Scuba Diving in Cape Town
Dive Cape Town
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
Looking for the best Scuba Diving in Cape Town?
Dive Cape Town with Oceans Africa
Oceans Africa is a dive tour and charter company. We are based in Cape Town where we we run scuba diving and freediving tours our boat Sea Otter. Depending on the season we may launch from Simonstown or Hout Bay where we are able to access the best of Cape Town’s Southern peninsular dive sites.
Our dive charters in Cape Town are exclusive, with low ratios, personalised service and attention to detail.
Dive the Table Mountain National Park MPA
Scuba and Freediving in Cape Town
Cape Town is a unique and popular scuba diving destination. The coastal waters of the Cape are influenced by both the Agulhas and the Benguela currents, offering the adventurous diver a wide variety of scuba diving options to explore.
The Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is a world heritage site surrounded by 1000 Km2 of Marine Protected Area (MPA) with 5 no take zones where fishing activities are not permitted.
No need to worry if you don’t do scuba. Many of the dive sites can be enjoyed freediving or snorkeling.
Dive Cape Town's Kelp Forests
Diving in the Great African Sea Forest
Kelp forests border the Cape shorelines and provide a magical diving experience in themselves. These underwater forests host a huge variety of marine life and collectively form a vast habitat, now know as the Great African Sea Forest, extending almost 1000km north into Namibia.
The kelp forest plays a vital role in providing shelter and nursery habitat for many species. Much of Cape Towns kelp forests are MPA’s (marine protected areas) where fishing is either prohibited or restricted.
Exclusive Cape Town Dive Package
Cape Town Dive Package
Book an amazing four night scuba diving package with Oceans Africa in Cape Town. Includes three days exclusive dive charters with us on our boat Sea Otter
Deep Dives in Cape Town
Diving the deeper reef systems
The deeper reef surrounding the Cape peninsular is simply spectacular. As you descend between giant boulders and granite slabs the wealth of invertebrate life soon becomes apparent. Every inch of reef is bejeweled with hard and soft, cold water corals in shades of red, blue, pink, orange and purple, providing a wealth of fine detail to explore and photograph.
Only a few dive sites in False Bay extend past the 30m mark however the topography on many sites is spectacular. Huge granite boulders, caves, swim-throughs and pinnacles with sheer drops from just below the surface will impress even the most seasoned divers.
Wreck Diving Cape Town
Explore the wreck dives of Cape Town
A wreck seekers paradise, the Cape of Storms has claimed many names from the past. Early East Indiamen, split their sides and spilled their cargoes some 400 years before the Korean bulk carrier Daeyang Family ran aground in Table Bay in 1986.
In 1911 the Portuguese passenger liner SS Lusitania stuck Bellows Rock off Cape Point and sank in 40m of water. Now affectionately known as The Luci , she is considered by many to be the top wreck dive in the Cape although her location only allows access on the calmest of days.
Many ships have also been scuttled to create artificial reefs. The wrecks of Smitswinkel Bay are a favorite with the locals and along with those on the Atlantic seaboard, offer a wide selection of wreck dives to suit all levels of training.
Shark Diving Cape Town
Dive with sharks in Cape town
For shark diving enthusiasts there are many different species of shark to be found around Cape Town.
Sevengill cow sharks, gully sharks and numerous species of smaller cat sharks on the reefs and in the kelp fringes.
There are of course also the cage diving Cape Town options in False Bay as well as in nearby Gansbaai.
Divers prepared to adventure offshore can encounter pelagic shark species during the Summer months. Blue sharks and mako sharks may be found some 10-20Nm off Cape Point in the months from October to May – see baited dives.
Night Dive Cape Town
Discover the creatures that come out at night
For photographers and more adventurous divers, exploring the dive sites around Cape Town at night is highly rewarding.
Diving at night reveals many animals and behaviors not seen during there day. Squid and octopus and cuttlefish are more active at night and may be seen hunting and feeding on small fish and krill.
Bio-luminescence is a feature on most night dives and time with torches off is essential to appreciate this phenomenon. Many kinds of salp and jellyfish are also out in bigger numbers and their ethereal forms lit by your dive torches make for amazing photograph and video opportunities.
Diving with Seals
Diving and snorkeling with Cape fur seals
Cape fur seals are found all around the Cape Peninsular and its very common to be ‘buzzed’ by them during your dives.
Oceans Africa conduct guided seal snorkeling charters all year round.
Partridge Point in False Bay is the preferred site during the Winter months as an alternative to the dive sites on the Atlantic seaboard which are best accessed during the Summer.
DIVING CONDITIONS IN CAPE TOWN
To enjoy the best scuba diving Cape town has to offer, contact us for the latest updates of conditions and sightings.
The diving conditions in the Cape can be unpredictable, however there are generally two distinct seasons; Prevailing south-east winds during the summer months cause cold, very clear up-welling on the Atlantic seaboard, while westerly winds during winter, bring clear water into False Bay on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsular. Whatever the weather, ideal conditions in the Two Oceans Aquarium means it’s always possible to find somewhere to dive Cape Town!
Temperate water diving in Cape Town
Water temperature can vary considerably in the Cape, from as high as 20 degrees to below 10 degrees Celsius. Typically divers in False Bay enjoy warmer temperatures than on the Atlantic Seaboard, with an average water temperature of around 14 degrees, although thermoclines on deeper dive sites can be severe and occasionally drop several degrees. Adequate exposure protection is therefore essential to enjoy your diving in Cape waters.
Exposure protection: As a minimum to dive Cape Town, we recommend a multi-layer system with 10mm on the chest, 5mm on legs and arms, 5mm hood, boots and gloves. This is the standard rental gear in Cape Town however, many local divers choose to dive in Dry Suits, despite air temperatures in Summer being as high as 30 degrees.
"If it's clear you must fear!"
Typically the cold water in Cape Town is cleaner. “If it’s clear you must fear!” is a common joke among local divers, although we are occasionally blessed with 20m visibility and 20 degrees Celsius in False Bay, the average visibility is probably around the 8-10m mark.
Plankton blooms and red tides enrich our waters and feed our colourful reef systems, so the visibility is often variable. Some dive sites may trap clean water while others have low viz and for this reason, we always try stay flexible on our dive site options on the day.
Scuba divers visiting the Cape often describe the reefs as the most colourful they’ve ever seen!
Our Dive Charters
Dive charters in Cape Town with Oceans Africa
At Oceans Africa we believe you deserve the best possible dive experience we can deliver. We like to take our time on our trips to enjoy the bay to it’s fullest. We always try to stay flexible and adapt our charters to our clients interests, the conditions on the day and the sightings. Our charters are kept to low ratios to allow a high degree of personal service. While our scuba diving Cape Town prices are not the cheapest they are still the best value.
As a dive charter operator, Oceans Africa works with numerous dive shops in Cape Town as well as independent dive instructors and divemasters, to offer you a wide range of diving services and dive training. Ask about our instructor led experiences and have your dive package with us count towards your advanced course or specialty certifications.
Book Your Dive in Cape Town
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Dive Cape Town Tours & Packages
Cape Town with it’s scenic beauty, vibrant cultures and history, is an ideal arrival or departure point for any tour to South Africa. View our dive tour pages for packages that include Cape Town or allow us to create a custom tour for you with transfers and accommodation to suit your individual requirements.