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Where To Go Scuba Diving in Africa

Some of the worlds most unspoilt diving sites can be found along the gorgeous Southern African coastline. Teeming with colorful wildlife & rich in cultural offerings, there are countless beach vacations & scuba adventures awaiting the adventurous traveler.

Scuba Diving in Africa sebastien jermer
Scuba Diving in Africa jasper boer

Kwazulu Natal

One of the Top 5 Dive sites of the world, housing over 83% of the world’s marine fish species as well as shipwrecks & coral reefs, Kwazulu Natal is a must see Dive spot! With a subtropical climate, diving is available in Kwazulu Natal & its differing areas year-round.

KwaZulu Natal is made up of the Isimangaliso Wetland, Durban & the South Coast. Stretching from the southernmost point of Mozambique into South Africa, Kwazulu Natal offers countless varied diving holiday opportunities.

You may find yourself overwhelmed with choices & offerings as you begin to plan your trip. We’ve narrowed down a few of our favorites to point you in the right direction. Durban is one of the least dived areas of Kwazulu-Natal & while you can still find several dive shops in & around the city (typically focusing more on famous shipwreck dives), we’ll focus on the teeming wildlife & crystal-clear waters of Isimangaliso & The South Coast:

Scuba Diving in Africa ocean

The Elephant Coast

Isimagaliso Wetlands

You can always start an African adventure with researching UNESCO World Heritage Sites (of which there are many in Africa) for a truly authentic and natural getaway. While there are game reserves, mountain trails & countless ways to interact with nature on the Elephant Coast, their natural reefs are unparalleled!

Scuba Diving in Africa divers

First to earn the designation in Africa in 1999, the Isimangaliso Wetland is one of 21 ecosystems in the 21 km stretch of the Elephant Coast. Isimangaliso is a protected marine reserve home to over 1200 species, branching table & plat corals & breathtaking drop offs, overhangs & swim-throughs. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers some of the most pristine diving conditions in the world.

Where to Stay

The Northern reach of the Elephant Coast, an area called Mabibi is home to some of the most popular dive spots (try Sodwana Bay & Rocktail Bay, thought to be some of the worlds best) as well as the prestigious Thonga Beach Lodge; a great choice when it comes to SCUBA/Diving accommodations.

Nestled away in a gorgeous coastal forest at Thonga Beach Lodge you can find yourself relaxing after a thrilling dive day in the private thatched bush suites, constructed specifically to ensure minimal impact on the precious natural environment around them.

From November through February, guests can take part in turtle tracking as the Giant Leatherback & Loggerhead culminate a long journey as they come ashore on the Elephant Coast to lay their eggs in what is truly one of the most incredible natural spectacles in the world.

Scuba Diving in Africa ricardo braham

The South Coast

Protea Banks

To adventure from colorful reefs teeming with schools of tropical fish & take your diving adventure to the next level, Protea Banks offers one of the best Shark diving experiences in the world. Approximately 10 km inland of Shelly Beach (just 90 minutes south of Durban). A fossilized sand dune, the reef is approximately 4 km wide with depths up to 40 meters, Bull, Tiger, Hammerhead, Blacktip, Ragged-Tooth, Bronze Whalers & occasionally Great White Sharks can all be seen diving at Protea Banks. Not for the faint of heart & much different from typical reef dives, Shark Diving typically requires PADI Advanced Diver certification or more than 50 logged dives.

Scuba Diving in Africa david clode

For an all inclusive dive adventure & hotel dedicated to Dives on Protea Banks, you can utilize one of the many vacation packages at resorts like the Blue Ocean Dive Resort, offering dive adventures, on-site training, certifications, restaurants & dive shops all centrally located in great accommodations near the best dive spots in the area.

Aliwal Shoal

Eager to see more exciting wildlife (with a few less teeth)? Head to the Aliwal Shoal  on the South Coast. Dolphins, Manta Rays & Humpback whales have all been spotted during their winter migrations between July & November.

Scuba Diving in Africa jake gaviola

Directly overlooking the Aliwal Shoal Dive site, the Aliwal Shoal Lodge offers wonderful diver accommodations & a great range of activities in addition to Scuba Diving like surfing, fishing, swimming & mountain biking/hiking.

Whether snorkeling, beginning SCUBA training & certification or looking for the next-level adventure as an experienced diver, the African diving experiences offered at Kwazulu-Natal are once-in-a-lifetime & are sure to be an African adventure you will never forget! Happy Diving!