FAQ

What can I expect from diving in and around Cape Town?

What can I expect from diving in and around Cape Town?

  1. Will I get cold?
    At Ollava we always say there is nothing like cold water, only bad insulation. We will provide you with a thick wetsuit that is suitable for diving our waters. The temperature ranges from a minimum of around 9 degrees Celsius to a maximum of about 22 degrees Celsius, this all depends on where and what time of the year you dive. We are fortunate to have two bioregions which are separated at Cape Point, the colder and more exposed one being the Atlantic Seaboard which is often dived in summer. The warmer and more protected one in False Bay is dived all year round and can get to 22 degrees in summer.
  2. What can I expect to see?
    This is something that will need hours of explaining. The Cape waters are immensely diverse, with macro scenery such as nudibranches to massive predators such as sharks. Our waters are jam packed full of life. To have a better idea of what you can expect to see check out our media (link) section of the website where you will find various illustrations of marine life and maps!
  3. Do I dive from a boat?
    One of the biggest advantages of diving in and around Cape Town is that we are not completely dependent on boats. We have dozens of dive sites that can easily be accessed by simply just walking in to the ocean from the shore. With that said, we still have lots of dive sites that are only accessible through the usage of a boat, many of these are well worth visiting!
  4. Can I use Nitrox?
    If you are qualified you can certainly use Nitrox on your dives. We can provide you any mixture you require, as long as you hold a certification that allows you to use the gas mixture.
  5. What equipment is available for hire?
    We cater for most divers. Our rental department has the conventional single cylinder SCUBA diving equipment, and on top of that also has twin sets, Sidemount and stage cylinders available. Please visit the facilities (link) section of the website to see what exactly is available.
  6. Can I do Technical dives?
    Yes. We have a large technical diving background and love to get opportunities to take people out on technical dives or courses.
  7. What season offers the best diving?
    This is a very difficult question to answer, the main reason being everyone's different point of view on good conditions. For us however, winter is the best time for diving. The reason for this being that during this time south westerly winds and waves frequent the Cape area, this is great news for us because of the way the bay is positioned and the mountains, we have nice flat and calm waters. The only downside however is that there are many overcast days during winter, these do not have a large effect on the underwater conditions though.
    This being said, summer is also a great time of the year to dive, the wind however changes directions during these months and our protected area gets exposed to the elements. This however does not stop us from crossing over the peninsula closer to Cape Town where we do many dives on the now protected Atlantic Seaboard. So all year is great for diving, just depends whether we will be diving the Atlantic Seaboard or False Bay.

What is EFR?

What is EFR?

  1. What does EFR stand for?
    Emergency First Response. This is an extension of PADI that offers first aid training. EFR is split in to various modules, the main ones being primary care and secondary care.
  2. Is EFR meant only for divers?
    No, EFR is general first aid training that is applicable to all environments. Whether it's used at the workplace or in a household setting, and EFR certification will give you much more confidence in taking action during an emergency.

What should I know when I attend a PADI SCUBA diving course at Ollava?

What should I know when I attend a PADI SCUBA diving course at Ollava?

  1. How do I know I qualify to attend a course?
    All you do to check the prerequisites of the course you intend on attending is go to the "Training" option in the menu bar. When the menu appears choose the course from the list and click on it. When the course outline page appears just look for the prerequisite tab. Once you open this tab you will find all the information regarding the course you plan on attending.
  2. How long is a course?
    All courses have their specific schedules. In the outline page of each course you will find a tab with the course schedule. The schedule is divided into days, each day is allocated a specific date when you sign up to the course. The schedule is weather dependant.
  3. Why do you only run PADI courses?
    PADI is currently the largest training organisation in the world. More than 75% of the world's divers hold a PADI certification. We believe that giving you this certification is the only way of guaranteeing that you will have no problems diving beyond Cape Town. For more information on PADI please visit www.padi.com.
  4. What do I need to bring with me when I attend a course?
    On the first day of attending a course you will receive the course specific materials, these will then need to be brought along on every other day you attend the course. Items that are required for you to bring along are:
    • ID
    • Bathing suit to wear under the wetsuit
    • Filled out medical form with a Dr note if applicable
    Other items that are highly recommended are:
    • Towel
    • Sunscreen
    • Any diving equipment you may already have
  5. How many people will attend the course with me?
    At Ollava we strive to run the best quality PADI and EFR courses in Cape Town, because of this we limit group size. Our courses are limited to a maximum of 4 people unless we are specifically asked to increase the group size due to a larger number wanting to do the course together.
  6. When do I receive my certification card? 
    As soon as you complete your PADI or EFR course you will receive a temporary certification that will be printed at the Ollava shop in Simon's Town and signed by your PADI Instructor. Your original certification card takes between 2 and 4 weeks to arrive from the UK, once it arrives you will be notified to come and fetch it. If you are incapable of fetching it from our facility then it will be sent to you by mail.