We are very privileged to have a bounty of choices when diving in Cape Town. Since I started diving here there I’ve been using a tool that’s unique to our area with more detail than you could possibly imagine.
It all started with a bearded man wearing fully customized gear and a twin set. Peter Southwood has had the blood of a true explorer flowing through him, and has used his passion for data collection and analysis to give everyone a better understanding of what is going on down below. This has added a huge dynamic to Cape diving through making everyone involved in the sport aware of the possibilities.
If it were not for these maps being made in to a comprehensive open source guide, Cape Town diving would never have grown in to such dynamic and innovative sub culture. We would easily have gone down the usual path of repeating the same 10 to 20 dive sites, much like every destination you visit around the world. Peter’s creation has given us a bounty of more than 100 dive sites that are mapped with detailed advice on aspects such as entry, exit and general navigation advice.
Since all this information can be quite daunting for someone just getting in to SCUBA, we have gone ahead and written up a recommended sequence of dives that will give you a reflection of how diverse these temperate waters truly are!
- Pyramid Rock – Shore dive
Yes, this is the same place where divers swim with the 7 Gill Cow Sharks, and before it got the now commonly known name of “Shark Alley” it used to be called Pyramid Rock. The name refers to the boulder that breaches the surface and has a pyramid shape. This site was incredibly popular even before the days where the 7 Gill Cow sharks were discovered because it has a massive healthy kelp forest that houses a bounty of life. The dives are filled with small schools of fish, schools of Red Roman and even frequent sightings of Hagfish. For more information click here.
- Partridge Point – Boat dive
While this list mainly contains shore diving sites that are much easier on your bank account, we just have to throw this one in the list because of our awe inspiring furry friends. The Cape Fur Seals are a playful bunch of underwater puppies. This is our second most popular dive site and most locals have been back multiple times to just chill back and have a group of seal pups fight over your attention while you shoot National Geographic action shots! For more information click here.
- A-Frame – Shore Dive
This is the most underrated shore dive on the wiki. Not only does it offer some amazing topography and relatively safe parking, but it’s also packed with life. If you’re on the lookout for a specific one of our endemic creatures, go to A-Frame and you’ll find it there! For more information click here.
- Justin’s Caves – Shore Dive
Justin’s Caves is by far the most popular shore dive on the Atlantic side of the Cape Peninsula, and rightfully so. This system of overlapping boulders has created the effect of caves. While these are not caves in the traditional sense, but rather a network of gaps between boulders, it makes for an incredibly fun dive. For more information click here.
- MV Antipolis – Shore Dive
Cape Town’s best kept secret. This is a mega vessel that you can access from “simply” walking in from the shore. While it’s by far the most amazing wreck dive I’ve ever done from the shore, it’s not that easy to get to. There’s a steep hill with some slippery sand you need to initially walk down, then there’s an outcrop of rocks before you reach an unforgiving entry where there’s always a sneaky wave to throw you over. This site is also recommended after a strong SE wind, this means you should expect some very cold waters, anything from 8 to 12 degrees. But if you properly plan and execute the dive, I guarantee you will not find a more rewarding shore dive. For more information click here.
So if you’re new to Cape Town or if you’ve just finished the course. Follow the links to the detailed pages on each of these dive sites and go exploring! You will be surprised that there are some real treasures that are incredibly accessible and well within your reach!