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By tyla_admin

Experience the Best South Africa Dive Holidays

South Africa is one of the most exciting holiday destinations in the world. Any adventurer will agree that our nation is one of the most diverse places in the world and there is plenty to do while visiting.

From shark cage diving off the coast of Gansbaai to diving the Aliwal Shoal and seeing the Sardine Run; to going on safari in the world-famous Kruger National Park or exploring the famous Winelands, there is something for everyone. When you plan your trips properly, making sure that your travel itinerary includes all of the best places to visit, you’ll get a real taste of what our country has to offer.

For the longest time, divers have been treated to the most incredible diving locations but when planning their trips, they often tend to leave out the other must see places, such as any one of the various safari destinations. Dive the Big 5 is the only tour operator in the country who offers combination tour packages which include days spent enjoying the best scuba diving in the Southern Hemisphere and seeing all kinds of wildlife in some of the country’s best national parks.

Diving in South Africa

South Africa has an epic coastline, filled with exciting places to see different types of marine life including the Great White Shark. Deep sea diving is the norm here and divers can also see various bright coral reefs, shipwrecks and more when they explore the depths of Aliwal Shoal or Protea Banks. Some of the country’s best coral reef destinations include Sodwana Bay.

While some of the best diving can be experienced in the warm waters off the coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal, there is also great diving closer to Cape Town. Here you can explore the kelp forests or go shark cage diving. This is also the perfect place to spot seals and penguins.

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If you plan your diving carefully, you could arrive in South Africa during the Sardine Run. This is an annual marine event that takes place along the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast. Each year millions of sardines swim up the coast, most evading both ocean and air predators. Guests to South Africa can view the Sardine Run from the coast, from a boat or by diving.

When diving in South Africa planning is key to a successful adventure and it is important to book your tour correctly. Working with a tour operator will eliminate the possibility of leaving something off of your to-do list, such as accommodation or transfers.

Safari trips in South Africa

Not only is South Africa one of the best diving destinations in the world, but it is also Africa’s top safari destination. Home to the Big 5 and all kinds of other animals, safari trips are well worth the adventure and when here, they are not to be missed.

South Africa is the only destination in the world that offers great diving destinations as well as wildlife safaris. You could be exploring the oceans one day, and going on a real African safari the next.

Book your combination tour of diving and wildlife safari today and see the real South Africa.

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By tyla_admin

Winter Diving in South Africa

South Africa is without a doubt one of the premier diving destinations for divers of all kinds. We are home to countless breathtaking deep diving locations where divers can get up close and personal with some of the world’s most intriguing underwater wildlife.

Diving throughout the year presents the opportunity to see all kinds of different marine animals, and for many divers, winter is the best time of the year to go exploring. Depending on where you go diving, you will need to prepare in different kinds of ways. Most of South Africa’s best diving locations can be found in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean while those wanting to go shark cage diving will have to brave the icy cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

South Africa enjoys an almost unbelievable amount of sunlight all year round. There are very few cloudy, rainy days, even when you are diving in the Atlantic Ocean. The Cape area is quite notorious for its cold winters but seeing as you will be beneath the waves, this really makes little difference. The Atlantic is generally quite cold but with the right diving gear, you will be well prepared for the adventure that awaits.

March to June

South Africa, being in the Southern Hemisphere, has its winter between April and August although it only really starts getting cold towards the end of May. During these few months of the year, divers are in for a treat in so many ways.

The most exciting thing to do when you dive in the winter is the Sardine Run. Each year, hundreds of thousands of sardines will swim up the coast, causing a frenzy among divers, fishermen and predators alike. The Sardine Run doesn’t start at any particular time of the year, but generally, the sardines begin to appear in May and disappear as late as September. Those wanting to dive at this time of the year will usually have the option of viewing the Sardines from a boat or from the shore, while there is also the option of diving.

If spotting sharks is on your diving bucket list, then diving at this time of the year will give you the opportunity to see Zambezi Sharks, Oceanic Blacktip’s and Tiger Sharks at the Protea Banks and Aliwal North, Blue Sharks and Mako’s at Simon’s Town, and Great White Sharks at Gansbaai. Spotting Dusky Sharks and Whale Sharks are a bit of a rare sighting regardless of the time of year you visit.

The other diving locations include wreck and reef dives, but they can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

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Choose the Perfect Combination of Diving and Wildlife Safari

At Dive the Big 5 we are the only diving company offering both diving and the safari experience, all in one trip. You can customise your trip to South Africa by combining the two experiences in order to give you the ultimate African holiday. When doing this, you will have the perfect opportunity to spend one day diving in the best locations while the next you can be exploring the wildlife living in the Kruger National Park.

Book the ultimate diving experience with Dive the Big 5 and see the best of South Africa.

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By tyla_admin

The Marine Big Five

South Africa is a land of diversity, and so is the coastline along the southern tip. Home to the marine Big 5, those visiting and diving in South Africa will be in for a treat when coming across any of these ocean inhabitants.

 

From the Garden Route to the City of Cape Town, this region of the Western Cape Province is already well-known as the Whale Route. But it is also a place for visitors to have an opportunity to see the Marine Big Five. When visiting or diving in South Africa, one of the must do things is to dive in this unique area of South Africa and tick off all these popular sea animals.

  • The Great White Shark
  • Southern White Whales
  • Dolphins
  • The Cape Fur Seal
  • The African Penguin

Great White Sharks

Top of the list of the Marine Big Five is most certainly the Great White Shark.  This shark is one of the largest sharks in the ocean, growing to lengths of 4.5 to 6 meters and often weighing up to 2.5 tons. The Great White is equipped with several rows of regenerating serrated teeth.  Regardless of its size, this fearsome predator is capable of swimming at a speed of 25km per hour.

Shark cage diving in South Africa centres on giving guests the opportunity to get really up close and personal to the one shark that has not only made headlines in the media but which has also become the stuff of horror movies. Despite appearances, the Great White is not nearly the villain it is made out to be. These sharks are well-known to frequent the Cape coast.

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Southern White Whales

In the sheltered bays (False Bay or Hermanus) is where the Southern White Whales have their nurseries.  A site to behold is seeing these whales frolicking a mere stone’s throw from the shore. Fully grown Southern White Whales grow to a length of 16 meters, a sight to make anyone’s jaw drop! If you are visiting South Africa during the months from June to December, take the time to visit the “Whale Route”, as this is when the whales move into the shallow waters of the bays to calf.

Dolphins

When we think of the oceans, we usually think of dolphins, so a trip to the ocean without seeing dolphins is considered incomplete.  South Africa’s coastline has a rich marine biodiversity, making the spotting of dolphins more than likely the first of the Big Five that will be ticked off.  Bottlenose, Long-Beaked and even the shy Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins can all be seen jumping in and out of the surf in both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans of the South African coastline.

The Cape Fur Seal

As cumbersome as they move on the land, so they can move with swift agility in the water.   Cape Fur Seals can be found from Namibia and all around the cape and as far up as Port Elizabeth.  At the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town, Hout Bay and Kalk Bay these seals are the star attraction.  As shy as the seals are on land, so curious they are in the water, so why not go snorkelling in Hout Bay with the Cape Fur Seals.

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The African Penguin

This dapper creature was on the brink of extinction, but now has some well-established colonies dotted around the Western Cape while St. Croix Island in Algoa Bay boasts the largest population in the world.  For a guaranteed sighting year around, a visit to the penguin colony at Boulder Beach is a must.  A walk on the beach or boardwalk will give you a spectacular view of these unique little creatures in their natural habitat.

Planning a diving trip to South Africa? Why not book yours with us? We have over 25 years of experience and we can assist you in planning the trip of a lifetime.

By Leigh-Anne Harber

Diving Protea Banks

If you looking for the best diving site off the South African Coast, the coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal is blessed with the warm Agulhas current and a mere 8 km offshore is the diving hotspot, the Protea Banks.  This dive site ranks amongst the best in the world with indigo blue water and much pelagic fish.  This reef caters for a large variety of sharks, so if its sharks you after, this is the place to be.

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By Leigh-Anne Harber

All About the Sea Urchin

Sea Urchins belong to the group known as “Echinoderms” and globally there are about 200 different species found in the oceans.  Preferring warm water, Sea Urchins can be found on the rocky bottom of the sea or close to coral reefs.  They have a general lifespan of up to 30 years in the wild, however, the Red Sea Urchin has the longest lifespan of all and can live up to 200 years!!

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Sardine Run South Africa
By Leigh-Anne Harber

Sardine Run 2019: History, Diving and More

2018 blessed us divers with an exquisite sardine run. Well, exquisite is an overstatement, but this year’s turn out of sardines was one of the best we have seen in years. When those first few sardines came darting up the coast, we could hardly contain our excitement, and we were able to share some epic diving with our visitors.

As the year draws to a close, we know that many drivers are keenly planning their 2019 diving calendar and we certainly hope that you are including the Sardine Run on your itinerary!

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