THE BEST SHARK DIVING LOCATION IN THE WORLD

PROTEA BANKS – SOUTH AFRICA

You choose the specie of Shark – Dive The Big 5 will choose the best month in which to dive with it!

DIVE THE BIG 5’s 5-night 8-dive package:

Including:  All transfers, accommodation on a B&B basis, 6 x Reef Dives and 2 x ‘baited’ Shark Dives, hire of tanks, weights and air-fills (full equipment hire available on request).

 Suggested itinerary based on 2019 rates:

Full year 2019:

Arrive King Shaka International Airport – Durban (DUR), own arrangements. After clearing immigration and customs formalities, you will be welcomed by a representative of Dive The Big 5, for the 165 km or 2-hour road transfer to Shelly Beach on the KwaZulu/Natal south coast. Overnight at St Michaels Sands Hotel, in a standard, air-conditioned, en suite, double/twin room, on a bed and breakfast basis.

www.stmichaelssands.co.za

Included:

“Meet & greet” on arrival at King Shaka International Airport – Durban
Road transfer from King Shaka International Airport – Durban to St Michaels Sands Hotel – Shelly Beach
Overnight accommodation at St Michaels Sands Hotel in a standard air-conditioned, en suite, double/twin room on a bed and breakfast basis.

Excluded:

International air into King Shaka International Airport – Durban
Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities.

Full year 2019:

At a time, to be advised, you will be collected from St Mike’s by a representative of Dive The Big 5 for the 10-minute transfer to the Sonny Evens Small Craft Harbour in Shelly Beach, which is also the base for the local NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute). Here you will kit up in our “private” kitting up area in the parking lot, and have the pre-dive briefing. Your two dives for today are scheduled as two Protea Reef deep dives.

 Please note that all Protea Reef dives are deep dives, in excess of 30-meters, and are restricted to suitable qualified advanced divers only.

The modus operandi for a deep Protea Banks deep reef dive is:-

reef diving protea banks

Having kitted up, and attended the pre-dive briefing in our designated “kit-up area” in the Sonny Evans car park, your dive gear will be stowed on-board the dive boat by our crew. The 4×4 pick-up (bakkie) will reverse the dive-boat as close to the water as possible. Everyone then assists the crew to launch the dive boat, which is either a 7.5 meter “duck,” or a 8 meter “duck or RIB, or semi-inflatable, nose first, into the surf. On the skipper’s instruction, the ladies board first, after which the men clamber aboard the “Duck”, placing themselves opposite their gear, which was been stowed down the centre of the “Duck.” You then quickly put on your lifejackets, place your feet in the foot-straps, and off you go. The launch itself is an exciting experience, and is likened to “white water rafting in a wetsuit.” After punching your way through the pounding surf, on reaching the calmer waters, the skipper pauses to see that all is ok, before continuing on to the dive site. On arrival at the dive site, the skipper cuts the motors and the divers, as well as the DM, kit up, on the boat. This is a fully guided reef dive with the DM leading the dive. Once every diver has kitted up the Skipper repositions the boat over the reef, and on the DM’s signal, all the divers do a backward roll, simultaneously, into the water. All Aqua Planet’s Dive Masters, who have dived Protea for years, have mastered the art of safe diving on Protea. The DM first descends to 5 meters and waits at 5 meters until all the divers on the boat get down to him/her. Once all the divers are at 5 meters, the group descends together, to the bottom, which is at about 30 meters. Those divers that are heavy breathers are buddie paired off, so that when they get low on air, they surface together, as a pair. If doing a 2-tank deep Protea reef dive, the SIT is usually spent on the boat, in between the 1st and 2nd dives. After the 2nd reef dive, you will return to the Sonny Evans Small-craft Harbour where the boat is winched out of the water. All your dive gear will then be taken back to our dive shop to be washed down, rinsed, and dried for the following days diving. Sometimes, the Skipper in conjunction with the DM may decide to return to the Sonny Evans Small craft Harbour for SIT and breakfast. This depends largely on weather and sea conditions. After the dive, we will transfer you back to St Mike’s and the rest of the afternoon / evening is free.

On a 2-tank Protea reef dive, breakfast can be enjoyed either before you leave St Mike’s, for your first dive, or St Mike’s will give you a packed breakfast to take with you, to be enjoyed on the boat, whilst at sea, in between the 1st and 2nd dives. You can even elect to wait and to have breakfast on your return, back at St Mike’s, after both dives have been completed. Up to you.

After the day’s dives have been completed, the afternoon is free to explore the Hibiscus Coast. St Mike’s is very conveniently placed, right on the beach. St Mike’s has its own pool, or you can walk the short distance to the tidal pool, beach and restaurant close by. Local places of interest, in and close to Shelly Beach, include, Pure Venom Reptile Park, Crags View Wild Care Centre, the Margate Art Museum, Uvongo River Nature Reserve, Oribi Gorge, which is a 20 km drive from Shelly Beach, The Wild Coast Casino, which is nearby, a coffee farm in the neighboring town of Ramsgate. If you are a golfer there are lots of top-class golf courses in the vicinity, surfing, fishing etc. etc. The folk at Aqua Planet and at St Mike’s will be happy to point you in the right direction. All additional tours and entry fees to local places of interest would be for your own account. Overnight at St Michaels Sands Hotel in a standard, air-conditioned, en suite, double/twin room, on a bed and breakfast basis.

Included:

Breakfast, or a packed breakfast, your choice
Two guided Protea deep reef dives, weather permitting
Full equipment hire or the hire of tanks, weights and air fills, depending on which option you choose
Services of a qualified dive master to lead all dives
Double / twin  accommodation at St Mike’s, in an air-conditioned, en suite, standard room, on a bed and breakfast basis.

Excluded:

Hire of dive equipment other than tanks, weights and air, depending on which equipment option you choose
Nitrox fills, which must please be ordered in advance; additional dive
Additional tours and entry fees to places of interest visited
Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Full year 2019:

At a time to be advised, you will transfer from St Mike’s to the Sonny Evans Small Craft Harbour by Dive The Big 5 to kit up for your combined “baited” Shark dive, followed by a deep Protea reef dive. The first dive of the day is usually scheduled as the “baited” shark dive, with the 2nd dive of the day being the  Protea deep reef dive, weather permitting. We say, “scheduled,” because weather conditions may force the skipper and DM to change the order in which we do baited shark dives and the deep reef dive.

The modus operandi on Protea Banks for a “Baited Shark Dive” is:-

At a time to be advised, you will be collected from St Mike’s by Dive The Big 5 for the 10-minute road transfer to the Sony Evans small craft harbour, which is also the base for the local NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute), where you will kit-up and have the pre-dive briefing. Your dive gear will be stowed on-board by the crew, and the 4×4 pick-up (bakkie) will reverse the dive-boat as close to the water as possible. Everyone then assists the crew to launch the dive boat, which could be either a 7.5 meter “duck,” or a 8 meter “duck or RIB, or semi-inflatable, nose first, into the surf. On the skipper’s instruction, the ladies board first, after which the men clamber into the “Duck”, placing themselves opposite their gear, which was been stowed down the centre of the “Duck.” You then quickly put on your lifejackets, place your feet in the foot-straps, and off you go. The launch itself is an exciting experience, and is likened to “white water rafting in a wetsuit”. After punching your way through the pounding surf, on reaching the calmer waters, the skipper pauses to see that all is ok before you continue on to the dive site. On arrival at the dive site, we start chumming to attract the sharks, and put out a buoy with the bait, which is contained in a “shark friendly” round “camo” drum with holes in it, so that the “smell” and oil from the sardines in the “drum” permeates into the water. When the first sharks appear, the DM assesses the situation, and if he is of the opinion that the sharks are going to stay around awhile, and that they are not aggressive, the divers may enter the water. You either view the action from the “safety” of the boat or, for non-certified divers, on snorkel; you float on the surface of the ocean and watch the action as it unfolds, 5 meters below you. Surface viewers and non-certified divers pay the same price for going out on the dive boat as divers pay. The certified divers, already kitted up, descend to about 10 meters, to the depth of the camo drum, and follow the action from there. This is a drift dive, as the boat, chum, and bait, is drifting with the wind and surface current, as are the divers at 10 meters below.

After the baited dive, we return to the Sonny Evans Small craft Harbour, swop tanks, and immediately re-launch the boat for the second scheduled dive of the day, a Protea deep reef dive. There is no SIT required between the first baited shark dive and the second deep Protea reef dive, as a “baited shark dive” is not a deep dive, more like a 10-meter “bounce” dive at most!

As you have already completed 2-Protea deep reef dive, you know the procedure.

After the dives have been completed, you will return to the Sonny Evans Small craft Harbour, and back to St Mike’s. The rest of the day is then free. All tours and entry fees to local places of interest would be for your own account. Overnight at St Michaels Sands Hotel in a standard, air-conditioned, en suite, double/twin room, on a bed and breakfast basis.

Included:

Breakfast, or a packed breakfast, your choice; one “baited” Protea Shark Dive, weather permitting
One deep Protea reef dive, weather permitting
Full equipment hire, or the hire of tanks, weights and air fills, depending on which equipment hire option you choose
Services of a qualified dive master to lead both dives
Accommodation at St Mike’s, in an air-conditioned, en suite, standard room, on a bed and breakfast basis

Excluded:

Hire of dive equipment other than tanks, weights and air, depending on which equipment option you choose
Nitrox fills, which must please be ordered in advance
Additional dives
Additional tours and entry fees to places of interest visited
Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Full year 2019:

After a leisurely breakfast at St Mike’s, the first since setting foot on African soil, you will have the rest of the day free until you get collected from St Mike’s by Dive The Big 5 for the return road transfer to King Shaka International Airport – Durban, to arrive at King Shaka International Airport – Durban, 2-hours before your return flight home is scheduled to depart King Shaka International Airport – Durban. End of services.

Included:

Breakfast
return road transfer from St Mike’s to King Shaka International Airport – Durban.

Excluded:

Additional tours and touring
Entry fees to places of interest visited
Lunch, Dinner, Bar
Onward flights
Accommodation
Items of a personal nature
Gratuities

Costs for the trip:

Cost based on 2-divers sharing with full equipment hire:

ZAR 16 490

per diver sharing.

Cost based on 2-divers sharing with the hire of tanks, weights, and air only:

ZAR 14 930

per diver sharing.

Additional days can be added to the above itinerary as follows:

Additional day of doing a 2-tank Protea deep reef only dive:

With full equipment hire:

ZAR 2 610 per diver, per day, including all transfers & accommodation on a B&B basis.


With tanks, weights and air fills only:

ZAR 2 220 per diver, per day, including all transfers & accommodation on a B&B basis.

Additional day of doing a combination baited shark dive and a 1-tank Protea deep reef dive:

With full equipment hire:

ZAR 3 910 per diver, per day, including all transfers & accommodation on a B&B basis.


With tanks, weights and air fills only:

ZAR 3 520 per diver, per day, including all transfers & accommodation on a B&B basis.

Water Temperatures in Protea Banks

Useful Information:

Where is Protea Banks in South Africa

Similar dive packages are available for diving Sodwana Bay, Aliwal Shoal