7 Days diving with the many shark species of Aliwal Shoal
7 Day Shark Week Durban
This diving holiday package at the famous Aliwal Shoal offers ‘Guaranteed Shark Diving’ or your dives will be free! They have so much confidence in shark encounters thanks to their skill and experience that it is virtually impossible to go away from a week’s diving without having shark interactions. The aim of the week is to observe the sharks in their natural environment and to learn how to dive with the different species of sharks and interact with them. You will learn how to identify the different species and understand how to read the behaviour of the sharks towards divers.
Why this trip?
- Guaranteed Sharks! – If you do not see sharks during your week then your diving is for FREE!
- No student divers! This is the only dive company in the Aliwal Shoal that doesn’t offer any dive courses. The diving is purely focused on enjoying the experience without any restrictions from student divers. (Minimum qualifications required for the week are Advanced open water with 25 dives)
- On-Site Dive Center! The Lodge is completely self contained. The dive center is within the lodge and everything is based in-house. At the lodge you will kit up, load the boats and then go straight down to the estuary all ready to go. Following the dive you will go straight back to the lodge and then de-kit and take off the wetsuits under hot showers.
- Breakfast is included and there is a menu for lunch. Dinners are at local restaurants and also at the lodge for a couple of the nights.
Shark Week is designed to show you as many different species that the Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks has to offer. You will learn along the week how to dive and interact with various species of sharks. The expert guides will ensure your safety at all times and will work hard on each dive to show you as many sharks as possible. The dives throughout the week will build up to the ultimate Aliwal Shoal baited dive with the Tiger sharks. On many weeks it is not uncommon to encounter Tiger sharks on normal reef dives so always be aware and alert of this so you do not miss the opportunity! It is a wonderful experience looking around and then seeing a huge Tiger shark swimming alongside you in the blue. Each day is different and every time you descend on a reef no one knows what they will encounter!
The boat launches from the Umkomaas river estuary for Aliwal Shoal and then out through the surf break. This can be an exciting launch and all clients are briefed about the safety precautions and wear life jackets during the launch. The dives range from shallow reefs at around 10m to deeper than 30m depending on the dive site and with the minimum experience of 25 dives requested for divers all divers on the shark week should be comfortable on the dives.
Diving Package Sharing
Diving Package Single
Non-Diver Partner Sharing
Included / Excluded
- Return Airport Transfers
- Local Transport
- 6-nights Accommodation
- 6 Reef Shark Dives @ Aliwal Shoal
- 2 Shark dives @ Protea Banks
- 2 Baited Tiger Shark Dives
- Cylinders, Air-fills, Weight Belts & Weights
- Diver Permits
- Flights & Taxes
- Passports & Visas
- Personal Insurance
- Dive Gear [can be hired @ R200 per day]
- Passports & Visas
Day 1 – Arrive Durban International Airport and transfer to the dive lodge
Day 2 – 2 x Shark reef Dives Overnight at the dive lodge
Day 3 – 2 x Shark reef Dives Overnight at the dive lodge
Day 4 – 2 x Shark reef Dives @ Protea Banks – Overnight at the dive lodge
Day 5 – 1 x Shark reef Dive + 1 x Tiger Shark baited Dive – Overnight at the dive lodge
Day 6 – 1 x Shark reef Dive + 1 x Tiger Shark baited Dive – Overnight at the dive lodge
Day 7 – Transfer to Durban International Airport or Durban central if required
Shark Species To Encounter
The famous Tiger shark bait dive is definitely one of the top dives in the world and this is part of the dive packages offered. The baited dive takes place on the southern tip of the Aliwal Shoal which takes 15 minutes to reach by boat. Once on site the crew add chum to the water and this drifts with the current to create a chum slick tot he boat which hopefully the Tiger Sharks will follow.
We would normally wait any time from 30 minutes to an hour or two until a Tiger shark appears. It is important to wait for the Tiger sharks to arrive as they must be comfortable with the boat before the divers enter the water. During the wait you will receive a briefing to help you to understand the shark’s behaviour and how we behave to prevent any incidents from happening. Tiger Sharks are inquisitive and intelligent animals but also shy and over the years the crew have learnt how to read them underwater to enable relatively safe diving conditions. There are strict rules to follow underwater and the dive masters be on guard all of the time during the dive to see if the rules are being followed by the clients. This is a serious dive for the experienced and all divers must follow the guidelines to ensure that the dive is safe and enjoyable. The Tiger sharks need to be respected for what they are and as long as you behave accordingly around most Apex predators then you will remain safe in their environment. As well as the Tiger Sharks you will experience many other Black Tip Sharks as well as Dusky Sharks depending on the time of year. In the summer months you may even be lucky enough to see a Manta Ray or dolphins on the dive.
Oceanic Blacktip Sharks
The Oceanic Blacktip Sharks are resident at the Aliwal Shoal. There are many to see normally on the baited dives and they are usually the first to come to the boat even before any bait is put in the water. These sharks are relatively safe to dive with and are a pleasure to watch, photograph and interact with underwater. The Blacktips are also seen on many of the reef dives and the dive masters use their own special techniques without using bait to bring the sharks in.
Ragged Tooth Sharks
The Ragged Tooth sharks are normally around between April and November but recently over the last few years there have been a few found in certain places around the shoal year round. The Ragged tooth sharks are probably the most famous of all as they are the menacing goofy toothed shark that populate most aquariums worldwide. There are a couple of very popular spots for Raggies around the Aliwal Shoal and these are Cathedral and Raggies Cave. Both dive spots have many Ragged Tooth sharks in season and sometimes up to and over 80 at a time.
Bull Sharks (Zambezi Sharks)
Bull Sharks are normally seen on the reef dives south of the Shoal. Many of the dives in the week are on reefs there will be plenty of opportunities to see Bull sharks on the dives. The Bull shark is one of the most notorious sharks in the ocean and responsible for many shark attacks worldwide. Like all sharks in the ocean as long as you know how to dive with them then there should not be a problem having a good positive experience.
Our dives with the Hammerhead Sharks take place normally during the summer months on the outside edge of the shoal. We will normally find the Hammerhead sharks in mid water away from the reefs when drifting in the blue.
The Guitar Sharks are found in the summer months on sandy patches resting on the bottom. These sharks are calm and you should be able to get up close to have a good look at them and have a photo taken with them.
The Scuba Lodge
The scuba lodge is a purpose built lodge for dive groups. It is overlooking the Indian ocean and all rooms have sea views and can accommodate for up to 18 guests in 9 comfortable bedrooms all with on-suite. There is an outdoor swimming pool, B.B.Q area (braai) as well as Kitchen facilities, Tea & Coffee, TV, Laundry Service & WIFI Internet Access. All rooms can be arranged into either King Sized bed or 2 single beds.
This is the only diving operation with all-in facilities and even it’s own dive center! You will not need to go anywhere int he morning before the dives and just after breakfast stroll down the steps to the dive center and then kit up. The boats are alongside the dive center and once we have kitted up we will then load the gear onto the boats. You will travel then in a separate jeep in front of the boats down to the river estuary. The launch is a beach launch but fortunately most of the time the tide is sufficient for the boat to launch out of the river mouth so getting onto the boat is a breeze in the calm lagoon behind the estuary.
Then it is only 15 minutes by boat to get to most of the dive sites for the epic diving. Following the dive we will return back to to the lodge in our wetsuits and then change under hot showers back at the lodge at the dive center. Nothing is a struggle and there is an excellent crew available to look after your needs.
4 day 3 Night – Great White Shark Extension
Non Diver (Sharing)
Day 1 : Transfer to Gansbaai to the Roundhouse Guesthouse
On day one of this package we transfer you from the airport to Gansbaai where you will check in at the luxurious 4 star Roundhouse guesthouse in De Kelders. This is the prime whale watching area in the World so be sure to look out for them when visiting between June – January
Days 2 & 3 : Great White Shark Cage Diving
This is normally a fairly early start where we will transfer you to the crew house for the shark diving. There you will have breakfast before the briefing and commencement of the tour. From here we will go to the boat and then cruise 15-20 minutes to the ‘Shark Zone’ where the sharks are patrolling. The trip at sea is approximately 4 hours and there is ample opportunity for cage diving and viewing. All gear is included as well as Breakfast, drinks and snacks on the boat and light lunch after. After you will watch the DVD of the day and have an opportunity to buy this. we will then transfer you back to the Roundhouse to relax for the remainder of the day. Hiking on the rocks, Whale watching or just sunbathing are popular depending on season.
Day 4 : Fly out
- All Transfers
- 3-nights Accommodation
- Daily Breakfast
- 2 x Days Great White Cage Diving
- Dive Gear
- Flights & Taxes
- Passports & Visas
- Personal Insurance
Mick & Maggie
Two weeks back and still raving about the great time we had with you, not just the diving but the whole set up. You made us all feel at home. We also had a really had a good group who got on well together, and we are keeping in touch. I’m sure Maggie and I will visit South Africa again and you will be our first choice Once again thanks for a great time and please pass on our regards to the rest of the team.
Anne & Paul Russell
We would both like to say a very BIG thanks you for such a wonderful holiday [the best we ever had]. Everything was certainly better than we could have possibly wished for and we feel that this was down to the way the whole tour was put together. We are already trying to wrangle another trip out next year and will be in contact when we have sorted out time off etc. Thanks once again for a fantastic holiday.