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KwaZulu Natal holidays - close up of  a vulture and jackal in the Drakensberg Mountains

Diving with Sharks: Aliwal Shoal + Safari + Cape


SRR14R
14 NIGHTS
FROM £2,795
International flights quoted separately
If you are an experienced diver, free dive with sharks off Aliwal Shoal & Protea Banks on the warm Durban South Coast - one of the top shark dive sites in the world. Late May to July brings the spectacular Sardine Run & from June to Nov you can see the ragged tooth migration. Big-5 safari & great white cage diving near Cape Town included. All transfers, diving & game drives included.
Shark Diving Aliwal Shoal Protea Banks Sardine Run South Africa
• 
Sodwana Bay
• 
Mozambique Reef
• 
Hluhluwe Game Reserve
• 
Aliwal Shoal
• 
Sardine Run
• 
Ragged Tooth Shark Migration
• 
Protea Banks
• 
Cape Town
• 
Table Mountain
• 
Great White Sharks
• 
Sodwana Bay
• 
Mozambique Reef
• 
Hluhluwe Game Reserve
• 
Aliwal Shoal
• 
Sardine Run
• 
Ragged Tooth Shark Migration
• 
Protea Banks
• 
Cape Town
• 
Table Mountain
• 
Great White Sharks
Day 1
You will be met at Richards Bay Airport and transferred 2.5-hours to Sodwana Bay Marine Park, recognised for its importance in marine conservation as a World Heritage site.
 
Sodwana Bay is South Africa’s premier scuba diving location, with easy access to the warm Mozambique Reef which can be dived all year round, although the best conditions are during the warm summer months (November to May).
 
Check in to your dive lodge, comprising simple but comfortable log cabins situated in indigenous coastal forest near the beach, where monkeys and antelope roam free.
 
Divers must produce qualification and check in at Dive shop on arrival to confirm your dive times and sort out gear hire. All dive packages priced to 2-mile reef and include free air fills.
Days 2 To 4
Rise early each morning, to be on the beach at Sodwana Bay by 06h30 when underwater viewing conditions are at their best. From the wide beach, expect an exhilarating surf entry into the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Water temperatures average 20-25°C and visibility is excellent at 30-50 ft, as no major rivers flow into the sea at this point.
  
Depending upon prevailing weather conditions, you have a choice of over 20 different dive sites, with the reefs named after their distance from the beach. The hard and soft corals, canyons and caves are teeming with a huge variety of sea life, including over 1,200 species of fish, turtles, bottle-nosed dolphins, moray eels, ribbon tail rays, mantas, butterfly fish, angelfish, sharks, migrating whales (April to July), whale sharks (January to February) and much more. After breakfast there is time for a second dive, but as the North-Easter tends to blow after 10h00, all dives should be completed by midday.
 
Hire of air cylinders, weights & regulator included. Other gear can be hired if required.
 
Non Divers: Relax by the swimming pool or on the beach, surrounded by the highest naturally vegetated sand dunes in the world. Alternatively enjoy one of the optional lodge activities such as an Ocean Safari to search for dolphins, bird watching, guided walking trail, horse riding, quad biking or deep sea fishing. From November to January there is also the option of an evening Marine Trail along the beach to see the remarkable spectacle of egg laying and hatching of loggerhead and leatherback turtles.
Day 5
Today there is time for a final early morning dive, before your 2-hour transfer to Hluhluwe Game Reserve.
  
After checking into your lodge, enjoy a thrilling open top game drive with a lodge ranger. Game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately and hopefully you will see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and maybe even giraffe - as well as several of the Big Five - before dinner.
Day 6
Today is devoted to game viewing in Hluhluwe National Park.
 
Rise at dawn to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day, and enjoy a thrilling open-top game drive in the famous Hluhluwe National Park, which saved the rhino from extinction. One of South Africa’s most beautiful game parks, Hluhluwe is home to all the Big 5 - lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino - as well as the subcontinent’s largest population of endangered rhino. Hope to see many interesting species before returning to your lodge.
   
The rest of the day is free to relax at your lodge or enjoy bird watching, before setting out again in the late afternoon for another game drive. Hope to see giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons and many other interesting animals. With over 300 different bird species, outstanding bird watching is also guaranteed.
  
After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the Milky Way as you have never seen them before – as well as the spectacular Southern Cross.
  
Note: children < 6 are not allowed on open top game drives
 
Day 7
After some final early morning game viewing, today transfer 4-hours to the warm Durban South Coast, renowned for its wonderful beaches and holiday weather.
 
Check into your hotel within reach of the famous Aliwal Shoal and relax in your lush tropical surroundings.
Day 8
Today divers have the wonderful opportunity of diving the Aliwal Shoal, one of the top shark dive sites of the world suitable only for experienced divers. Situated on the inner edge of the warm Mozambique current, Aliwal Shoal offers diverse reef life, including the annual migration of ragged tooth sharks from June to November.
 
No cages are used and this is a unique opportunity to view these ferocious looking but docile mammals in their natural environment. You will also see schools of pelagic and game fish, manta rays, eels, huge brindle bass, hermit crabs, sponges, starfish, corals, cowries, colourful tropical marine fish and much more. Dolphins and whales can also be spotted in season (July to November) on the boat ride out to the reef, which is situated 3-miles out to sea. There are also two wrecks to dive – the “Produce” and the “Nebo”.
 
Each day starts early (around 7 am) with a beach safety briefing, followed by the boat launch from the beach and first dive, an awe-inspiring and surprisingly safe experience! Return to the beach for breakfast, followed by a second dive around 11am - with all dives done in the morning, when underwater conditions are their best. Water temperatures average +24°C in summer and rarely drops below 20 °C in winter. Visibility varies from 15 to 120 ft and depths vary from 20 to 60 ft, with some 100 ft dives for suitable qualified divers.
 
Hire of air cylinders, weights & regulator included. Other gear can be hired if required.
Day 9
Today you have the opportunity of shark diving at Protea Banks, an advanced 4-knot mid-water drift dive at depths varying from 100 to 130 ft - suitable only for experienced divers who have done at least 20 dives.
 
Protea Banks is situated 1-mile offshore and is one of the best shark dive sites in the world. It is home to hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, zambesi sharks, ragged tooth sharks, threshers, bronze whalers, white tips, coppers, duskies, sand sharks and the occasional great white shark. Also spotted eagle rays, manta rays and large schools of pelagic fish. Water temperatures and visibility are similar to Aliwal Shoal.
 
Hire of air cylinders, weights & regulator included. Other gear can be hired if required.
Day 10
Day at leisure to relax and enjoy the splendid beaches of the warm Durban South Coast.
Day 11
Transfer 2-hours to Durban Airport for your onward flight.
 
Remember that it is essential that you do not fly within 24 hours of your last dive

You will be met at Cape Town Airport and transferred to your hotel in this beautiful city, within sight of Table Mountain.
 
Check in and relax in your magnificent surroundings.
Day 12
Today is free for independent sightseeing in Cape Town.
 
We recommend you purchase a day pass onboard the convenient Hop-Off Bus, which stops at all Cape Town’s key sights and beaches. The "Red Route" bus stops at the Table Mountain base station, where you can buy a ticket to ascend by cable car and enjoy one of the world’s most famous views. Continue to Camps Bay beach and the many attractions of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Day 13
Early morning collection from your hotel (04.00 to 07.30, depending on the tides) for your 2-hour transfer to the small village of Gansbaai  for Shark Cage Diving to see the great white sharks of False Bay.
 
After a safety briefing, transfer by boat for the 20-minute ride to Dyer Island and Shark Alley for the chance to view the fearsome Great White Sharks which feed on the resident colony of Cape Fur seals. View these surface-feeding predators from the boat or enter the cage with snorkel or scuba equipment.
 
Whales should also be seen in season (July to November) as well as African penguins, seals, dolphins, cormorants and many other bird species. Waterproof jackets and dive equipment will be supplied on the boat, but remember to bring your own towel. Return to shore 5 hours later after a truly exhilarating day at sea, with mid-afternoon return transfer to Cape Town.
 
You will be contacted the day before to finalise your pick up time.
Day 14
At leisure to relax and explore the "Mother City" of Cape Town.
 
Many optional activities are available in this beautiful city. You can visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned (advance booking essential in season) and explore the vibrant Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
 
You can visit world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens or simply relax on golden Camps Bay beach – the choice is yours.
Day 15
Transfer to Cape Town Airport for your flight home.
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