Cape Town Dive Sites & Diving

Dive with Cow Sharks

Great African Sea Forest

Dive Cape Town: Perhaps the most vibrant city in South Africa, 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 more adventurous diver a wide variety of scuba diving options to explore.

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.

Colourful Reef System

Beautiful reef!

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.

Cape fur seals can be encountered throughout the region and it’s not unusual to be graced by their inquisitive presence on many of the dive sites around Cape Town. If you specifically want to dive with seals then there are several dive sites where seal interactions are guaranteed.


Wreck Diving Cape Town

A wreck seekers paradise, the ‘Cape of Storms’ has claimed many names from the past. Early East Indiamen, split their sides and spilt their cargoes some 400 years before the Korean bulk carrier Daeyang Family ran aground in Table Bay in 1986. 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.

Blue Shark Dive Cape Town

Pelagic shark trips.

For shark diving enthusiasts there are of course the cage diving options in False Bay and nearby Gansbaai, as well as the chance of encountering sevengill cow sharks and smaller cat sharks on the reefs and kelp fringes.

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.

Conditions: Prevailing south-east winds during the summer months cause cold, very clear up-wellings 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!

Water Surface Temperatures in Cape Town

Sea surface temps 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 sites can be severe and occasionally drop several degrees. Adequate exposure protection is therefore essential to enjoyably dive in Cape waters.

Exposure protection: As a minimum for diving 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.

Diving Deeper Reef

Diving deeper in Cape Town.

Visibility underwater: 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.

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.



Tours and Charters from Cape Town…

November 11, 2021
Scuba Diving Package Cape Town

Cape Town Dive Package

Dive Cape Town – 4 night Dive Package CAPE TOWN DIVE PACKAGE Includes reef, wreck, seal and kelp forest dives. Superior accommodation & transfers. From ZAR […]
October 19, 2021

Boat Charters Cape Town

Boat Charters Cape Town PRIVATE BOAT CHARTERS WITH OCEANS AFRICA ZAR 1 950 for 2hrs (R325 pp x 6) ZAR 2400 for 2.5 hrs (R325 pp […]
October 18, 2021

Muck Diving Cape Town

Muck Diving Cape Town Muck diving and macro photography in Cape Town ZAR 1350 pp (max 2 inc. equipment) ZAR 1900 pp (single diver rate inc […]
October 14, 2021
Snorkel with seals Cape Town

Snorkel With Seals Cape Town

Snorkel with seals in Cape Town Dive, snorkel or swim with seals in Cape Town ZAR 900 pp (Group rate x 4 inc. equipment) ZAR 1700 […]
October 12, 2021
Kids Boat Activities

Boat Activities For Kids

Boat Trips For Kids Child friendly activities on our boat Sea Otter in Cape Town ZAR 1950 for 2 hr Private Charter (max 6) ZAR 1650 […]
October 10, 2021
Private Dive Charter Cape Town

Private Dive Charter Cape Town

Private Dive Charter Cape Town Private charter and marine tour in Cape Town ZAR 2200 pp for 2 x private guided dives and equipment (min 2 […]
October 6, 2021
Boat Charter Package

Boat Charter + B&B Package Cape Town

Romantic, Bed & Breakfast Package Private boat charter and Accommodation Glencairn / Simonstown, From ZAR 1 900 per person sharing (1 x night) From ZAR 2 […]