If it’s variety you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. South Africa has an enormously long coastline ranging from about 35°S to 27°S, which isn’t quite within the usual range for tropical diving.
But the Mozambique Current flows down our east coast, bringing warm tropical water with it, and at Sodwana Bay we have the most southerly coral reefs in the world.
Here you’ll find the full complement of pretty colourful fish and some great nudibranchs, including the outrageous Spanish dancer. Whale sharks, turtles, dolphins and ragged tooth sharks are often seen in specific areas.
As you head down the coast the underwater environment changes gradually until, once you reach Cape Town, you’re diving in chilly but beautiful kelp forests. There are three major types of kelp, and a short portion of the Western Cape coast is the only place in the world that they all grow together
For the impulsive travellers, there are dive schools in almost every centre, with a surprising number in landlocked Johannesburg, where people do their training before heading down to Sodwana Bay for their qualifying dives.