South Africa Dive Sites - Wild Coast Dive Sites

The Wild Coast is renowned for its rugged scenery, good spearfishing and delicious seafood. While this is still true for many of the more inaccessible areas, pollution and indiscriminate harvesting of marine life have taken their toll of what used to be unspoilt wilderness.


Location
Fresh Fish The Wild Coast lies in a summer-rainfall region and, as many rivers flow into the ocean here, winter is the best time to dive. The conditions are very unpredictable and this should be borne in mind when planning a trip. The climate is most favourable during the months of May and June. Because of the river inflow and heavy swells, visibility is generally rather poor, usually in the region of 3m (l0ft) with a maximum of 12 or 15m (40 or 50ft) in ideal conditions, a rather rare occurrence. Sea temperatures usually exceed 170C (630F) and can go as high as 230C (730F) when the warm Agulhas Current flows close to shore. The water is cleaned by the offshore southwesterly winds, which also flatten it to a degree, while the north-easter brings cold, dirty and choppy waters.

Diving Areas
Although there are many exciting reefs that remain to be discovered and explored, scuba diving is not particularly popular in this area. The coastline lies squarely in the path of the huge swells rolling in from the deep seas to the east, so there are few shore entries and those that do exist are quite tricky to negotiate. Because of the long distances between towns, the poor condition of the roads, the lack of facilities and the reasonably strenuous diving, this region is suitable only for completely self-sufficient parties of experienced divers with a bit of a pioneering spirit. It is a very popular destination for extended spearfishing trips.


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