Western Cape Diving
The Western Cape region of South Africa has varied and exhilarating diving. For the adrenalin junkies, there is cage diving with great white sharks, and for slightly less heart racing dives, there are calm, beautiful reefs. This stunning area of the world has diving to suit everyone.
Lying in the shadow of Table Mountain is Cape Town - a blend of cultures and landscapes, with just a hint of scuba diving thrown in. This cold water diving destination is best known for its plentiful shipwrecks and mysterious kelp forests. The diverse sites and the opportunity to dive with seals and sharks will delight divers, both experienced and new.
Diving in the Western Cape
The Western Cape region of South Africa is some of the most varied in the world. Though famous for encounters with the great white sharks, there are many other things on offer including reef diving, wreck diving and drift dives. There are three key regions for diving in Western Cape: False Bay, the Atlantic seaboard and the south coast.
On the Atlantic side, there are lots of wrecks which have fallen victim to the tempestuous seas - which are also the reason for the lack of liveaboards. This water is cold and can have strong currents. False Bay is calmer and warmer - though not much. The south coast has many colourful reefs.
Western Cape diving is possible year round, though the Atlantic side is often battered by storms in the winter months. Fortunately, the southern coast is at its best in winter. Dive courses are popular, particularly around shallower areas at one of the many dive centers. Dive resorts are present in heavily touristy areas.
One of the highlights than can be seen in the Western Cape are the big marine animals. Cape fur seals are friendly and often visit divers. Great white sharks, among other species, will delight divers. Though not often seen whilst diving, humpback whales, southern right whales, dolphins and penguins are all found here.
Best places to dive
Cape Town enjoys the wilder diving of the Atlantic seaboard as well as the more relaxed False Bay. It has a number of wrecks to dive, as well as mysterious kelp forests.
Plettenberg Bay is known for its cape fur seal encounters. There is plenty else to see here too including pyjama, wobbegong, leopard and puff adder shysharks.
Gansbaai is most famous for it’s encounters with the apex predators of the sea - the great white sharks. The cage diving here is by far and away the best known diving in the area and there isn't a huge amount of other dive sites nearby.
Mossel Bay is a popular diving destination in the Western Cape. It has pleasant, shallow reefs, perfect for beginners. It also has cage diving with great white sharks, less than a 10 minute boat ride from the shore.
Simonstown is located on the shore of False Bay. One of the most famous dive sites is Long Beach, an excellent training location. It has a few small wrecks and a colony of African penguins.