Frequented divesites on the Aliwal Shoal: Please bring your c-card!!
Scuba Diving is fun and a great adventure. Diving with sharks under guidance is a safe activity! Please note the depth at the different scuba dive sites and verify if it is within your scuba dive qualifications.
The below described divesites can also seen on the Aliwal Shoal Map we created in 2000.
Plenty of duplicates out there - they are been published without our permission.
(Thanks "Who's your daddy" J.Els. - little insider joke here... :-) But hey, they Aliwal Shoal Reef is for everybody and it was fun doing the mapping.
Maximum depth Depth 18m - Open Water Divers.
The place where you can view the "Raggies" ( Ragged Tooth Shark) during the shark season. This is likely the most popular and visited place on the shoal. You are not permuted to enter the cave when sharks present! There is upfront of the cave a divine viewing place to kneel down and watch the sharks. It is also a good place to search for shark teeth when the raggies are gone. (Please note: shark teeth are the only thing you are allowed to take from the Aliwal Shoal. In this from current sheltered area you can also see some resident potato bass as well moray eels.
Average depth is 14 m - Open Water Divers.
Groups of raggies populate this area during the winter. The depth is average by 14 meters. Although not overly aggressive please do not approach the sharks too closely. If there are surgy conditions this divesite needs to be dived very carefully.
Maximum depth 14m - Open Water Divers.
A perfect site for the beginner or open water diver to get some Aliwal Shoal feeling... :-). Plenty of potholes creating protected nurseries for juvenile fish. The are plentiful anemones with clownfish to observe. Large potato bass seem to hang out on occasion.
Maximum depth Depth 27m - Advanced Divers
A "must" for an Raggie fan! During Ragged Tooth Shark season been sightings of 40 and more of this placid sharks resting within this amphitheater. Great place to get the perfect shot if you into UW photography. During the southafrican summer month watch out for hammerheads and stingrays.
Maximum depth 22m - Open Water Divers
The Inside Edge includes the entire inshore oriented edge of the aliwal shoal. You can see larger species of fish and rays there. Yet it seems to be more suitable for smaller sightings as octopus, scorpionfish, firefish eels and nudibranchs. The top of that edge is 14 to 16 meters and this dive can be enjoyed by open water divers if they stay within there limits at the upper edge.
North + South Sands
Maximum depth 15m - Open Water Divers
The classroom on the shoal! This large sand patches are often used by scuba instructors for practice sessions with scuba dive students. Dolphins been seen to play and rubb themself in the sand.
Depth 15 - 22m - Mainly Advanced Divers
Crayfish and Cleaner-Shrimp prefer the hiding option between crack and holes. Good place to see all kind of rays, in particular Manta ray during the season.
Maximum depth 18m - Open Water Divers
Situated to the south-western tip of the Aliwal Shoal reef are plenty of sand gullies and reef clusters with some swim troughs. The reef exhibits here fossilized rock formations. Many tropical shoaling fish on display.
Maximum depth 32m - Advanced Divers
This steel cargo ship Produce was carrying molasses when it hit the reef and sunk in 1974. It is lying on its hull in 3 sections. The stern and bow are more or less intact but the center section has collapsed. A favorite haunt of Lion Fish, and everyone who dives here is hoping for a glimpse of the two giant Brindle Bass which are rumored to weigh around 400 Kg ! Look out for the big moray eel which lives in the wreck toilet. The very rare Harlequin Goldie (which is indigenous to this area) has been seen here. You may be lucky enough to see a Tiger Shark if the visibility is good.
Maximum depth 27m - Advanced Divers
The wooden wreckage of this old steamer which sunk in 1884 lies approximately 1 Km north west of Aliwal Shoal. It is still possible to see the propeller and the boiler on the wreck. There are many eels and large shoals of bait-fish at all times of the year. You will see many different species of shrimps around the boiler area. Keep an eye open for Barracuda and Tuna which are hunting the smaller fish which shelter here. There have been sightings of paper fish and frog fish on the wreck.
Bring your C card P L E A S E
We want to emphasize again, for the Aliwal Shoal as for all other destinations: PLEASE bring your brevet / c-card!! We are required to check your current qualifications. No C-card = no diving with Shark Society. Sorry, safety first as with all our activities.