|'Shark, Whale Shark & Manta Ray Expedition'
Aliwal Shoal, Protea Banks, Tiger Shark Diving, Tofo Beach, Barra Beach.
Shark Diving Adventures in South
South Africa offers some of the best shark diving in the world and
our aim is to cater for divers wanting to get up-close and personal
and learn more about the oceans ultimate predators...
Diving in South
Our South Africa
programme caters for divers wanting to experience the adrenaline of
diving with sharks and learn more about these ultimate predators.
The entire team is very passionate about sharks and their ongoing
efforts are giving these creatures a higher profile which in time
will lead to them becoming better protected. Over many years of
diving with sharks, our partners in South Africa have experienced
many behaviour patterns and this knowledge enables you to get up
close and personal with the different species. Our trips focus on
small groups, personal service, high quality accommodation, a
passion for diving & sharks and are escorted by a team of top diving
professionals, turning a dream of an experience into a safe reality.
The diving in South Africa is done from 8-meter RIBs. The dives all
start with fantastic launches through the surf. Most of the diving
takes place early in the morning, due to the fact that this is
normally when the weather and sea conditions are best. Normally 2
dives per day are offered however it is possible to enjoy more than
2-dives, should the weather, sea and surf conditions permit.
The diving is generally between 20-meters and 30-meters and
conditions can be challenging and are only suitable for experienced
advanced divers. Before every dive a full briefing on the species
you are likely to encounter and help you to understand their
behaviour and how to behave in return and whilst the sharks are very
shy, they are also very inquisitive and intelligent animals which is
why they are the ocean's top predators and deserve the highest
During the tour we dive different dive sites to give you the best
chances of sightings of the different species. The main species that
you will encounter include Tiger Sharks, Bull [Zambezi] Sharks,
Ragged Tooth Sharks, Blacktip Sharks, Dusky Sharks, Hammerhead
Sharks, Giant Guitar Sharks and more.
South Africa & Mozambique
This is our main tour which offers the best of both South Africa and Mozambique. The tour starts every Sunday in Durban, South Africa. The itinerary includes diving the Aliwal Shoal, Protea Banks, Tiger Shark Diving in South Africa and Tofo & Barra Beach in Mozambique. We also spend a night on safari in Swaziland..
The sharks featured below are the main sharks that you will experience while diving in South Africa, from time to time we do also get up-close and personal with some other species [i.e. Dusky Sharks, Bronze Whalers, Thresher Sharks etc.]
This shark is really spectacular to see underwater. Some specimens we have seen are in the region of 600kg. They are very shy sharks and a close encounter is an awesome experience!!! We spend a day diving with the Tiger sharks with Mark Addison who started the Tiger Shark diving off the southern end of Aliwal Shoal. We also have a good chance of seeing Tiger Sharks while diving the Aliwal Shoal & Protea Banks. :-)
ZAMBEZI [BULL] SHARKS
Known locally as the Zambezi Shark, Bull Sharks are a robust looking shark and can be quite inquisitive. Protea Banks has been recognised as one of the best sites in the world to view Zambezi [Bull] Sharks.
These unique sharks appear in large shoals numbering a few hundred. They are very shy sharks and are difficult to approach. During the 'Shark Diving Adventure' we have a good chance of seeing the Hammerhead Sharks at both the Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks.
BLACKTIP / SPINNER SHARKS
Note: This is not a Black-Tip reef shark. These smaller sharks are rather inquisitive and have fantastic colourations. They grow up to 150kg or 2 meters in length. During the 'Shark Diving Adventure' we generally see the Blacktips during the Tiger Shark Diving and also at the Protea Banks where they often come up to join us on our safety stop.
GIANT GUITAR SHARKS
Giant Guitar Sharks inhabit sandy patches at both the Aliwal Shoal & Protea Banks where it's not uncommon to dive with up to 30 guitar sharks on a single dive. They are fairly shy however we are generally able to get upclose and personal with these huge sand sharks.
RAGGED TOOTH SHARKS
Ragged Tooth Sharks are rather docile & easy to approach, during our winter months they arrive in huge numbers and offer fantastic up-close encounters. During the 'Shark Diving Adventure' we dive with the Raggies at both the Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks.
Diver from £2785 : Non-Diver from £2200. Deposit 35% per person.
Flights, Guides, Transfers & Transportation, Breakfasts, Accommodation, Diving, Excursions.
You can extend your stay:-
4-day 'Great White Cage Diving' - Dyer Island - Gansbaai [and/or]
4-day 'Big-5 Game Safari' - Kruger National Park.
Day-One : Arrive Durban International -- Transfer to Lodge -- Overnight
Day-Two : 2-dives Aliwal Shoal -- Visit Tala Game Park -- Overnight
Day-Three : 2-dives Aliwal Shoal -- Overnight
Day-Four : 2-dives Protea Banks -- Overnight
Day-Five : 2-dives Protea Banks -- Overnight
Day-Six : Tiger Shark Diving -- Overnight
Day-Seven : Transfer to Durban and fly to Johannesburg -- Overnight
Day-Eight : Fly to Inhambane, Mozambique -- Overnight Tofo Beach
Day-Nine : 2-dives Tofo Beach -- Overnight Tofo Beach
Day-Ten : 2-dives Tofo Beach -- Overnight Tofo Beach
Day-Eleven : 2-dives Tofo Beach -- Overnight Tofo Beach
Day-Twelve : 2-dives Tofo Beach -- Overnight Tofo Beach
Day-Thirteen : 2-dives Tofo Beach -- Overnight Tofo Beach
Day-Fourteen : Return day. Inhambane - Johannesburg - London.
ITINERARY & COSTS
DAY 1:- Your adventure begins when you arrive at Durban International Airport. You will be met by your guide and transferred [about 20mins] to our accommodation, situated at Illovo Beach [near the aliwal shoal]. The luxury upmarket log-cabins overlook the ocean and have en-suite facilities. There is a swimming pool just a few meters away from your lodge. The accommodation is close to many activities, is available as single, twin or double occupancy and is serviced daily. In the evening we enjoy a BBQ [known locally as a braai] where you will get to know the group and your guide.
DAY 2:- An early morning rise for two dives on the Aliwal Shoal, situated about 5kms offshore from the town of Umkomaas on the Kwazulu Natal South Coast, it has been rated as one of the best sites in the world to see Ragged Tooth Sharks & Giant Guitar Sharks. The Aliwal Shoal also attracts a variety of other sharks including Tiger Sharks, Hammerheads, Blacktips / Spinner Sharks & more. The shoal is home to Morey Eels, Manta Rays, Whales, Dolphins, Brindle Bass and reef fish. After the diving, we set off for the Tala Private Game Reserve, covering an area of 7,000 acres. The wildlife in the reserve includes rhino, giraffe, zebra, hippo and many antelope. The unique mix of thornveld and grassy plains ensures unrivalled game viewing and photo opportunities.
DAY 3:- An early morning rise for two more dives with the sharks on the Aliwal Shoal. Today we go to slightly deeper dive sites which give us a great chance for sightings of Ragged Tooth Sharks and Giant Guitar Sharks. In the afternoon we relax at the lodge or enjoy one of the local activities.
DAY 4:- An early morning rise for two dives on the Protea Banks, situated about 7.5kms offshore from the town of Shelly Beach on Kwazulu Natal’s South Coast. Our aim today is to dive with Ragged Tooth Sharks or Zambezi [BULL] Sharks, and by using an acoustic device, we have upclose encounters with these fantastic creatures. The Protea Banks offer a great chance to see many different sharks including Hammerheads, Tiger Sharks, Bronze Whalers, Duskies, Guitar Sharks and more...
DAY 5:- An early morning rise for two more dives on the Protea Banks. Today we dive the southern pinnacles and get upclose and personal with Zambezi [BULL] Sharks and Giant Guitar Sharks or Ragged Tooth Sharks. The Guitar Sharks congregate in large numbers [up to 40+] in sand shark alley. The southern pinnacle also offer a great chance to see huge shoals of game fish as well as many different sharks including Hammerheads, Tiger Sharks, Duskies and more...
DAY 6:- Today we spend the day at sea, diving with Tiger Sharks. The Tiger Shark diving is very similar to the Great White Cage Diving [except there are no cages] and takes place off the southern end of the Aliwal Shoal. We launch from Umkomaas and when we arrive at the site, we create a chum line to attract the sharks. When the sharks arrive, the real action begins and we enter the water. We normally have between two and six [but can be as many as fifteen or more] Tiger Sharks as well as Blacktip / Spinner Sharks and on occasion other species. This is an amazing encounter with one of the oceans most awesome predators...
DAY 7:- Today we travel back to Johannesburg for one night before
the Mozambique adventure begins.
DAY 8:- Fly from Johannesburg to Inhambane
and transfer to Tofo Beach for 6 nights and 10 spectacular dives
dives. Our accommodation is in traditional casitas [chalets]. In the evening we enjoy dinner at the local restaurant where you will get to know the group and your guide. Overnight
DAY 9:- The adventure begins with a dive on the fantastic reefs of Tofo. Our accommodation is in beach front chalets with a fantastic braai [BBQ] area and views overlooking the bay and the launch site for the diving.
DAY 10:- An early morning rise for two dives on the fantastic reefs of Tofo. Between dives breakfast is served overlooking the ocean. Should the weather and sea conditions permit there will be an option for more diving in the afternoon. In the evening we enjoy dinner at one of the local bars or restaurants.
DAY 11:- An early morning rise for two dives on the fantastic reefs of Tofo. Between dives breakfast is served overlooking the ocean. Should the weather and sea conditions permit there will be an option for more diving in the afternoon. In the evening we enjoy dinner at one of the local bars or restaurants.
DAY 12:- An early morning rise for two dives on the fantastic reefs of Tofo. Between dives breakfast is served overlooking the ocean. Should the weather and sea conditions permit there will be an option for more diving in the afternoon. In the evening we enjoy dinner at one of the local bars or restaurants.
DAY 13:- An early morning rise for a final dive on the fantastic reefs of Tofo. After breakfast we enjoy another dive before we transfer north to our over-night accommodation north of Maputo where our accommodation is in traditional casitas [chalets]. In the evening we enjoy dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight just north of Maputo.
DAY 14:- Spend the morning relaxing before you either
1./ end your stay flying home....
2./ transfer to Kruger National Park -
Our 4-day 'Big-5 Game Safari takes place in the Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa. The park is home to Africa's 'Big-5', lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo as well as many other species of animals.
3./ fly to Cape Town for our 4-day 'Great White Cage Diving' Adventure
Dyer Island near Gansbaai in South Africa is the place to be to get up close and personal with the oceans most awesome predator. The tour includes 2-full days of Great White Cage Diving.
What's Included : -
- International Flights and departure taxes
- Guide for the entire tour.
- Transfers & Transportation for the entire tour.
- All Breakfasts.
- 13-nights Accommodation
- 6-nights KwaZulu Natal South Coast : South Africa
- 1-night Nisela Safaris : Swaziland
- 2-nights north of Maputo : Mozambique
- 4-nights Tofo Beach : Mozambique
- 10-days Diving : 20-Dives [incl. Cylinders, Air & Weights - other gear can be hired]
- 2-days : 4-dives Aliwal Shoal : South Africa
- 2-days : 4-dives Protea Banks : South Africa
- 1-day : full day Tiger Shark Diving [Southern Aliwal Shoal] : South Africa
- 5-days : 10-dives Tofo / Barra Beach : Mozambique
Optional additional dives are available should the conditions allow.
- Entrance Fees for all Excursions [as per itinerary].
What's Not Included : -
· Personal Holiday Insurance
· Dive Gear [can be hired]
WHEN TO GO
Deciding when to travel depends on what you want to see, whilst most of the animals can be seen throughout the year below is an overview on the high seasons. The diving year-round is generally excellent but there are times of the year that you should try to avoid if possible [i.e. local school holidays] and there are also times of the year where you may enjoy a bonus [i.e. june / july] if the sardine run arrives whilst you are here. The diving is generally split into different seasons:-
October to May
This is our summer period and offers some fantastic encounters with some of the oceans top predators. During the summer the reefs are covered with game fish which brings in the Tiger Sharks, Zambezi [Bull] Sharks; Hammerheads, Blacktip / Spinner Sharks [this is not a blacktip reef shark], and much more. The water tempreture is around 26C - 28C and the diving takes place early as this is when then the sea-conditions are the best.
June to November
This is our winter period and is a great time for those wanting to get up-close and personal with the Ragged-Tooth Sharks, they are docile and we can have hundreds covering the reefs of both Aliwal Shoal and the Protea Banks. During this period we also have the Humpback Whale migration, we get some great sightings from the boats and can hear the whales during the dives and if really lucky we have sighting under-water. The water tempreture is around 20C - 24C and the sea-conditions are the generally calm.
June - Sardine Run
June is our Sardine Run season and we offer normal 'Shark Diving Expedition' itinerary over this period and if the Sardines arrive we get to dive with them at the Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks!!!
Sharks [our main species] : High Seasons
Great White Sharks [Good Sightings - Year-round ; High Season - April to November]
Tiger Sharks [Good Sightings - Year-round ; High Season - January to May]
Zambezi [Bull] Sharks [High Season - October to May]
Hammerhead Sharks [High Season - October to May]
Blacktip Sharks [High Season - October to May]
Giant Guitar Sharks [High Season - October to May]
Ragged-Tooth Sharks [High Season - June to November]
Ragged-Tooth Sharks - Sodwana Bay [High Season - November to March]
Other Sharks and Animals : High Seasons
Humpback Whales [High Season - June to November]
Bottlenose Dolphins [High Season - Year-round]
Common Dolphins [High Season - June to July with Sardine Run]
Copper [Bronze Whalers] Sharks [High Season - June to July with Sardine Run]
Manta Rays [Sightings - Year-round ; High Season - October to May]
Eagle Rays [Sightings - Year-round ; High Season - October to May]
Marlin, Sailfish [Sightings - Year-round ; High Season - October to May]
Game Fish [Good Sightings - Year-round ; High Season - October to May]
South Africa is widely recognised as one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks and during the 'Shark Diving Adventure', you will get up close and personal with many different of sharks. Most of the diving is done from 8-meter RIBs with a fantastic surf launches from the beach. The diving takes place early in the morning, due to the fact that this is normally when the weather and sea conditions are best. We normally do 2-dives per day however it is possible to enjoy more than 2-dives, should the weather and sea conditions allow.
Diving the Aliwal Shoal.
The Aliwal Shoal has a huge diversity of marine life and is one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with the Ragged Tooth [Sand Tiger] Sharks, the shoal also attracts a huge variety of sea-life including Tiger & Hammerhead Sharks, Morey Eels, Manta Rays, Whales, Dolphins, Hawk Fish, Groupers, Angelfish, Wrasse, Brindle Bass & more. The Humpback Whale migration passes the Aliwal Shoal between June & October and the whales can often be seen breaching and you will often hear them whilst on a dive. Occasionally we do see them on dives. The Aliwal Shoal is 5kms in length with plenty dive sites to explore some of the best dive sites on the Aliwal Shoal include Shark Alley, Pinnacles, Raggies Cave, Manta Point, Chunnel, Anvil Flats, South Sands, False Cathedral, Tiger Cove, Northsands, Eel Skin and Cathedral. The Aliwal Shoal is home to two wrecks, the Produce and the Nebo. Both wrecks can only be dived when the current is not too strong.
Tiger Shark Diving - Southern Aliwal Shoal.
The Tiger Sharks diving is very similar to the Great White Cage Diving [except there are NO cages!!!] and takes place off the southern end of the Aliwal Shoal. We launch from Umkomaas and when we arrive at the site, we create a chum line to attract the sharks. When the sharks arrive, the real action begins and we enter the water. We normally have between two and six [but can be as many as fifteen or more] Tiger Sharks as well as many Blacktip / Spinner Sharks and on occasion other species. This is an amazing encounter with one of the oceans most awesome predators... The Tiger Shark diving cant be done when the visability is poor....
Diving the Protea Banks.
The Protea Banks are rated as one of the best shark dive sites in the world, it is often possible to see up to 5 species of shark on a single dive!!! The trip out to the Protea Banks takes about 25-mins. We often encounter whales & dolphin on the trip out to & back from the dive site. The Humpback Whale migration passes the Protea Banks between June & October and the whales can often be seen breaching and you will often hear them whilst on a dive. Occasionally we do see them on dives. The reef system is made up of fossilised dunes. The part of the reef that we dive is about 3kms in length. The main dive sites include the northern & southern pinnacles. The northern pinnacles are at about 33 meters and have fantastic topography with two very large cave systems that provide fantastic protection for the hundreds of Ragged Tooth Sharks during their mating season. The southern pinnacles are at a depth of between 28 & 40 meters the home of the Zambezi [Bull] Sharks, which offers some great up-close encounters. Other sharks that frequent the southern pinnacles include Hammerheads, Tiger Sharks, Blacktips, Ragged Tooth Sharks, Bronze Whalers & more. There is also a huge amount of game fish including Kingfish, Yellowtail, Barracuda & Tuna.
Diving the Tofo Beach and Barra Beach.
The diving is done from 8-meter RIBs with a fantastic surf launches from the beach. The diving takes place early in the morning, due to the fact that this is normally when the weather and sea conditions are best. We normally do 2-dives per day however it is possible to enjoy more than 2-dives, should the weather and sea conditions allow.
Depth:- 21 to 26 meters
Tofo's showcase dive. A gentle drift dive from North to South, your dive begins with a negative entry into 26m into the middle of a small amphitheatre teaming with life. The dive progresses through a series of pinnacles before the first cleaning station is reached, a shallower (21m) sandy area. At this cleaning station Mantas circle overhead to be cleaned by Goldies, Cleaner Wrasse and Butterfly fish. This dive is amazing with upwards of ten huge 4 - 5 meter Mantas circling overhead. At the end of the dive your ascent is often accompanied by groups of inquisitive Devil Rays wheeling about your safety stop.
Depth:- 22 to 28 meters
This reef is shaped like an L, formed by two ledges with craters and large swimthroughs. As the name implies it is wild and untamed and totally unspoiled as it is seldom visited. Because it is so far out to sea, the visibility is generally very good and the reef is teeming with both reef and pelagic fish. It is also one of the very few places here where sharks are seen. These include Leopard sharks, Whitetips, Blacktips, and very occasionally Tiger Sharks. Mantas, Giant Eagle Rays and Ribbon Tail Rays are seen on most dives. Amazon is also home to a huge resident Loggerhead Turtle.
Depth:- 26 to 33 meters
A 6 to 7 metre tall wall running for two kilometers. The wall drops from 26 to 33 metres and runs North/South with the predominant current. When conditions are right this is a fantastic dive and often overlooked by divers who know of the more famous Manta Reef. The crenellated wall is inhabited by Giant Potato Bass [hence the name] and features several Manta cleaning stations. This is definitely a pelagic dive with a proliferation of game fish including Great Barracuda, Kingfish, Pick Handle Pike and Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Devil Rays, Bowmouth Guitar Sharks, and, uniquely in Tofo, Blue Marlin. The memory of a descent through schools of Barracuda onto a Manta Ray cleaning station while Devil Rays circle above is unforgettable.
Depth:- 19 meters to 24 meters
This is a rock pinnacle, 10 km’s straight out to sea and comes up from a depth of over 90 meters. The reef is made up of a number of ledges and gullies, part of which includes an extremely rare Manta cleaning station. This is primarily a drift dive with the current running from North to South. The cleaning station is situated on the Northern point of the reef and divers will be treated to the sight of Mantas being cleaned by Cleaner Wrasse. Also seen on this reef are a number of resident Leopard Sharks, White Tip Sharks and Potato Bass, a vast array of game fish can be seen on most dives.
Depth:- 27 meters to 39 meters
An 80 meter DOME cut away around the bottom and covered with green coral trees [hence the name Sherwood Forest]. These coral trees are home to millions of Goldie's, and are a spectacular sight, especially for the keen photographer. Also seen under the dome are large Potato Bass and a resident Brindle Bass [aptly named Robin Hood]. This site is home to Mantas, Devil Rays and a variety of game fish.
Depth:- 14 to 18 meters
This inshore reef resembles a sunken volcano crater or caldera. The 'crater' is on average 2-4 metres lower than the surrounding rock creating a wall around the site. This supports coral life typical of Tofo's inshore reefs. Hard and soft corals abound as well as reef and game fish. The center of the crater is dominated by a number of rocky out crops amidst the sand offering a slow winding dive with a couple of swimthroughs. This dive also offers one of the best chances to see and snorkel with Whale Sharks on the journey to and from the dive site.
Pria da Roscha
Depth:- 10 meters to 15 meters
This reef is made up of lots of huge boulders, all cut away on the bottom to form a maze of gullies and swim-throughs to the point where it resembles a grotto. A vast variety of soft coral can also be found on this reef. All the usual small Tropical Fish can be seen. This is an offshore reef and is therefore not generally affected by currents but can be affected by surge as the shore side of the reef is a rock face [as the name suggests 'Place of the Rocks'].
Chamber of Secrets
Depth:- 14 to 21 meters
This reef is shaped like a horseshoe. At 14 meters around the top and 19 metres around the base it forms a ragged wall lined with 6 swimthroughs and numerous overhangs and caves. The center of the horseshoe is a flat, white sandy area frequented by Blue Spotted Rays, Blue Stingrays and Whip-Tailed rays. As the name suggests it is full of surprises. This reef offers the best chance of seeing Whale Sharks on Scuba as it is right in the path of the migrating Whale Sharks. Other sightings normally include Morays, Lizardfish, Trumpetfish, Lionfish [Common and Clearfin], Scorpionfish, and a multitude of reef fish.
Depth:- 14 meters to 18 meters
Large chimneys of rock with an amazing amount of holes and gullies running outwards in all directions. A great dive when visibility is good, with large shoals of game fish swimming overhead.
Depth:- 9 meters to 10 meters
A fairly flat reef with a lot of living Rock and Plate Coral and small tropical fish. This reef is ideal for a very gentle dive with no current and surge.
Depth:- 14 meters to 16 meters.
A series of Giant pot-holes linked together with caves, overhangs and gullies. As this is an inshore reef it is not really affected by current. Of particular interest is the vast assortment of soft coral. All the normal array of tropical fishes can be seen, as well as large numbers of Flute and Trumpet fish. Another interesting species not seen anywhere else in this area is the 'crocodile' fish and the 'leaf' fish which both appear in abundance. This is one of the few reefs in this area where dolphins may be seen on scuba. An absolutely stunning reef, with an abundance of soft coral, a wide variety of nudibranches and plenty of tropical and game fish. Giant crayfish are also amongst the many different species of marine life found on this reef. Also an excellent spot for whale shark viewing.