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Diving & Wildlife Adventures in South Africa

This affordable destination offers great value for money and incredible experiences above and below the water. From Sodwana’s pristine tropical reefs to the colder waters of the Cape, South Africa offers an unforgettable opportunity to combine two very different worlds, both with a fantastic diversity of wildlife – world-class diving with, undoubtedly, the best game reserves in the world.

{img_alt} Diving highlights include shark encounters and healthy reefs, but there’s plenty of choice depending on your ability. It's possible to get up close to great white sharks, dive with ragged-tooth, tiger, oceanic blacktip and hammerhead sharks; see whales, dolphins, rays, turtles, plenty of fish and swim with Cape fur seals.

We recommend a few days on safari in one of the national parks or a private game reserve {img_alt} whether you’re on the coast or inland, up north or down south. Observe lion, rhino, elephant and plenty more – the wildlife experience is incredible. This is an amazing destination where you can experience fascinating cultures, natural wonders, pristine beaches, close wildlife encounters and exceptional hospitality.

 

Sharks, Hippos and More!

The opportunity of some winter sun, safari and diving with sharks was presented to me - it didn’t take long to make the decision! Our small group headed off to Durban in search of rhino, hippo, turtles and ragged-tooth sharks.

Spanning 280 kilometres of coastline from St Lucia to the Mozambican border, iSimangaliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s third largest protected area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is renowned for its rich biodiversity, unique ecosystems and natural beauty from tropical coral reefs to savannah and wetland areas. It’s home to octopus, squid, whale sharks, manta rays, leatherback and loggerhead turtles, elephant, leopard, buffalo, white and black rhino, crocodile and hippo and that’s just for starters. It is an AMAZING place to visit!

Our first safari was into the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park, famed for its white rhino and our second was around the Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve – what a treat! As with underwater wildlife, you’ll only spot what is out that day and we were unfortunate to not see the big cats, although we had been following their tracks.

{img_alt} For some relaxation we headed to Kosi Bay, not far from the Mozambique border, a place where you can kick off your shoes and watch the Indian Ocean roll in for hours. From Rocktail Beach Camp you can dive tropical reefs or walk the endless miles of sandy beaches whilst keeping your eyes open for loggerhead turtles which come here to lay their eggs. The final few days of my dive safari were spent at Umkomaas, famed for being the gateway to Aliwal Shoal and (almost) guaranteed shark diving. It’s adventurous but absolutely worth it!

The KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa is vast and has so much to offer. Of course, the sharks are not to be missed but having been there, I would definitely return and spend time both on the coast and inland – I’ve got to go back and see a big cat!

If you're ready for an adventure in South Africa, here are three recommendations from our collection:

Great White Shark Weekend

Enjoy two days of encounters with these magnificent creatures from the safety of a cage - the ultimate weekend getaway for adventurous thrill seekers. Suitable for non-divers too.

Trip runs: May – Aug

SharkWEEK Diving Adventure

The world famous reefs of Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks offer some of the best shark diving in the world. Several species are seen throughout the year. Recommended for experienced divers.

Trip runs: Year-round

Sardine Run Adventure

Experience one of nature’s great events first hand. Spend your days in the water observing a plethora of marine and avian predators attracted by the millions of sardines migrating north along the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

Trip runs: Jun – Jul

Ready for adventure? Discover all our itineraries or contact our Dive team experts who will tailor-make your own adrenalin-filled South African experience!