Dive the Wild Coast and you might just experience the wildest dives of your life! The edge of the continental shelf lies closer to the Wild Coast than anywhere else in South Africa. The region is therefore much affected by the Agulhas current, which brings warm water and tropicals down the coast, whilst seasonal fluctuations cause a colder counter-current to move north, bringing temperate water species into the area – see sardine run.
The waters off the former Transkei are relatively unexplored despite the areas fascinating history of shipwrecks and attempted salvage. The coastline itself is mostly undeveloped and difficult to access. Numerous rivers deposit silted waters along the shoreline during times of rain and it is sometimes best to look for offshore dive activity rather than focusing on the inshore reef systems.
The diving on the Wild Coast tends to be best during the winter months, when the sardine run brings thousands of sharks, dolphins and whales to the area. Rough seas can also pose some challenges and divers can expect some exciting launches and challenging surface conditions during this time. That said, when conditions are right, the area offers perhaps the most spectacular diving South Africa has on offer. At the transition between tropical and temperate waters, diving the will bring great rewards to the more adventurous diver.
Outside of the sardine run season, the Wild Coast offers little infrastructure for scuba divers. Equipment hire is limited to tanks and weights at best, so divers should ensure that they are as self-sufficient as possible. Oceans Africa are currently exploring the area so watch this space and see our tour pages for the latest updates.