Protea Banks: The Facts

Protea Banks, 8km off Shelly Beach, is a unique reef system along the Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast of South Africa, which offers diving experiences second to none! The pelagic life is the main attraction with schools of Yellowtail, Kingfish, Tuna and Barracuda attracting a variety of top predators. The reef is especially known for it’s large “Zambezi ”(Bull Shark) populations and has been rated as one of the world’s top shark dives.

Diving on Protea Banks was started in the early 90’s. Diving with sharks wasn’t on many people’s agenda with the Jaws syndrome still deeply ingrained in much of the diving community. But after a few years things began to change and divers began to realize that these misunderstood creatures were not actually man-eating beasts but actually very intelligent animals who were an absolute privilege to dive with.

In the past years there have been some safely incidents on Protea Banks resulting in 3 deaths and 2 helicopter rescues. These incidents have rippled through the diving community and as a result Protea Banks has gained a reputation as being a potentially dangerous dive site. The dive charter that we use in this area has not been involved in any of these incidents and has a 100% safety record.

Another opinion that seems to be held by the broader diving community is that Protea Banks is a technical dive. When diving Protea Banks you level off at about 30 meters and drift along in predominately moderate currents viewing the marine life as you go. There is nothing technical to it … and a decent buoyancy will make you even more comfortable in the water.

Protea Banks is by no means a novice dive site, however the operator with whom you dive has the necessary experience and knowledge of the sea conditions and the reef. It is as safe as diving on Aliwal Shoal

There are two dives that can be done on Protea Banks:

1. The first is a reef dive. Due to the depths an Advanced qualification is required for this dive.

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