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13 nights guided safari $1830 here




$ 1000 for 7 nights' half board in an en-suite room with 12 dives click here

$ 1505 for 7 nights luxury accommodation half board and 12 dives, a saving of $370 click here

Pay for 4 nights and stay for 7 at Fundu Lagoon one of Africa's top beach lodges - click here

See the Tanzania page to find out why you should go there


South Africa - Sharks and Safaris

South Africa offers great opportunities to combine diving with safaris - so we have re-designed our pages and now you can find information about the dive trips we offer on this page in Aliwal ShoalSodwana BayProtea Banks and  the incredible Sardine Run

To combine a safari with a dive trip, trekking, or aa trip to Cape Town please check out these links to the safaris in KwaZulu-Natal's Nambiti Game Reserve, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, Zululand Rhino Reserve, Phinda Game Reserve, Kruger safaris, Sabi Sands, Timbavati, and Madikwe,  hiking and trekking in KwaZulu-Natal, Contact us directly for a tailormade quote and with any enquiries.

Johannesburg and Soweto

We book accommodation in a number of small lodges 5 to 10 minutes from Johannesburg airport can be arranged from 350 to 1000 ZAR per person sharing. This includes breakfast and airport transfers. Soweto tours can also be arranged.

When to go

Giraffe, Hluwluwe-Imfolozi

It depends what you want. In the southern summer (October to April or May) there are bull sharks and hammerheads at Protea Banks and whale sharks around Sodwana Bay that sometimes come down as far as Aliwal Shoal, but the vast majority of sand-tiger (a.k.a. ragged-tooth) sharks don’t arrive until June.  There is still lots to see all year with baited shark dives. It is warmer, the water is at least 24, and the days are longer and the air stickier, although there is also more chance of rain.

Tiger Shark, Aliwal Shoal

Lioness drinking









With healthy ragged-tooth, tiger, and blacktip shark populations, UNESCO world heritage sites, mountains, endless beaches, historical battlefields and excellent national parks (one of which is home to 30% of the world’s black rhinos), the province of KwaZulu-Natal is a great place to combine some of the best the natural world has to offer below and above the surface.

Aliwal Shoal and Umkomaas

Ragged-tooth sharks, Cathedral

Aliwal Shoal is a four-kilometre long reef that attracts many sharks and rays and that has also sunk the Nebo (70 metres long, 27metres deep,) and the Produce (100 metres long and 33 metres deep). From the end of May to November sand-tiger sharks (Carcharius taurus) inhabit the caves and gullies of the reef looking for a mate. Finding them during a morning’s diving (two dives per morning) is not difficult, and it is common to see many on a single dive. 

Large round ribbontail rays and sand sharks (a.k.a giant guitarfish) are regualry visitors when the water warms up around December and are often seen parked on the sands like military aircraft. Turtles are permanent residents, and manta rays visit the shoal frequently. Humpback whales are often spotted between June and December. Aliwal has a good variety of 'Big Stuff' with eels and large groupers (potato and brindle bass) abound on specific sites.

Tiger shark, Aliwal Shoal

Baited shark diving is conducted year-round. Blacktips are present in large numbers all year and Tiger sharks are best found between December and June (watch a low-res video clip here). After a thorough safety briefing, you set off for a morning searching for 3 to 4-metre long tiger sharks. Once they have been found, kit up and roll in for a shallow (approximately 8-metre) 70-minute dive. Often more than one tiger shark is present (the most I have personally seen on a dive is eight), and forty or more blacktip and occasionally dusky sharks come and join in too.

There is a variety of accommodation available in Umkomaas, from self-catering houses to quality lodges, depending on your budget. Dives take place in the morning before the wind picks up and makes the sea too rough for diving, and afternoons can be spent visiting Durban (20 minutes away by car) with it’s surfing beaches and uShaka Marine World, playing a round of golf at one of the numerous coastal golf courses, at Scottburgh beach, or soaking up the sun around the pool. Contact us for details of dive prices and accommodation options.

Protea Banks

An hour south of Umkomaas, Protea Banks is situated 7.5km out to sea from Shelly Beach. The reef lies at a depth of between 27 and 40 meters. It is about 6km long and 800m wide.
Protea Banks is one of the richest tuna grounds in the world which explains why it is so strongly frequented by Zambezi (Bull) sharks. Almost all year round they patrol the reef in search of food, only making themselves scarce in October and sometimes September. What's different from a Tiger shark dive is that on the latter one usually gets one, two or three Tigers that stay around the bait throughout the dive. On a Bull shark dive it is common to get from 5 to 15 fish. 
Between October and May, Scalloped Hammerheads swim up and down the reef in schools that at times are often hundreds strong, sometimes thousands of animals just keep coming. It is such a sight when you see their silhouettes against the rays of the sun. Although generally shy the Great Hammerhead also makes an appearance from time to time.

Baited shark dives are also possible at Protea Banks year round, and when there are no Tiger sharks around there are Bull sharks 10 or 11 months of the year. Contact us for dive prices and accommodation rates.

Sodwana Bay

The warmer waters to the north of KZN create more coral growth and prettier reefs and host a greater variety of Indian Ocean reef dwellers. Sand-tiger sharks come here in December and January to give birth, and whale sharks are often seen at this time of year too. Half of South African divers will tell you they prefer Sodwana to Aliwal, the other half swear that Aliwal diving is the best. I would say that Sodwana has the more colourful reefs with more corals and is better for macro and reef fish life, due to its location further to the north and thus being closer to the warmer currents. Diving is on a reef chain where the reefs are named after their distance from the point: quarter-mile (a snorkelling reef), two-mile, five-mile, seven-mile, and nine-mile. Generally, the further the reef, the fewer the number of divers.

We can provide accommodation near the beach within the nature reserve or in town depending on your requirements. Contact us.  

South Africa - Afrique du Sud

South Africa - Afrique du Sud




skype: christopherbartlett

Upcoming Shows

DEMA, Las Vegas, 16 - 19 November

Salon de la Plongée, Paris,  6-9 January

Madrid, 4&5 March

Beneath The Sea, NY/NJ, USA 24 - 26 March

Dedicated Papua New Guinea site

Check out our dedicated Papua New Guinea site - Best of PNG

Escorted photographic safaris

Papua New Guinea - Highland and Coastal Tribes, 7 to 18 September, $3195 

Africa - Namibia 30 May to 11 June, 13 days special offer 1830 USD.

Sardine Run 19 to 28 June from approx $2595 USD

Liveaboard Specials

9-night Spirit of Niugini escorted cruise: Milne Bay and southern islands, 18th to 27th September 2017 from $2640 click here

Loads of great new offers with big savings around the world here

5 days' liveaboard diving in the Bahamas for under $1100 / £700 

Email us your enquiry and we'll let you know what we can find.


Underwater photo workshops

Come an learn to take magazine-quality images with a point-and-shoot or a DSLR


September 18 to 27, Milne Bay and the southern islands from $2640


Sharks galore!

KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Schooling hammerheads for the fraction of the cost of the Galapagos, Cocos, or Malpelo, with tiger sharks, bulls sharks, oceanic blacktips and ragged-tooth sharks to boot. From  Click here

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