bay.
Weather – With a varied topography, South Africa has several climate zones that range from desert to subtropical. The Cape Town area has a Mediterranean-like climate with wet winters and hot, dry summers. Winter temperatures can get down near zero and summers can reach 30ºC/100ºF.
Featured Creatures – Sharks, sharks and more sharks. You'll see sardines in season, the usual Indo-Pacific tropical reef fish in the northeast and temperate critters in the southwest.
Recommended Training – Take the AWARE – Fish Identification course to help identify local marine life. The PADI Enriched Air Diver and PADI Digital Underwater Photographer courses will help you prepare to capture great images and get the most out of your dives.
Language – There are 11 official spoken languages in South Africa, including Afrikaans and Zulu, but 60 percent of the country’s population understands English.
Currency – South African Rand. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Major Airports – Most divers enter the country via Cape Town International Airport, but Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg is also a major international hub.
Electricity and Internet – 220-230 volts, 50 Hz. Internet is widely available.
Topside Attractions – Hike the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape region. Take a luxury safari. Swim with penguins at Boulder Beach. Raft down the Orange River from the Drakensberg Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean.
Locate PADI Dive Shops and Resorts in South Africa.