South Africa Dive Sites

Image - South Africa Dive Sites

Diving is a very popular pastime in South Africa but obviously not big in the landlocked countries. Namibia has a small diving community although most of the diving in this country is in deep sinkholes and caves, definitely not for beginners. Mozambique has also some excellent diving.

Getting started
Before taking the plunge, do a recognized dive course. Diving is really easy and only if you know some basic rules and skills. The major training institutions in the region are SAUU (South African underwater Union), which is affiliated to CMAS (world underwater federation), NAUI and PADI, which are American agencies with representatives worldwide. PDIC and SSI are also represented, but to a lesser degree. The most important thing to know about these institutions is that the certification you receive from any one of them will be recognized in most parts of the world.

For visitors to South Africa, the water temperature ranges from about 8 to 25 centigrades. If you intend staying in the warmer water, you can get by with a 3-mm wetsuit but, if you intend diving in the cold water off the Cape, you will need at least a 5-mm wetsuit with hood, preferably attached. Most Cape locals dive in a 7 mm long-john and jacket with attached hood and no zips.
The very best suit if you want to dive the whole coast is a 3-mm long-john a 3mm jacket with zipped hood (for warm water) and a 7 mm jacket with attached hood and no zips (for cold water).
Women, particularly, will appreciate the use of a 3-mm long-john as your legs don’t get that cold and the added flexibility of a thinner suit is useful if you have hips and a waist.

Options for people with disabilities
Many people with varying degrees of disability have dived all over the world. As long as your heart, lungs, sinuses, ears and mind are fine, you should be able to dive. There are a number of qualified divers in South Africa who are paraplegics. Obviously their mobility is severely restricted and, for safety, they need to dive with at least two able-bodied divers. Scuba Explorers Society, in Johannesburg offers courses for disabled people and welcomes disabled people on their diving excursions to various parts of the region.