Tiger Shark Diving – Aliwal Shoal Trip
Tiger shark Diving in Aliwal Shoal, Durban is now a world famous destination to see Tiger Sharks and other species of sharks. Dive into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean surrounded by Blacktip sharks keeping an eye into the blue for the massive Tiger sharks to appear!
The boat launches from the protected River estuary in Umkomaas 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 to the Tiger Shark baiting location.
When on location the current is studied and a suitable location is selected to chum the water for the sharks. 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 Oceanic Black Tip sharks sometimes by the dozen. 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 1 – 2 Tiger sharks per dive but sometimes there are more on exceptions.
The key to the dive is to keep your eyes on the Tiger sharks at all times when close and they will keep a respectable distance. If you follow the rules given to you by the dive crew in the briefing then you should be safe. The typical visibility is from 5m to 40m with an average of 10-15m and water temperature between 22 and 28 Celsius depending on time of year. Wind and swell conditions do change daily and even with advanced weather reports the final say is given first thing in the morning before launch. The coastline is a tricky one to predict because there are many different factors that affect the weather such as the mountains inland and weather patterns running up the coast from the cape.
The dive will be up to 60 minutes with the sharks and it is a very easy drift dive at 5-10m. There is no effort required except for buoyancy control and divers drift with the bait drum and hang in the water for the duration of the dive watching and interacting with the sharks. Following the dive we will head back to the dive centre and then de-kit and run through our experience.
Ragged Tooth Shark Dive Add-on (July – November)
Why not make the trip a true one to remember and in season (July – November) Choose to do a Scuba dive with the many Ragged Tooth sharks which are resident on The Aliwal Shoal. We have 2 stunning locations where we find many Ragged Tooth / Sand Tiger Sharks called The Cathedral and Raggies Cave. These 2 sites are very special as you are guaranteed in season to see many sharks on this dive. The sharks are very relaxed around divers and will virtually swim right up to your mask before turning away. Just sit on the bottom and relax and enjoy watching the sharks glide effortlessly over your head and past you. This dive is excellent for photographers as once you are positioned then you just need to relax and snap away when the sharks pass you within inches.
Cathedral’s depth is an average of 12 metres deep with a maximum depth of 27 metres and Raggies cave is shallower at an average depth of 12 metres and maximum depth of 19 metres. Both dives are easy and very enjoyable.
Ragged Tooth Add-onR600per person (July – November)
Trip Itinerary (Times may vary)
If choosing the Ragged Tooth Add-on (July – November)
Enjoy coffee at the crew house whilst receiving a briefing about the dive and kitting up.
Launch at Umkomaas beach to The Aliwal Shoal. The ride out to the reef is only around 15 minutes long, kit up and jump in!!
Surface after an exhilarating dive and we will make our way over to the Tiger shark boat, move across onto this boat and we will start chumming for the sharks.
If choosing just the Tiger Shark baited dive
Meet in the courtyard to kit up, receive the briefing and load the boat. You will get driven down to the launch site (approx. 5 mins) in an open vehicle
Launch at Umkomaas beach to The Aliwal Shoal. The skipper will assess conditions such as wind and current and then will anchor to start baiting in the best place
Start baiting and wait for the sharks to come in. The sharks may take 5 mins or hours to arrive but they normally come within an hour. Whilst waiting a thorough briefing is given on what to do and not to do when in the water and what to expect in general. When the sharks come in the bucket is lowered down to approximately 10m deep and is attached to a buoy on the surface by a steel cable. The anchor is then brought in and the boat will drift with the current and chum slick. All divers will then enter the water
The divers then arrange themselves into a crescent shape approximately 5 metres from the bucket allowing a free path to the bucket for the sharks. At all times divers must maintain buoyancy at the same level as the bucket and at all times the crew will be making sure everyone stays in formation and does not wander off. The dive will last approximately 1 hour or until everyone’s air is used up. The average depth of this dive is from 5-8 metres.
11:30 – 13:30
The boat will return to the harbour where we will debrief and photo and video viewing and stories will commence!!
Including / Excluding
- Cylinders & Weights
- Refreshments on the boat
- Diving permits
- Dive Gear (Additional Extra)
Accommodation – Seascapes
Seascapes is the accommodation of choice with the Tiger shark diving as this is part of the dive center. 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.
- Air fills
- Dive Courses
- Kit-up area
- Scuba Equipment
- Swimming Pool
- TV Room (Satellite)
- Braai (BBQ) area overlooking the ocean
- Laundry Service
- Transfers to Durban & airport
- Italian, Afrikaans & English Speaking host
- Angels View Room: Queen bed en-suite with breathtaking views
- The Lighthouse Room: Double bed en-suite onto open area
- Grannies Room: Double bed, separate bathroom
- Family Room: Four single beds in adjoining rooms
- High Rocks: King bed, separate bathroom onto open veranda with spectacular views
Accommodation SharingR450per person per night
Accommodation SingleR700per night