Aliwal Shoal

Aquatic HabitatSport Site/Play with Nature

Overview

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Aliwal Shoal is rated as one of the top ten dive sites in the world and is a Marine Protected Area. It is also one of the largest reefs on the South African coast and is the most southern tropical reef. Aliwal Shoal is home to approximately 1,200 fish species, interesting sea creatures – such as turtles and sponges, and attracts pods of migratory dolphins and whales. The Reef is well known for the Zambezi, Hammerhead, Tiger, and Ragged Tooth Sharks which frequent the area, with many of the dive operators offering shark dives. The topography of the reef is also noteworthy with several pinnacles, gullies, tunnels, drop-offs and blow-holes. There are also two shipwrecks on the reef which can be dived. Overleaf are some of the professional diving charters based in the vicinity of Umkomaas.

Protea Banks is also a Marine Protected Area situated south ofAliwal Shoal, approximately 1.5 hours drive from Durban, offshore of Shelly Beach. The reef is rated as one of the world's best shark diving sites. In addition to the Hammerhead, Bull, Tiger, Ragged Tooth, Copper, Duskie, and Sand Sharks, divers also have the opportunity of seeing large schools of pelagic fish and several species of rays, such as Manta and Spotted Eagle Rays. It should however be noted that
Protea Banks is for experienced divers due to the depths which vary between 30m and 40m, and strong currents. Many of the operators listed above, as well as those based near Shelly Beach, offer dive charters to Protea Banks.

Managing Agency: Private (WESSA)
Type: Adventure (Diving)
Facilities: The town of Umkomaas offers divers a range of accommodation, professional diving charters,
diving schools and restaurants
Opening Hours: Best from April to October early
morning
Dogs: No

Driving Directions: Take the N2 south from Durban to Port Shepstone. Take the Umkomaas off-ramp, turning left into Maclean Street. Follow this road into the town of Umkomaas.

Travel time (from central Durban): 45 minutes

Location:

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