Reef or Wreck Dive

Fantastic place, great crew and first class service. Not to mention one of the best reef dives in the world.

Dive early in the morning, with gear and transport to the launch area, back for an outstanding home cooked breakfast to order. Then nap, stroll on the beach or just relax. Perfect weekend!

REEF DIVES ON ALIWAL SHOAL

aliwaldive-cathedralA very popular dive for the Ragged Tooth Shark enthusiast.

During the “Raggie” season it is possible to see up to 40 of these placid sharks resting within the amphitheatre. A fantastic photo opportunity!

Please read the “Raggie Ettiquette” information at the bottom of this page. During the summer months look out for hammerheads above, and see the stingrays which take up residence when the Raggies depart.

aliwaldive-raggieThe most popular dive site here on Aliwal Shoal.

As its name suggests this is the best place to view the Ragged Tooth Sharks during the shark season.

Entry into the cave is not permitted when the sharks are here but there is an excellent viewing area at the entrance where divers can safely kneel and watch the sharks activities. When the sharks have departed this is a very good place to hunt for sharks teeth in the sand. Please note that teeth are the only items that divers are permitted to take from the Shoal.

The sand patch in front of the cave is a good place for Instructors to take students (out of shark season of course) for skills practice as it is quite sheltered from the overhead currents.

There are many resident potato bass found in the surrounding overhangs as well as many types of moray eel.

aliwaldive-castleThis pristine site is not often dived.

It starts at 14m and goes down to a depth of 23m.

Close to where the baited shark dives are done, so a good chance of seeing Oceanic Blacktip sharks.

There are loads of interesting gullies and overhangs as well as a wide diversity of marine life.

aliwaldive-inside-edgeThis section of the reef encompasses the entire inshore edge of the shoal.

Although many large species of fish, sharks, dolphins and rays may be found here, it is particularly good for finding smaller things such as octopus, cuttlefish, scorpionfish, firefish, cowfish, nudibranchs and eels.

The top of ledge is at about 14 to 16m and open water divers can therefore enjoy this dive site providing they level off.

aliwaldive-outside-edgeOpen Water to Advanced Divers (depending on the area).

This is the dive site for viewing the big stuff, and it is always a good idea to keep an eye out at midwater where schools of hammerheads, game fish or the odd Zambezi and Tiger shark may be found.

aliwaldive-eelskinsThis dive site is superb example of the fossilized rock formations.

Situated near the south western tip of the reef there are lots of clusters of reef with plenty of sand gullies and lovely swim throughs.

Many cowries can be seen here and as the gullies offer shelter from the currents you will often find Raggies during the season and lots of shoaling tropical fish.

aliwaldive-north-eastern-pinnaclesA very easy and gentle dive site for open water divers and beginners.

Lots of potholes forming sheltered nurseries for small fish.

Many anemones with clown fish to watch, also a good site for octopus.

You may see some large potato bass sheltering from the current.

aliwaldive-north-south-sandsThese two large sand patches are an ideal location for students to practice their skills and for divers to descend and pause to adjust buoyancy before exploring the reef.

An ideal pace to find sand sharks and often groups of dolphins can be found playing and rubbing themselves on the sand. Truly an amazing sight!

aliwaldive-rayLots of nooks and crannies where crayfish and cleaner shrimp hide.

Good area to find rays of all varieties especially Manta Rays during the season.

aliwaldive-channel-coveNice shallow area with a swim through and sandy patches with good topography.

Filled with shoals of small fish and often Ragged Tooth sharks rest there.

Relaxed dive.

THE WRECKS ON ALIWAL SHOAL

aliwaldive-produceThis steel cargo ship was carrying molasses when it hit the reef and sunk in 1974.

It is lying on its hull in 3 sections. The stern and bow are more or less intact but the centre section has collapsed. A favourite haunt of Lion Fish, and everyone who dives here is hoping for a glimpse of the two giant Brindle Bass which are rumored to weigh around 400 Kg!

Look out for the big moray eel which lives in the wreck toilet. The very rare Harlequin Goldie (which is indigenous to this area) has been seen here. You may be lucky enough to see a Tiger Shark if the visibility is good.

aliwaldive-neboThe wooden wreckage of this old steamer which sunk in 1884 lies approximately 1 Km north west of Aliwal Shoal.

It is still possible to see the propeller and the boiler on the wreck. There are many eels and large shoals of baitfish at all times of the year.

You will see many different species of shrimps around the boiler area. Keep an eye open for Barracuda and Tuna which are hunting the smaller fish which shelter here.

There have been sightings of paper fish and frog fish on the wreck.

Travel agents and standard tour operators email us at dive@aliwalshoal.co.za for Standard Tour Operators Rates.

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