african watersports

Location: Aliwal Shoal

ZAR1 400 Per Person

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African Watersports

African Watersports has been running for over 10 years and is considered as one of the most experienced operators on the Aliwal Shoal when it comes to shark diving. First starting as a reef diving operator African Watersports explored the reefs and Wrecks of the Aliwal Shoal and was one of the main contributors to a now thriving diving industry.

African Watersports

African Watersports has been running for over 10 years and is considered as one of the most experienced operators on the Aliwal Shoal when it comes to shark diving. First starting as a reef diving operator African Watersports explored the reefs and Wrecks of the Aliwal Shoal and was one of the main contributors to a now thriving diving industry.

The Boat

african watersports durban

The Boat is a 6m Zodiac powered by 2 x 85hp Yamaha engines. The boat is licensed to carry 12 people including skipper and full safety gear and first aid are on-board. The boat launches from Umkomaas river into the surf which is an exhilarating ride out at times but safety concerns are always a top priority.

Tiger Shark Diving

tiger shark african watersports

The boat launches from the protected River estuary in Umkomass and once everyone is on board and holding on tight the boat speeds through the estuary into and through the sometimes huge swells that pound the coastline. Once on the back line it only takes 10 minutes to the location. The current is studied and a suitable location is selected to bring the sharks to the boat. The wait could be from 2 minutes to hours but fortunately, the boats do communicate with each other and work together to find the sharks.

Normally the first sharks to arrive are blacktip reef sharks sometimes by the dozens. These sharks are relatively harmless and beautiful to photograph.

Once the Tiger Sharks arrive the crew waits for a while until the sharks are comfortable with the boat and the surroundings. If the divers enter the water too soon then the Tiger sharks may become uneasy and leave. The average is two or three Tiger sharks per dive but some times there are exceptions. On one dive in July, there were 18 Tiger sharks in the water and the divers had a thrill of a dive although somewhat unnerving!

The key is to keep your eyes on the Tiger sharks at all times when close and they will keep a respectable distance. You may have the option of either free-diving with the Tiger Sharks or Scuba. Free-diving (snorkelling) is exceptional as the sharks to come very close and sometimes a gentle push with the hand is needed to tell the sharks who is boss.

The typical visibility is from 5m to 40m and water temperature between 22 and 28 Celsius. Wind and swell conditions are usually quite favorable at this time and daytime temperatures range from 20 to 38 Celsius.

Trip Itinerary

7:00 – Meet at the crew house for a light breakfast.

7:30 – Kit up for the dive (rental gear is available).

8:00 – Leave for the River Estuary. 

8:30 – Launch the boat in the safety of the estuary (Most of the year) then run out through the surf-line. Please note that the launch is weather dependent and it is up to the skipper to call off the trip for safety reasons. This must be respected as the launch through the surf in Umkomass is one of the most dangerous in South Africa. Once you are through the back line then it is an easy 15-minute ride out to the dive site. 

9:00 – Start chumming the water. You will notice on most days as soon as the boat arrives onsite the Blacktip sharks come to the boat. The standard time to chum is approximately 45 minutes but it could take much longer to attract the tiger sharks. On most days the dive will only take place once a Tiger shark has been spotted around the boat and it looks comfortable. 

10:20 – Kit up ready for the dive and slowly slip into the water with the sharks. 

10:30 – 11:30 – The dive does not require much energy as divers will just remain neutral buoyancy at 5-8 meters, therefore, it is normally a 60-minute dive. 

12:00 – Return to the beach

Included

  • 1 dive
  • Tank, boat, weights
  • Light snack and refreshments served on boat

Optional Extras

  • Diving Gear – Additional Extra

What to Bring

  • Sea-sick tablets & dive card
  • Dive gear
  • Nerves of steel

Tiger Shark Dive

ZAR1 400 Per Person

Accommodation Option

Seascapes is the accommodation of choice with the Tiger shark diving as this is part of the dive centre. The building is a mix of African and Modern styling set in the suburb of Widenham in Umkomaas. Seascapes has a very beachy feel and you can sit back and relax after your dives around the pool and catch the sun rays whilst enjoying the panoramic ocean views. Each bedroom is en-suite with its own entrance onto the pool patio. You will be perfectly situated for the dives when staying here and have plenty of space and privacy if wished to relax. In the mornings you just need to stroll down to the breakfast room for an early breakfast before the dive briefing and to meet the crew. From the guesthouse, it is only a 5-minute drive down to the Umkomaas river to the launch site for the dive. You will kit up and de-kit at the guesthouse and there is no hassle with lugging around dive gear on the beach.

R450 Per Person Per Night Sharing
R700 Per Person Per Night Single

African Watersports

Walter Bernadis focuses mostly on the baited shark diving and is prepared to go out every day possible in search for the Tiger sharks of the Durban Waters. There is an option to also dive the local reefs so if you are not comfortable with diving with the sharks then there is plenty to explore from wrecks to a huge array of fish spices.

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