South Africa Dive Sites - North Coast Dive Sites

This densely populated, beautiful, subtropical stretch of coastline to the north of Durban is a favourite destination for holiday-makers. The summer rainfall is high, and the vegetation is tropical and luxuriant, while the winters are mild and pleasant.

Best Dive Regions

The best-known settlements along this coast are Ballito, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban, Stanger, Empangeni and Richards Bay (an industrial harbour). The diveable reefs in this region are fairly close inshore (generally closer than 600m or 660yds), a fact which has both advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that the swells can be very big and the water is not as clean as that further out to sea, especially in the summer months when the rain-filled rivers flow into the ocean. The advantages are that a number of good shore dives can be done on scuba, but only by fit and experienced divers as the surf launches can sometimes be quite tricky.

The south-easterly and south-westerly winds clean the seas and ensure good general diving conditions, while the north-easterlies tend to churn up the water, producing poor visibility and big swells. The best months for diving are, therefore, in the winter months of May, June and July -before the August wind sets in.

The North Coast is a well-developed tourist area and non-diving companions will not be bored. The beaches are superb and a visit to the Sharks Board in Umhlanga Rocks is highly recommended for divers and non-divers alike.