Diving at Aliwal Shoal is an exciting experience. Rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, it has a great reputation to live up to. Aliwal Shoal should not be confused with resort diving, as conditions are demanding - sometimes bumpy launches, swells and currents. This adds to the sense of adventure. The shoal lies 4 - 5 kms out to sea, so all divers are transported to the shoal on boats.
The prices for diving are very reasonable. The current rates are as follows :
Dives : R 170.00 per dive.
Daily Equipment hire rates :
R 150.00 for full set.
R 30.00 each for BC & DV
R 20.00 each for Wetsuit, fins, mask/snorkel, weightbelt
R 30.00 per cylinder.
R 80.00 for BC, DV & Cylinder package.
The average sea temperature is 24° and almost never falls below 16° c. From July to November, the ragged tooth sharks are on the shoal in abundance, as they annually migrate to the shoal which is their preferred resting ground. Dolphins are very frequently seen at the shoal, and both dolphins and whales on the launches. The shoal is home to over 1200 species of fish, as well as turtles, rays, manta's, angelfish and butterfly fish. Apart from raggies, there are other lesser known sharks on the shoal. Occasional sightings include great whites, tigers, white tips and whale sharks.
Dive sites on Aliwal Shoal :
Because of its size, there are plenty of sites of interest on the shoal. The more famous include Raggies Cave, Pinnacles, Shark Alley, Cathedral, South Sands, North Sands, Inside Edge, Outside Edge, Chunnel and Manta Point.
To Dive you need:
To dive at Aliwal Shoal, you need : PADI, NAUI, or CMAS Open Water qualification. Please bring your c card with you. For your own safety, no diver will be able to dive if they cannot prove they have a valid qualification. If you haven't got a qualification yet, then you can do an
You do not need to be an experienced diver to dive the shoal. There is always a dive-master (DM) on each boat who will assist you with any queries you may have. The DM will also do a full briefing to his/her group before the dive. An instructor will dive with you (and buddy up if you wish) on request @ R100.00 per dive.
Apart from a few days per year when launch conditions are not suitable, you can arrange 2 dives per day with ease. The diving is usually done in the mornings, as the wind gets stronger in the afternoons sometimes making launches more difficult. There are a few dives done in the afternoons, but only on request, and subject to weather conditions.
There are lots of activities you can do in the afternoons if there is no dive taking place. Night dives are frequently arranged when there are advanced courses taking place. If you want to do night diving, please submit a request, and we will arrange it for you if possible.
We recommend that you book your dives in advance, as there are occasions when the boats are full to capacity - this is after all one of the most famous South African sites to dive from. If you come on the off-chance however, we will do all we can to get you on the boat. A maximum of 12 persons are put on the boats, as per regulations. Reputable operators will never allow a 13th diver on the boat, as this is against the law and dangerous to boot.
If a dive is cancelled because of bad weather conditions, you will receive a full refund. If you cancel a dive for your own reasons less than 24 hours prior to the dive, a refund will only be given if someone else takes your place on the boat.