Scuba Diving in Cape Town

Dive Cape Town

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
― John Lennon

Page Index:

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.

Scuba Diving Cape Town

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. 

Our boat Sea Otter is SAMSA certified for commercial operations up to 15NM offshore with day and night rating. We also carry a permit issued by SAN Parks to conduct scuba dives in the  TMNP MPAs

No need to worry if you don’t do scuba. Many of the dive sites can be enjoyed freediving or snorkeling.


Dive Kelp Forests in Cape Town
Exploring the Kelp forests of Cape Town

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

Reef diving Cape Town
The deeper reef in Cape Town

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.

Scuba Dive South Africa
Ascending from the Lucitania wreck

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.

Dive Cape Town Kelp Forest
A sevengill cow shark glides through the kelp

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.

Dive Cape Town at Night
Squid (chokka) attracted to the light at night
Diving with seals in Cape Town
Cape fur seal investigates diver

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!

Water Surface Temperatures in Cape Town
Typical monthly water temperature in Cape Town

Water Temperature

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.

Average Visibility

"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!

Wall dive Cape Town
Cold clean water on the Atlantic seaboard
Dive charter boat
Dive trip on our boat Sea Otter

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

Complete the fields below for quotation and availability

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.