South Africa’s waters beckon scuba divers to enter its wild and woolly 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. If you’ve ever been interested in diving with large creatures in epic seascapes, you’ve come to the right place.
Off the coast of Gansbaai you have the opportunity to cage dive with massive great white sharks. In the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal you can enjoy warmer waters, coral reefs and lots of sharks.
Be prepared for a range of water temperatures during your dives. Water temperatures range from around 57°F to 80°F (14°C – 27°C) in various locations throughout the year. Dolphins and seals can be seen all year, and the best time for diving with sharks is November-June.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
You can arrive in South Africa by air or by land. Most divers enter the country via Cape Town International Airport, but Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg is also a major international hub. There are taxis scattered across the country, and an extensive bus system. Or, you can rent a 4x4 and really get to exploring.