Especially Prepared for Romulo & Luciano
March 20 to 28, 2013.
Below is the day-by-day itinerary for a nine-day tour of magnificent South Africa:
Tuesday, March 20, 2013:
On arrival at KMIA, on SA Airlink's flight SA 8827 at 09h50 you will be met by Dive The Big 5 for the two hour road transfer to Rhino Post Safari Lodge which is situated on a 12 000 hectare private concession in the world famous Kruger National Park. Rhino Post consists of 12 luxury chalets. Whilst staying at Rhino Post all your game viewing is done from "open" safari Land Rovers, with two game drives a day. An early morning game drive which sets off just after sunrise and returns to camp at about 09h00 for breakfast and the afternoon/evening game drive which departs camp at about 16h00. Depending on animal activity you will return to camp from the afternoon/evening game drive at about 20h00 for dinner. On arrival at Rhino Post at about 12h30 you will settle into your chalet and after freshening up and perhaps a dip in the pool, you will assemble on the deck for afternoon tea and coffee before setting off for the evening game drive.
Sundowners will be enjoyed somewhere in the heart of the African bush whilst you watch the African sun slip slowly below the horizon. After sundowners you will continue game viewing using a powerful spot-lamp to spot the nocturnal animals not normally encountered during daylight hours, leopard, lion, civet, serval, nagapies, African Wild Cat etc. Depending on game activity you will return to Camp at about 20h00 for dinner which is served in the 'boma" alongside a roaring wood fire under the African stars. Overnight at Rhino Post on a fully inclusive basis. (All meals and game activities).
Wednesday and Thursday, March 21 & 22, 2013:
Full day on safari at Rhino Post. You will be woken at dawn by the sound of African drums for coffee and tea, which will be delivered to your chalet before setting off on the dawn safari on "open" safari vehicles. You will return to camp at around 09:00, depending on game activity, for breakfast. The day is free until about 15h00 where, after tea and coffee, you will again meet for the afternoon/evening game drive. Overnight at Rhino Post on a fully inclusive basis.
Friday, March 23, 2013:
After the early morning game drive and breakfast you will be collected by Dive The Big 5 at 12h00 for the two hour return road transfer back to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, to connect with SA Airlinks flight SA 8506 which departs KMIA @ 15h10, own arrangements. On arrival at King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) @ 16h10, own arrangements, you will be met by All Ways Africa for the 1 hour road transfer to Widenham, a suburb of Umkomaas, and Seascapes B&B. Overnight at Seascapes on a bed and breakfast basis.
Saturday, March 24, 2013:
After a light breakfast you will transfer to the Umkomaas River Mouth for the launch for the day’s baited Tiger Shark dive, weather permitting. On a baited Tiger dive you can also expect to encounter Duskies, Black Tip Reef Shark and, if you are really lucky, a Zambezi (Bull) Shark. There are two ways in which to dive with the Tiger Sharks on Aliwal.
The first, which is not our preferred option, is to set up baits on the seabed at 15/17m and then observe the sharks as they come to the baits to feed. As many as 8 tigers at once may be expected but typically two or three are the norm at any one time. The animals tend to arrive around 09h00 and stay until the divers leave the site
The second option and the most recommended option is sub surface drifting. We started the surface work a la’ the Great White Shark cage diving in 2002 /3, but without a cage, and it has been very successful, other than breaching we are getting all the other shark behavioral patterns that they get with the Great Whites.
Once we arrive at the dive site we start chumming so as to attract the Tigers and put out a buoy with the bait which is contained in a stainless steel “box” with holes in it so that the “smell” and oil for the sardines in the “box” permeate into the water. When the first Tigers appear the DM assesses the situation and if he is of the opinion that the Tigers are going to stay around awhile and that they are not aggressive the divers may enter the water. Either you can view the action from the “safety” of the boat, or for non-certified divers, on snorkel, certified divers drop down to about 5 meters and follow the action from below. This is a drift dive as the boat, chum and bait is drifting with the wind and surface current, as are the divers at 5 meters. Should the sharks disappear the snorkelers and divers climb back onto the boat and we move to another location and start all over again.
And the most asked question!!! Why do we use a cage when diving with Great White’s yet when diving with Tigers we don’t use a cage?? Are Tiger Sharks not dangerous? All wild animals in their natural environment are dangerous, but unlike Great White’s who prey on live animals, Tiger Sharks are scavengers and prefer to eat something that’s already dead rather than to hunt live pray. Let’s hope the Tiger Shark agrees!!!
Depending on shark activity you will return to shore at about 13h00 and the rest of the afternoon is free. After the dive you will return to Seascapes for the hot “brunch” and you will have the rest of the afternoon free. Overnight at Seascapes on a bed and breakfast basis.
Sunday, March 25, 2013:
After the light breakfast you will again transfer to the river mouth to launch for the baited Tiger Shark dive, weather permitting. After the dive you will return to Seascapes for "brunch" before being picked up at 15h00 by All ways Africa for the 90 minute road transfer to Shelly Beach. During the course of the afternoon you will be called by Kym from Aqua Planet Dive Centre, phone number 039 315 7524 to advise you of tomorrows expected weather conditions and the time that they will collect you from Tropical Beach for your dives tomorrow. Overnight at Tropical Beach B&B.
Monday, March 26, 2013:
At a time to be advised the previous afternoon you will be collected from Tropical Beach B&B by AquaPlanet for your 2 dives on Protea Banks. Please note that dives on Protea are restricted to advanced divers or open water one divers with more than 25 logged dives due to the depth of the dives, in excess of 30 meters, and the strong currents that are usually present on Protea. This is adventure diving at its best, and well worth the effort! All diving in South Africa are drift dives from Zodiacs or "Rubber Ducks" as they are locally referred to. After the first dive you usually return to shore for SIT and breakfast and then ride out to the reef again to do your second dive. However at Protea, due to heavy seas the authorities sometimes close the harbour and do not allow the "Ducks" to launch for the 2nd dive. If we suspect that this will happen, due to strong winds and high seas, we do a 2 tank dive. This is where we take the 2nd tank with us on the boat and do not return to shore between the 1st and 2nd dive. The SIT is spent on the boat having a packed breakfast that has been supplied by Tropical Beach B&B. After the second dive you will have the rest of the day free. Overnight at Tropical Beach on a bed and breakfast basis.
Tuesday, March 27, 2013:
Another 2 dives on Protea Banks, weather permitting. After the second dive you will have the rest of the day free. Tropical Beach can arrange for you to visit Oribi Gorge and could even do the "jump" into the Gorge. Then there are the shopping centers, movie houses, restaurants and pubs which are all situated within 3 km's of Tropical Beach. You will not be bored! Overnight at Tropical Beach on a bed and breakfast basis.
Wednesday, March 28, 2013:
After breakfast you will have the morning free before being collected from Tropical Beach at 12h30 by All Ways Africa for the return road transfer to King Shaka International Airport, Durban where you will connect with flight SA 1858 to Cape Town which departs Durban @ 16h30, own arrangements.
End of services.