South Africa Dive Sites - KwaZulu-Natal Dive Sites

Most of this coast offers tropical or subtropical diving. Water temperature rarely drops below 20 C, and then only in the south, and the visibility is usually 10 m or more. There can be good diving all year but the conditions are most dependable in winter. The pleasant all-year-round temperatures, the warm water of the Indian Ocean, and KwaZulu-Natal’s proximity to the well-populated interior makes this one of the most popular holiday destinations on the South African coast. Lush green hills, covered in sugar cane and banana plantations rolling down to honey-coloured beaches, are the main features of this subtropical coastline, which encompasses the beautiful regions of Maputaland, the North Coast, Durban and the South Coast . It is here that the southern most tropical reefs in the world are found, a fact which can be attributed to the Mozambique Current. The pleasantly warm water, in excess of 2l Centigrade (700F), ensures a prolific growth of coral. This, in turn, offers a habitat to a wide range of invertebrates and over 1200 species of fish, many of which are quite docile and therefore easy to observe. The climate is subtropical and during summer, humidity, rainfall and temperatures are very high. The winter climate is pleasant with average temperatures in the low and mid-twenties

When to go
The best time of year to dive this coast is from April through to September, when rainfall figures are low and the rivers do not dirty the ocean to any great extent.

A happy coincidence is that the winter months are also the time that the migratory spotted ragged-tooth sharks are in residence at Aliwal Shoal in the southern part of the region. Other sharks found in this area, which do not pose a big threat to humans are the Java, thresher, hammerhead, lemon, copper and blackfin sharks. Potentially dangerous sharks, such as the great white, mako, Zambezi, dusky and tiger sharks, may be encountered by lucky divers from time to time. No shark attacks on scuba divers have been recorded in KwaZulu-Natal. Shark nets have been installed along the coast to protect bathers and seem to be effective.