This 17 day tour will take us from Durban to Cape Town and visits all of the most spectacular highlights along the way, including Protea Banks Reef, Addo Elephant National Park and Tsitsikamma National Park.
Joining the marine world’s APEX predators in their natural environment is an incredible experience. No other species are as powerful and graceful as sharks, as they glide past you in the water. These amazing animals are inquisitive, not aggressive towards divers and spending time with them under water will be a cherished memory. This tour includes the world famous Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoal. Fossilised sand dunes off the coastline attract schooling fish and have become popular territories for hammerheads in their thousands, bull sharks and tiger sharks to name but a few. Dolphins are often encountered on dives and large ray species glide along the reefs edge. After an action packed week of diving continue south along the South African coast from Durban to Cape Town. Not only will you have 10 incredible dives but you will also visit the world-renowned Addo Elephant National Park, recognised as one of South Africa’s most popular national parks and game reserves. Not only is Cape Town a fantastic city, but also, on its doorstep are some simply unmissable experiences, both above and below the water. Your Cape Town stay combines the highlights of the city and its land based ‘must sees’, with the incredible underwater marine life on offer. From the heights of Table Mountain, the lush green Constantia Vineyards and the historical Robben Island, to the mighty Great White, playful Cape Fur Seals and prehistoric 7 Gilled Cow Shark.
Our tours come with an "Optional Activity Package". You will need to purchase this package if you would like to partake in what we consider to be "essential activities" on our tours. The Activity Package has been written into the itinerary of the tour so please keep this in mind as if you don't book the package, the activities won't be included. We suggest that you prebook and prepay for your Activity Package to ensure availability.
Accommodated This tour also leaves from Cape Town
> View this tour Day 01
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Please note that during the next few days (while we are visiting Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoal), the order of activities could change without prior notice and a degree of flexibility is needed. This is to allow for maximum dive opportunities and experiences based on conditions and weather. Please also note that should conditions prevent diving we will substitute an alternative activity.
Leaving the city of Durban behind us we make our way south along the dolphin coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. About 2 hours north of Durban is the launch site for both Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, home to some of the best Apex Predator shark diving. We arrive at the Dive House and settle in for our stay. This afternoon we will check all dive equipment, ensure the correct gear is allocated and have a dive briefing for the following days.
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Over the next three days we will have 5 dives on the Protea Banks Reef where we hope to see some of the worlds largest marine predators. During these three days you will also be offered a baited shark dive. Diving both North and South Pinnacles we will have the chance to collect Sand Tiger Shark teeth and explore caves, swim-throughs and tunnels. An optional Tiger and Bull Shark baited dive at Protea Banks will be offered during our stay. This dive takes place in open water, hanging in the blue whilst possible Tiger, Bull, Hammerhead and Oceanic Black-Tip sharks come in to investigate the scent trail around us. A full safety briefing and training session is included and this is a breathtaking experience.
Activity Package Protea Banks baited dive Day 03
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Today we will enjoy 1 Dive on the Protea Banks Reef, allowing for us to have the afternoon at Leisure and be fully rested for our 2 x Dives tomorrow.
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Today we will have our last 2 dives on the Protea Banks Reef, with this being our last chance to possibly see some of the world’s largest marine predators.
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The following two days we spend diving the equally famous Aliwal Shoal. Renowned for Raggie Tooth Sharks congregating in their hundreds, dolphins and the baited shark dive. Each morning we will travel the hour from our Dive House in Margate to the launch site for Aliwal Shoal. Over the two days we will do 3 recreational dives on the Aliwal Shoal, including the famous “Raggie Cave”. The optional baited shark dive is well worth it, with Oceanic Black-Tip Sharks gathering in large numbers and possibly Tiger Sharks investigating the bait.
Activity Package Aliwal Shoal Baited Dive Day 06
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Today will be our last diving day and also our last night in South Africa. Please make sure to make the most of your 1 Diving activity today as this will be the last chance to spot the Raggie Tooth Sharks.
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We travel this morning to the Durban airport where we will board our flight south to the coastal town of Port Elizabeth. The Addo Elephant National Park is the third largest national park in South Africa and home to over 600 elephant, lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard and a variety of antelope. Our accommodation is located just outside the Addo NP on a private game lodge.
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Setting out early this morning we make a brief visit to the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay, most famous for its waves this little town is also home to a small Surfing Museum. We then turn west to Tsitiskamma region where we set up for the next two nights and where the wonders of the Garden Route await.
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Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s premier marine reserves and this morning we set out to explore the rugged coastline on foot. Our hike along the Waterfall Trail sees us cover the first section of the world renowned Otter Trail, this is not an easy hike and those who prefer a more leisurely option can make use of the boardwalks to the Storms River Mouth. For the adventurous the Waterfall Trail offers a spectacular winding path that follows the rocky coastline, an out and back trial we stop for a refreshing swim at the base of an icy Waterfall. For those who wish to get a birds-eye view of the magnificent forests an optional zip line tour through the canopy is offered this afternoon.
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The Garden Route is a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, forest walks and an exciting menu of optional adventures. While our morning is set aside for an exploration of Nature’s Valley, this beautiful village offers us a chance to enjoy a hike or simply relax on the pristine beach in this paradise. We end the afternoon on the beautiful beaches of the Keurbooms Lagoon. Today offers a number of optional activities and your guide will assist you with a plan to get the most out the day, the truck will run a set schedule of pick-ups and drop-offs giving you the freedom to join or leave at the places of most interest to you.
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This morning the adventurous can join a number of optional activities on offer in the resort town of Plettenberg Bay, the winter months (July to November) offer some of the finest Whale Watching in the world and an ocean safari is not to be missed during these months. For those less inclined to adventure on the high seas, the morning can be spent at leisure on the beach or exploring this holiday town. This afternoon we cross the Outeniqua Mountains as we wind our way to the Klein Karoo, we end the day with a visit to the Ostirch Farm where we undertake a guide tour to learn more about the world’s largest birds.
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Our first stop this morning is visiting the impressive formations of the Cango Caves, we join a guided tour as we venture underground into this sprawling network of limestone caves. Travelling through the valley of the Klein Karoo, we follow the winding tarmac of Route 62. Road trips in South Africa are an exploration of the rural highlights that dot the lesser known byways of the land, no journey would be complete without sampling the offerings of a “Padstal” along the way. These small farm stalls offer a selection of homemade treats and bakes and are an important cog in the economies of rural towns. One of the more quirky highlights today is Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a rather interesting country pub!
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Cape Town is not only set in one of the most scenic parts of South Africa, but offers a wide variety of attractions and highlights. We will gain a unique insight into the city when we join a local guide for a Cultural Tour. We Sample some of the fine Cape wines and spend some time exploring the town of Stellenbosch. To allow for Sundays and Public Holidays the order of events may be reversed today, the tour will however always end in Cape Town in the afternoon.
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This morning you will arrive into Cape Town Interntional Airport and transfer to your accommodation to settle in for your 4 day city stay. At 12pm you will hop on the hotel shuttle service to the V&A Waterfront (upon arrival at the V&A Waterfront, make your way through the waterfront, over the foot bridge and towards the museum and the Robben Island ferry departure point), where you will board the ferry to the famous Robben Island, the location of the prison that Nelson Mandela was incarcerated on. This tour takes approximately 4 hours. Please ensure you have warm clothes as it can get windy on the ocean around Cape Town.
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After breakfast, you will be collected by a transfer at 7:30am and transferred to Simon’s Town, located on the Cape peninsular and the launch site for diving with Cape Fur Seals and the 7 Gilled Cow Sharks. After a dive briefing you will board the boat and head out for your two dives of the day, one with the ever playful Cape Fur Seals and another with the 7 Gilled Cow Shark. Please note that whilst these dives are available year round you may want to check on the best seasons for these dives.
After your two dives and lunch at the dive center your transfer will take you back into the city and drop you at the V&A Waterfront for a few hours of shopping, enjoying the festive atmosphere at the waterfront. Perhaps you would like to take a tour of the Cape Town Aquarium, or simply sit at one of the many restaurants or cafes to while away some hours in the sun.
Highlights Diving with Seals and 7 Gilled Cow Sharks Day 16
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The best way to experience the city of Cape Town is on the classic ‘Red Bus’ that guides visitors around the city with full information and allows for you to jump on and off as you please. This morning you will join the Red Bus tour at the stop nearest to your hotel and enjoy the highlights of Cape Town. Jump off the bus at the iconic Table Mountain and go up the cable car to experience the impressive views of the city and beyond. Stop in Constantia and sample the marvelous Cape wines. Take the day to explore the city and enjoy the atmosphere of this vibrant town.
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This morning you will have an early pick up and transfer to the town of Gansbaai, the gateway to Great White diving in South Africa. You will be collected between 5-6am and served a light breakfast upon your arrival in Gansbaai, where you will also be briefed for your cage diving adventure. Today you will experience the awe-inspiring Great White Shark, up close and personal, as each person gets the opportunity to spend some time in the cage. When not in the cage you can view these incredible animals from the viewing deck on the top of the boat. On return to land we will enjoy a light lunch before making your way back to the city.
Activity Package Great White cage dive