Plettenberg Bay & the Garden Route of South Africa has long been known for its incredible fauna and flora on land, but this pales in comparison to what lives beneath the waves. Scuba diving in Plettenberg Bay is a surprising and colourful experience.
Due to the merging of the warm Indian Ocean and cold Atlantic around the tip of southern Africa, the Southern Cape Coast is a very nutrient-rich coastal area and this means a plethora of diverse and interesting marine animals! The local reefs of Plettenberg Bay (both boat and shore dives) are covered in a vibrant mix of soft corals, anemones and sponges – all in a fireworks display of reds, oranges, pinks and purples.
Qualified scuba divers can explore reefs, ranging in depth from 7m to 30m, with awesome topography – caves, walls and pinnacles – a variety of fish species, including the endemic shysharks, ragged tooth shark and many species of reef fish. The reefs are excellent for photography with nudibranchs, sea stars, fans and sponges creating a delightful macro experience. The sheltered shore dives are especially well-suited for night diving and a trip to the Robberg Peninsula is available to scuba dive with the cape fur seals.
For beginners, one can complete a short introduction to scuba diving, before taking a guided tour of the house reefs. One can even complete a formal qualification at the beautiful Beacon Isle Hotel, where the local dive centre is based. For those who might be a bit shy of scuba diving, snorkeling is also offered.
The winter months in Plettenberg Bay are especially suited to scuba diving, with calm, clear seas and temperate weather. So if you are visiting the area, you should definitely give scuba diving in Plett a try!
Underwater photos courtesy of Pro Dive, Plettenberg Bay