Tauchen in SĂŒdafrika South Coast

Journey to South Africa

Diving in South Africa is renowned for encounters with sharks, including species such as blacktip reef sharks, tiger sharks, bull sharks, and ragged-tooth sharks (sand tiger sharks).

Diving trip South Africa

Blacktip South Africa

Umkomaas is a small coastal town on the South Coast of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, located 48 kilometers south of the city of Durban. The Umkhomazi River, the largest river on the South Coast, flows into the Indian Ocean at Umkomaas. Translated, Umkhomazi means "River of Valkyries." The river got its name from the whales passing by the coast with their calves. Daily excursions with the Zodiac start in the river and lead out through the surf into the Indian Ocean.

About five kilometers off the coast lies the Aliwal Shoal Reef, which originated from a dune about 80,000 years ago. The rising sea level due to the shifting of continental plates caused the sand dunes to be submerged. Over thousands of years, a robust sandstone core developed through shells and other reef builders. The reef is approximately 1.5 kilometers long, up to 1 kilometer wide, and occasionally up to 37 meters deep. Aliwal Shoal is well-known and popular for shark diving. In addition to blacktip reef sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks, sand tiger sharks, locally known as "Raggies," visit the reef in June and November. Other highlights of the diving area include wrecks, such as that of the "SS Nebo," which shipwrecked off the coast of Umkomaas in 1884.

Diving in South Africa at the Aliwal Shoal Reef can be challenging and demanding. The ride with the Zodiac over the mouth of the Umkomaas River out into the open sea can be quite rough and requires full concentration. Strong underwater currents and occasionally limited visibility also add to the adventure.

For my part, I can only say that a stay in Umkomaas is an unforgettable and incredible experience. A clear recommendation for shark enthusiasts!

Click here to visit our South Africa section.

NiCe in South Africa -> Photos

Indischer Ozean SĂŒdafrika

Umkomaas is a small coastal town on the South Coast of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, located 48 kilometers south of the city of Durban. The Umkhomazi River, the largest river on the South Coast, flows into the Indian Ocean at Umkomaas. Translated, Umkhomazi means "River of Valkyries." The river got its name from the whales passing by the coast with their calves. Daily excursions with the Zodiac start in the river and lead out through the surf into the Indian Ocean.

About five kilometers off the coast lies the Aliwal Shoal Reef, which originated from a dune about 80,000 years ago. The rising sea level due to the shifting of continental plates caused the sand dunes to be submerged. Over thousands of years, a robust sandstone core developed through shells and other reef builders. The reef is approximately 1.5 kilometers long, up to 1 kilometer wide, and occasionally up to 37 meters deep. Aliwal Shoal is well-known and popular for shark diving. In addition to blacktip reef sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks, sand tiger sharks, locally known as "Raggies," visit the reef in June and November. Other highlights of the diving area include wrecks, such as that of the "SS Nebo," which shipwrecked off the coast of Umkomaas in 1884.

Diving in South Africa at the Aliwal Shoal Reef can be challenging and demanding. The ride with the Zodiac over the mouth of the Umkomaas River out into the open sea can be quite rough and requires full concentration. Strong underwater currents and occasionally limited visibility also add to the adventure.

For my part, I can only say that a stay in Umkomaas is an unforgettable and incredible experience. A clear recommendation for shark enthusiasts!

Click here to visit our South Africa section.

NiCe in South Africa -> Photos

Walter Bernardis und Nina Dittrich

Umkomaas is a small coastal town on the South Coast of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, located 48 kilometers south of the city of Durban. The Umkhomazi River, the largest river on the South Coast, flows into the Indian Ocean at Umkomaas. Translated, Umkhomazi means "River of Valkyries." The river got its name from the whales passing by the coast with their calves. Daily excursions with the Zodiac start in the river and lead out through the surf into the Indian Ocean.

About five kilometers off the coast lies the Aliwal Shoal Reef, which originated from a dune about 80,000 years ago. The rising sea level due to the shifting of continental plates caused the sand dunes to be submerged. Over thousands of years, a robust sandstone core developed through shells and other reef builders. The reef is approximately 1.5 kilometers long, up to 1 kilometer wide, and occasionally up to 37 meters deep. Aliwal Shoal is well-known and popular for shark diving. In addition to blacktip reef sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks, sand tiger sharks, locally known as "Raggies," visit the reef in June and November. Other highlights of the diving area include wrecks, such as that of the "SS Nebo," which shipwrecked off the coast of Umkomaas in 1884.

Diving in South Africa at the Aliwal Shoal Reef can be challenging and demanding. The ride with the Zodiac over the mouth of the Umkomaas River out into the open sea can be quite rough and requires full concentration. Strong underwater currents and occasionally limited visibility also add to the adventure.

For my part, I can only say that a stay in Umkomaas is an unforgettable and incredible experience. A clear recommendation for shark enthusiasts!

Click here to visit our South Africa section.

NiCe in South Africa -> Photos

Tigerhai Aliwal Shoal

Umkomaas is a small coastal town on the South Coast of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, located 48 kilometers south of the city of Durban. The Umkhomazi River, the largest river on the South Coast, flows into the Indian Ocean at Umkomaas. Translated, Umkhomazi means "River of Valkyries." The river got its name from the whales passing by the coast with their calves. Daily excursions with the Zodiac start in the river and lead out through the surf into the Indian Ocean.

About five kilometers off the coast lies the Aliwal Shoal Reef, which originated from a dune about 80,000 years ago. The rising sea level due to the shifting of continental plates caused the sand dunes to be submerged. Over thousands of years, a robust sandstone core developed through shells and other reef builders. The reef is approximately 1.5 kilometers long, up to 1 kilometer wide, and occasionally up to 37 meters deep. Aliwal Shoal is well-known and popular for shark diving. In addition to blacktip reef sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks, sand tiger sharks, locally known as "Raggies," visit the reef in June and November. Other highlights of the diving area include wrecks, such as that of the "SS Nebo," which shipwrecked off the coast of Umkomaas in 1884.

Diving in South Africa at the Aliwal Shoal Reef can be challenging and demanding. The ride with the Zodiac over the mouth of the Umkomaas River out into the open sea can be quite rough and requires full concentration. Strong underwater currents and occasionally limited visibility also add to the adventure.

For my part, I can only say that a stay in Umkomaas is an unforgettable and incredible experience. A clear recommendation for shark enthusiasts!

Click here to visit our South Africa section.

NiCe in South Africa -> Photos

Tigershark Aliwal Shoal

Umkomaas is a small coastal town on the South Coast of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, located 48 kilometers south of the city of Durban. The Umkhomazi River, the largest river on the South Coast, flows into the Indian Ocean at Umkomaas. Translated, Umkhomazi means "River of Valkyries." The river got its name from the whales passing by the coast with their calves. Daily excursions with the Zodiac start in the river and lead out through the surf into the Indian Ocean.

About five kilometers off the coast lies the Aliwal Shoal Reef, which originated from a dune about 80,000 years ago. The rising sea level due to the shifting of continental plates caused the sand dunes to be submerged. Over thousands of years, a robust sandstone core developed through shells and other reef builders. The reef is approximately 1.5 kilometers long, up to 1 kilometer wide, and occasionally up to 37 meters deep. Aliwal Shoal is well-known and popular for shark diving. In addition to blacktip reef sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks, sand tiger sharks, locally known as "Raggies," visit the reef in June and November. Other highlights of the diving area include wrecks, such as that of the "SS Nebo," which shipwrecked off the coast of Umkomaas in 1884.

Diving in South Africa at the Aliwal Shoal Reef can be challenging and demanding. The ride with the Zodiac over the mouth of the Umkomaas River out into the open sea can be quite rough and requires full concentration. Strong underwater currents and occasionally limited visibility also add to the adventure.

For my part, I can only say that a stay in Umkomaas is an unforgettable and incredible experience. A clear recommendation for shark enthusiasts!

Click here to visit our South Africa section.

NiCe in South Africa -> Photos

Schwarzspitzenhai SĂŒdafrika

Umkomaas is a small coastal town on the South Coast of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, located 48 kilometers south of the city of Durban. The Umkhomazi River, the largest river on the South Coast, flows into the Indian Ocean at Umkomaas. Translated, Umkhomazi means "River of Valkyries." The river got its name from the whales passing by the coast with their calves. Daily excursions with the Zodiac start in the river and lead out through the surf into the Indian Ocean.

About five kilometers off the coast lies the Aliwal Shoal Reef, which originated from a dune about 80,000 years ago. The rising sea level due to the shifting of continental plates caused the sand dunes to be submerged. Over thousands of years, a robust sandstone core developed through shells and other reef builders. The reef is approximately 1.5 kilometers long, up to 1 kilometer wide, and occasionally up to 37 meters deep. Aliwal Shoal is well-known and popular for shark diving. In addition to blacktip reef sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks, sand tiger sharks, locally known as "Raggies," visit the reef in June and November. Other highlights of the diving area include wrecks, such as that of the "SS Nebo," which shipwrecked off the coast of Umkomaas in 1884.

Diving in South Africa at the Aliwal Shoal Reef can be challenging and demanding. The ride with the Zodiac over the mouth of the Umkomaas River out into the open sea can be quite rough and requires full concentration. Strong underwater currents and occasionally limited visibility also add to the adventure.

For my part, I can only say that a stay in Umkomaas is an unforgettable and incredible experience. A clear recommendation for shark enthusiasts!

Click here to visit our South Africa section.

NiCe in South Africa -> Photos

Seascapes SĂŒdafrika

Umkomaas is a small coastal town on the South Coast of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, located 48 kilometers south of the city of Durban. The Umkhomazi River, the largest river on the South Coast, flows into the Indian Ocean at Umkomaas. Translated, Umkhomazi means "River of Valkyries." The river got its name from the whales passing by the coast with their calves. Daily excursions with the Zodiac start in the river and lead out through the surf into the Indian Ocean.

About five kilometers off the coast lies the Aliwal Shoal Reef, which originated from a dune about 80,000 years ago. The rising sea level due to the shifting of continental plates caused the sand dunes to be submerged. Over thousands of years, a robust sandstone core developed through shells and other reef builders. The reef is approximately 1.5 kilometers long, up to 1 kilometer wide, and occasionally up to 37 meters deep. Aliwal Shoal is well-known and popular for shark diving. In addition to blacktip reef sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks, sand tiger sharks, locally known as "Raggies," visit the reef in June and November. Other highlights of the diving area include wrecks, such as that of the "SS Nebo," which shipwrecked off the coast of Umkomaas in 1884.

Diving in South Africa at the Aliwal Shoal Reef can be challenging and demanding. The ride with the Zodiac over the mouth of the Umkomaas River out into the open sea can be quite rough and requires full concentration. Strong underwater currents and occasionally limited visibility also add to the adventure.

For my part, I can only say that a stay in Umkomaas is an unforgettable and incredible experience. A clear recommendation for shark enthusiasts!

Click here to visit our South Africa section.

NiCe in South Africa -> Photos

Bullshark South Africa
Shark diving south africa
Tauchen mit Haien in SĂŒdafrika

Included Services

  • Airport transfer Durban / Umkomaas
  • Airport transfer Umkomaas / Durban
  • 7 nights at Seascapes including breakfast
  • 4x Baited dives
  • 2x Raggie dives
  • 2x Reef or wreck dives
  • Including compressed air and weights
  • Diving permit


Travel price per person from 1,300 Euro

HAIlights" on a Dive Trip in South Africa:

Black tip

Blacktip Reef Sharks are present year-round at Aliwal Shoal. It's not uncommon to encounter 20 to 30 of these lively marine inhabitants during a single dive. It can be overwhelming as they appear from all directions – above, below, left, right, from the front, and from behind.

Tiger shark

Tiger sharks are breathtaking creatures, reaching lengths of up to 5.5 meters and living up to 30 years. These striped and beautiful sharks frequent Aliwal Shoal in the morning and head south in the afternoon or evening.

The best times to encounter Tiger sharks are in October/November and from May to July.

Bull sharks

In South Africa, Bull sharks are affectionately called 'Zambi.' Bull sharks from the Indian Ocean can survive in freshwater, and it occasionally happens that they swim up rivers. Bull sharks also like to frequent the coast where the Umkhomazi River meets the Indian Ocean. 

This phenomenon is not unique to South Africa; many tropical waters are home to Bull sharks. For example, the Australian Brisbane River is home to about 500 Bull sharks. In 2010/2011, during a severe flood, a Bull shark was sighted in the streets of Brisbane.

A Bull shark can grow up to 3.3 meters in length and weigh up to 230 kilograms.

The best times to spot Bull sharks at Aliwal Shoal are in October/November and from May to July.

We were fortunate to dive with four Bull sharks in February.

Raggies 

Locals affectionately call Sandtiger sharks 'Raggies.' The most well-known dive sites for spotting Raggies are 'Cathedral' and 'Raggies Cave.' Numerous teeth of Raggies can be found in the sand at the 'Cathedral' dive site. The best time for Raggie sightings is between June and November.

Whale Shark

In addition to the mentioned sharks, there is also a chance to encounter Whale Sharks. The best time to visit is between December and March, as during this period, the currents bring abundant plankton into the waters, creating a veritable feast for the Whale Sharks.

Sardine Run

One of the largest marine migrations in the world is the Sardine Run in South Africa, taking place between June and July.

Click here to learn more about the Sardine Run.

Group trip NiCe June 2024

NiCe Dive & Trips SĂŒdafrika
Shark encounter South Africa
Schwarspitze Aliwal Shoal

Dive Center and Accommodation in Umkomaas

African Watersports

African Watersports

Our partner Walter Bernardis, the founder of African Watersports, is a true expert when it comes to shark diving. Walter Bernardis and his team are highly professional, providing guests with a truly adrenaline-pumping and unforgettable experience.

African Watersports is located directly in Umkomaas, in a villa neighborhood called Widenham. Walter and his wife Sandy operate several guesthouses such as Seascapes, as well as the African Watersports dive center.

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Accommodation at African Watersports

The accommodation provided by Walter Bernardis to his guests is beautiful. Situated on a small hill, it offers a magnificent view of the Indian Ocean. There are six double rooms in total, along with an apartment featuring two bedrooms, a pool, and a spacious, cozy terrace. The African Watersports dive center is also located in the rear part of the accommodation. We felt comfortable from the very first moment and thoroughly enjoyed our days with Walter and Sandy.

Walter Bernardis African Watersports

Shark Dive - Bait Ball

Most shark dives are conducted in combination with so-called Bait Balls. This type of diving guarantees shark sightings in 97% of cases. Bait Balls consist of two spheres filled with sardines, attracting sharks with an enticing scent. The sharks' predatory instincts are preserved, and they are less likely to get injured compared to cage dives. The first visitors are usually the Blacktips, which are less shy and often appear in large numbers (30 individuals). The scent also attracts Tiger Sharks, which, unlike Blacktips, maintain a more leisurely pace and keep more distance from the divers. The dive takes place at a depth between 6 and 10 meters, requiring no Advanced or Deep Dive certification.

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