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Dive tours operators in South Africa

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I'm looking for a serious dive tours operators in south africa.

Any advice?

 

Thanks

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For what sort of stuff ? What are you interested in doing.

 

This past June there was a bunch of people from Wetpixel in South Africa for the Sardine run.

 

We were with an Organisation known as SEAL (www.sea-air-land.com/) which was great fun and very well done. I Would recommend them if they are able to do what you want.

 

If you are just looking for someone to go diving with, that is a different matter, and will probably come down to what sort of diving you want to do.

 

Giles

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http://www.expert-tours.de/en.html

 

Rainer is a nice german trip organizer who is based in Port Elizabeth in south africa. I met him when I was in P.E. and cape town this year. Not cheap but makes excellent trips! Escpacially for the sardine run.

 

Regards

Tobias

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Leon Joubert and Claudia Pellarini formerly of Stuart Cove's in the Bahamas have returned to South Africa and are putting tours together. They are both excellent photographers and very nice. Check out their website www.bittenbysharks.com or email them at cleon@leonandclaudia.com :D

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Hi there,

 

I dare recommend my good friend's business: Extreme 3 Adventures.

http://www.extreme3adventures.co.za

He's among many other things a PADI instructor with diving experience in SA, Comores, Seychelles, Mozambique. He's helped out with filming expeditions of the Sardine Run.

 

 

Best regards,

 

Bart

Edited by bartusderidder

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http://www.expert-tours.de/en.html

 

Rainer is a nice german trip organizer who is based in Port Elizabeth in south africa. I met him when I was in P.E. and cape town this year. Not cheap but makes excellent trips! Escpacially for the sardine run.

 

Regards

Tobias

 

Rainer is a very nice chap but his sardine run experience is pretty limited compared to the ops operating out of Kwa Zulu Natal. You want experienced skippers esp for the run. I've only seen Rainer 2 times in the last 8 years of the run. The other skippers have worked it since 94 even.

 

Fras,

Let me know how many days and what kind of diving you want to do. That's the best way to plan. Mozambique is great for big stuff but it's a malarial area. Driving up there can be great fun, but the border crossing is no picnic. There's some great stuff off Tofo/Ihambane and further north near Pemba. Bazaruto Islands are great to sail around.

In ZA, Sodwana, Umkomaas, Knysna, Mossel Baai,Jeffreys Bay, Port Elizabeth and off the Cape are nice but it gets pretty cold due to the Atlantic. There are a few areas that pretty barren but you get the chance to see GW which come in to check you out. Much more fun than the cage stuff.

I've gone the dive tour route and found it better to go on my own vs having everything planned out. ZA highways are great and safe (in the daytime), only the brave and nightvisioned drive at night. It's a great country to do road trips.

As Giles said,it'll be easier to recommend if you let us know what you want. Dive tour guys have a set route.

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We are indeed back in South Africa after 6 years of shark work in the Bahamas, and we will be guiding very specialised trips within the southern african region.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact either of us (claudia or leon) in connection with trips to Southern Africa at info@bittenbysharks.com

 

Check out our website www.bittenbysharks.com for more about us.

 

Among other things, a very special Sardine Run is on the cards for 2007...so go ahead and send us your details if you want to join our mailing list.

 

Testimonials will be posted on our website in due course - we come highly recommended by industry icons such as Marty Snyderman, Stephen Frink, Brian Skerry, John Bantin, Brian Carney, Tom Campbell, Stuart and Michelle Cove...etc etc etc

 

Feel free to contact us anytime!

 

Claudia and Leon :D

info@bittenbysharks.com

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South Africa has a very large coastline ---when are you planning to go and what area.

The time of the year has a lot to do with what is available.

Be more specific with the month you are planning to go and I could give you som of my knowledge of what is available then.

 

Regards

A Boshoff ( South-African)

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Fras, if you don't mind me jumping in here, I too would also appreciate some South African dive adventure and operator advice.

 

The time of year I will be there is in October and I will be traveling from in areas of Kenya, Tanzania, and into South Africa ending in Cape Town throughout our journey. Our trip will be made up of more than just diving but we are fairly flexible with our itinerary at this point and willing to dive almost anything. We won't have an opportunity for any type of liveaboard or week long dive excursions as our time wont permit. We are up for something unique but if that time of year does not permit it, then we also appreciate what other opportunities may be? We have quite a bit of diving experience, sharks, cold, deep, etc, so we don't mind adventurous dives if the reward is nice. Keep in mind, we are not looking for a resort-newbee kind of thing, though I wouldn't want to put my wife at excessive risk with any major political conflict areas just to dive. Please send me in the right direction for some additional research, contacts, and advice. Any advice and guidance you can give would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to PM me if you would like.

 

Thank you very much!

 

Paquito

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Paquito, Nov-Jan is probably the better time to catch whalesharks all along the east coast of africa. In Kenya diving off Malindi/Watamu and Shimoni/Gazi areas are quite nice, not too many big sharks but whalesharks do pass here on the way to Djibouti and there are some big groupers in some areas. It's also quite pretty coral wise at some sites. There's even rhinopia frondosa there. For Tanzania, besides the Pemba (liveaboard(MY Jambo) is better but Swahili Divers are good for landbased) and Zanzibar Island(Mnemba Island and resort is the best area), you may also wish to check out the Mafia Islands way south for some bigger fish and world class reefs. It's a very popular Italian vacation place as you can tell from the name :D. Kinasi Dive Lodge is the place I used. Which then brings us closer to Comoros, where big fish also frequent but not always there. Grand Comoros has the wall dives for pelagics but I found the marine park off Moheli (where a few pay-your-way marine projects are often organized).

The french Mayotte island is worth the visit just for the plane ride view.... the fringing reefs are just awesome from the air. Try using google eart to see what I mean.

I assume you are not going to Madagascar. The southern reefs have had bleaching over the last few years (I'm glad I went before) but the northwestern islands around Nosy Be are still nice. On the Mozambique side, there's Pemba and the Quirimbas area. This area is very frontier but it does have a 5* resort called Quilelea which is very nice for couples. There are some awesome areas here for diving but I'll keep it for the wetpixel trip in 2008. Can't let you have all the secrets!

Further south you have Tofo,ilhambane and Bazaruto. It's a well written place but Tofo Divers I've used a few times and their whaleshark/Manta programs with the WWF are great to witness.

FURTHER south into Sodwana. Quite backward still but whaleshark territory again. I use Gypsea Divers as a first choice. Rob Bester is a very good skipper.

Then we hit Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. Diving from Umkoomas, you can do shark dives (last year a gw came round while doing tigers!) at Aliwal. Protea has nice shark action and done of Shelley Beach. Trevor Krull is the man to do it with (no bait!). With a name like Krull, you can expect he's a bit highwire, more so than Jim Abernathy.

Then further south you can contact Pro Dive in Port Elizabeth. There are some nice dives esp outside the bay. Viz is usually mediocre but whales pass by so keep a look out. Jeffrey's Bay is best known for surfing and the bottlenose dolphins.

Further south you have Knysna, famous for a seahorse but also for GW swimbys.

Into Capetown you have several local dives for 6 and 7 gill sharks. Jtresfon is local and can probably help more there. Oh and the water is COLD!

Whew... I think I covered Kenya to South Africa.

Please note the Kenya/Tanzania portion was done in 99/00. Comoros, North mozambique, 00/01 and Madagascar 97/98 so the info may be a bit old. The rest were done repeated within the last 4 years so the info is quite good.

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Thank you very much Drew, you have a wealth of information there for me to reseach!

Happy New Year and all the best in 2007!

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October --Good time for Raggedtooth sharks on Aliwal Shoal, Umkomaas. good operator in that area is Mark addison www.bluewilderness.co.za

Slightly early for Tiger sharks , but with global warming-who knows.

An hour south you will find Shelley beach -- this is the

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Shelley beach --- this is the launch site to Protea Banks.--Good for Zambesi sharks -deeper dives +-30min-- good viz as it is far off shore.Trevor is a good operator with decades of experience.A good guy who champions

the sharks plight in the area. Well recommended.

 

 

Oct - West Cape--- Good time for Great whie sharks. I'll recommend Andre Hartman here www.andrehartman.com. This guy is a wealth of information, sharks aside, Andre is one of the best guides on a Gansbay macro photography dive.

 

Oct-- Sodwana bay -- Whale sharks are available , but Nov and Dec is better.

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October --Good time for Raggedtooth sharks on Aliwal Shoal, Umkomaas. good operator in that area is Mark addison www.bluewilderness.co.za

Slightly early for Tiger sharks , but with global warming-who knows.

An hour south you will find Shelley beach -- this is the

 

I would have to disagree about Mark Addison (Blue Wilderness) as he isn't a general dive operator for Aliwal. He specializes in the tiger shark dives and books you on other boats for the general stuff. And now many people do the tiger shark dives. He can however spin a yarn about the tigers if you care to listen. Experienced and excellent but a specialist.

For general diving and shark diving in Umkoomas, Gentle Blue, run by Dietmar Posch is a very well run operation. He's put in infrastructure for his dive center and probably is the best run I've seen in Umkomaas in the last 7 years. Another alternative is Whaler Dive Center, which was owned by Mark's father but they've recently changed ownership again so I can't vouch for them anymore.

 

As for Gansbaai, Andre is good, Brian at SharkCage Diving is good, JP at Marine Dynamics is good. Unless you are looking to do something special (cageless, breaching and charters, they are all pretty much the same)

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Personally, I would be up for either cage or cageless. If its an option to go cageless though, I'd prefer take that first - its more my style and liking :D If it can't be done that time of year, I wont have my heart set on it, but if it might work, let me know who to best contact?

Thank you for being most helpful.

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True, Addison is specialized .If this is what you are looking for go for it.Speak to him before you go as to what you are after etc. discuss charges and then make up your mind .I have had excellent support and help from him in the last 15years .Fras and Paquito are after a serious operator by the sound of it.

 

If you merely want a taxi ride to the Aliwal Shoal choose somebody else, they are all good ( Whaler Dive Centre) anyway the sharks (Raggies) are there, it is a no brainer finding them. Walter at Seafever also has a lot of shark experience . Look up Seafever at Umkomaas

 

 

Between me and Drew you should have enough info now...

Good luck

Edited by aboshoff

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Paquito, operators will not openly allow non cage dives, but obviously guys on TV like Nigel Marven and Ralf Kiefner have done it. Andre is da man for Nige but Ralf used Mike Rutzen at sharkdiving unlimited. They are both very competent at shark handling.

The shark dives in Natal are cageless. I find it interesting that sharks like the zambezi (bull) and tiger, which have higher incidence rates of human contact is done cageless (sometimes with bait) whereas the great white is done caged in the Western Cape.

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On this topic - is Dec / Jan a good time for WS action off Cape Town and Gansbaai?

I'm from SA originally but have not dived there in over 20 years. I'm planning a trip to the old motherland end of '07.

BTW - I would translate 'oh shame' as more like 'wot a piti'

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With a name like loftus ? Perhaps you are a blue bull supporter or from Pretoria? :rolleyes:

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From Joey's but spent a fair amount of time at Versveld.

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Rugby, blue bulls , Mac ?---- good taste

 

 

Jan , feb is sort of low season in the area . The wind is sometimes against you and the visibility suffers.

But the "Tommies" are about and still about.

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http://www.meridiandive.com/

 

Booked through them a couple of years ago. Good prices (at the time anyway) and good follow up. Went sandtiger shark diving in Sodwana bay. We had one complaint: as we were only two people we were handed over to local operators in Sodwana, who in turn had rubbish divemasters (one wasn't a DM, another didn't have any timing device (thus asking us to keep track of groups diving time), third one were doing introduction dives at same time as "guiding" us, fourth hadn't dived there before (I ended up guiding him at my fourth dive there!!) etc etc. We mentioned this to Meridian who seemed to take note of this and (as far as I can remember) apologized.

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Hi guys - Nic here from SEAL Expeditions in South Africa.

 

We're the tour ops outfit that hosted the Wetpixel sardine run expedition in June '06 which Eric and Giles survived ;) - the sardine run is our speciality.

 

I'd be happy to answer any questions regarding SA operators or SEAL trips in general.

 

Look forward to chatting - cheers for now,

 

Nic de Gersigny

 

www.sea-air-land.com

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