DIVING THE DEPTS OF SOUTH AFRICA
Four of us girls had completed a dive course and were hooked… connected to the big blue. The beauty that lies beneath the water is a transformation to a very different world, with a whole set of different challenges. We were the “aliens” as we ventured through reefs, explored wrecks, and encountered species that left us in awe. This place was invitingly magical!
Tara oversaw plotting our dives and was conservative on the site she chose. That was until she proposed an exciting travel idea - diving in South Africa! She had been chatting to a travel agent who specialised in combining sea and safari packages and once they had compiled an itinerary, she presented it to us. She had us with the words: “Where two oceans meet” …and we were soon off on an adventure of a lifetime.
We had spent three nights in South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town. Here we explored this picturesque city and its surroundings, including a great white shark cage dive. Usually, we would never do this sort of thing, but glad we did as we experienced unchartered waters. It helped that after this cage experience, we ended our day in the Winelands sipping some of the finest Cape wines as we meandered back to Cape Town City.
From Cape Town, we flew commercially to Durban, The Spice City of South Africa, and home to the Zulu nation. Immediately the landscape changed, as did the customs & culture of the people. We spent 3 nights in a local family-run lodge in Umkomaas. The lodge was fully equipped for divers. We hired our diving gear and had all our meals in one place... the perfect choice here! This is where we dived into the world-famous Aliwal Shoal… an experience that was edged into our hearts. KwaZulu-Natal stole our hearts. We drove to an area called Oribi Gorge and completed the longest Zipline in the Southern Hemisphere. It was a great experience having a bird's view from the tree canopies.
We then left the south coast super early heading north to Zululand. En route, we stopped at a little town called St Lucia, where we did a boat cruise on the Isimangaliso Estuary viewing hippos and crocodiles that survive in a concentration of salt water. What an awesome experience and we loved the stories from the locals about the hippos that roam the town at night. After lunch, we then headed further north to Sodwana Bay where we stayed for the next 4 nights, diving and just beach combing… this was like being in heaven!! Following Sodwana, we headed to Hluhluwe for an amazing BIG 5 safari in a private game reserve for the following two nights, before heading home.
We fell in love with South Africa the country and the South African people and of course a yummy bunny chow…
SOME NOTES FROM THE TRAVEL DESK:
- This itinerary is highly recommended for all diving skills.
- You can add additional nights in Cape Town/Durban and explore more!
- Recommended time of year: June-July for visibility & migrations.
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