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South Africa Scuba Diving & Safari Adventure

South Africa Scuba Diving & Safari Adventure

Enjoy our exclusive shark scuba diving and Big 5 Safari extravaganza!

3 nights / 5 dives on Aliwal Shoal,
3 nights / 4 dives on Protea Banks,
3 night Hluhluwe / iMfolozi Safari Adveture


Day 1:

Arrive King Shaka International Airport - Durban (DUR), own arrangements. (Arrival at King Shaka International Airport - Durban, to be advised.) On arrival you will meet your driver / guide for the 85 kms / 1-hour road transfer to Agulhas House in Umkomaas. Rest of the day free.

Overnight at Agulhas House in Umkomaas in a twin/double, en suite, air-conditioned, room on a fully inclusive basis. Continental breakfast, hot ”brunch” and dinner.

Agulhas House in UmkomaasAgulhas House's boats

Day 2 & 3:

After an early wake-up call, at about 05h00, you will have a light continental breakfast. Agulhas House staff will load your already assembled dive gear onto the dive boat, which is still in its parking bay behind the lodge. At about 06h40, we assemble at the lodge for the first dive briefing before being transferred in a 4x4, from the lodge, for the 15 minute road transfer to the launch site, which is situated at the Umkomaas River mouth lagoon. Once at the launch site we will have a second short dive briefing, instructions on boat safely, and be handed the lifejackets before we launch the "Duck" (Zodiac/ RIB) for your two scheduled dives on Aliwal Shoal, the first being a baited shark dive followed by the 2nd dive, a reef / wreck dive, weather permitting.

All diving in South Africa is best done early in the morning, at dawn, as this is when there is no wind, no swell, no currents, and definitely the best time to dive. As the morning wears on, the winds tend to pick up causing a chop on the water, large swells, which result in unpleasant diving conditions.

The reefs of Aliwal Shoal are fossilised sandstone, almost 80 000 years ago. 80 000 years ago the area around the shoal consisted of sand dunes, and as a result of heavy rains, the sand and shale dissolved forming a compound of calcium carbonate, which today forms the main body of the shoal. These reefs are covered with both soft and hard corals and have an abundance of fish life that is normally associated with coral reef diving.

Aliwal is about 2½ km’s long with a width averaging 150 meters. Depths very from 6 to 27 meters (19 to 88 ft.) and the shoal offers a tapestry of diversity. The Cathedral area of the reef is one of the more spectacular dives. Its inhabitants include the Ragged Tooth Shark (in season - June to October), Loggerhead Turtle, and Ribbon Tailed Rays.

In addition to the reef itself, there are also two good wrecks on which to dive. The Produce, an 18 000 ton Norwegian tanker that hit the Shoal and sank in 1974 and the second could be on the Nebo, which struck the shoal in May 1884 and sunk almost immediately with its cargo of railway material. Both wrecks lie at approximately 30 meters and are fairly intact, which makes for great wreck diving.

Ragged Tooth SharkProduce, Wreck in Aliwal Shoal

Day 4:

Unfortunately only time for a guided reef / wreck dive on Aliwal Shoal this morning, weather permitting. After the dive has been completed, you will return to Agulhas House for a shower, brunch, and check-out, before Agulhas House transfers you to Shelly Beach, and St Michaels Sands Hotel (St Mike’s,) for your 4-scheduled dives on Protea Banks. This is about an 85 kilometres / 1-hour road transfer. En route to St Mike’s you will stop by Aqua Planet’s Dive Centre, in Shelly Beach. At the dive center you will meet with Aqua Planet’s dive crew, unpack your dive gear to let it dry, and select your rental dive gear in preparation for the following days scheduled dives on Protea. We suggest that you do this immediately upon your arrival in Shelly Beach, before going onto St Mike’s. This is firstly to dry out your dive gear, and select your dive gear. Secondly, the following morning’s Protea pre-dive activities are usually hectic and rushed. After you’ve met the crew, and selected all your gear and weight requirements, you will continue the short 10-minute transfer to St Mike’s.

Overnight at the St Mike’s in a sea-facing, air-conditioned, en suite, double / twin / single room, on a bed, and breakfast basis.

St Mike’sLaunching

Day 5 & 6:

At a time as advised the previous day, when you stopped by Aqua Planets dive center, you will be transferred from St Mike’s to Aqua Planets dive centre where, over a cup of coffee, you will meet the team, fellow “dive buddies,” and to kit-up. After kitting up you then transfer the 15 minutes or so to the “base” which is the Sonny Evans Small Craft Harbour in Shelly Beach, called the “base” because it is also the actual base for the local NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute). Here you will have the full pre-dive briefing for your two scheduled dives for the day on the reefs of Protea Banks.

Your first dive of the day on Protea Banks is scheduled as a “baited” shark dive, followed by a deep, Protea reef dive, as the second dive, weather permitting. We say “scheduled” because weather conditions may force the skipper and DM to change the order in which we do baited shark dives and the deep reef dives on Protea.

Please note that all Protea Reef dives are deep dives, in excess of 30-meters, and are restricted to advanced divers only.

Hammerhead Shark in Protea Banks

Day 7:

After an early breakfast, you will be picked up from St Mike’s in Shelly Beach @ 08h00 by our representative for the road transfer through the heart of “The Kingdom of the Zulu” to to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in the Hluhluwe / iMfolozi Game Reserve via St Lucia. This is a 370 km or 4-hour road transfer from St Mike’s to Advantage Cruises jetty at St Lucia, scheduled to arrive at the jetty at about 11h30, in time to join the 12h00 cruise up the St Lucia Estuary. At 12h00 you will board the Advantage Cruiser for a 2-hour boat cruise up the St Lucia River Estuary for close up sightings of hippo, crocodile, mangrove swamps, birds, and many, many more that inhabit the Isimangaliso Wetland Park which was declared a world heritage site in 1999, and is one of 552 world heritage sites worldwide. The main objective of the detour is that after the cruise, you leave the Isimangaliso Wetland Park with an appreciation of the fragile eco system, and why it was declared a Wetland Park, and go back home with photographs and memories of the animals that inhabit the Estuary that will last a lifetime. The Advantage Cruiser is equipped with a fully licensed bar; tuck shop, toilets, PA system, and the popular sundeck, for better animal viewing. The Advantage Cruiser was built specifically to venture into shallow waters, for those up close photos of hippo and crocodile. After the boat cruise, which lasts approximately 2-hours, you will continue on to the Hluhluwe / iMfolozi Game Reserve and Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge.

The Advantage Cruiser

The plan is to get you to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge to check in, explore your new surroundings, enjoy high tea, and to join the afternoon / evening safari / game drive, which departs Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge at 16h30.

Hluhluwe is one of the oldest and largest game parks in South Africa; the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park is renowned for its wide variety of bird and animal life. Besides ‘The Big Five’ (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo), the elusive cheetah, wild dogs and many other well - known Bushveld species inhabit the park, offering the visitors a rich game viewing experience. The park covers 96 000 hectares, and comprises three reserves: Hluhluwe and Umfolozi - two of Africa’s oldest game reserves, both founded in 1895 - and the linking Corridor Reserve, proclaimed in 1989. Hluhluwe has the distinction of being the oldest “formally” protected area in Africa! In 1895, with about only 20 southern white rhino’s surviving on earth, and these in Imfolozi, the threat to the species survival was dire, and the proclamation of the Hluhluwe / Imfolozi Game Reserves ensured their survival. Hluhluwe / Imfolozi Game Reserves now “export” white Rhino’s to reserves all over Africa where they were originally found. A truly wonderful success story!

White Rhino

After high-tea you will assemble in the reception area where you will be introduced to your Ranger and Tracker and depart the lodge at 16h30 for your afternoon / evening game drive (safari). This safari is conducted in "open" Land Cruisers with professional guides. After the 3-hour safari, at about 19h00, depending on animal activity, you will return to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge for dinner. Dinner will be either in the restaurant or on the deck, under the African stars.

Overnight at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, in an air-conditioned, en suite, double / twin / single “Safari Room” (subject to availability) on a fully inclusive basis.

Main Deck - Rhino Ridge Safari LodgeFire - Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

Day 8 & 9:

Two full days spent on safari with Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in Hluhluwe / iMfolozi Game Reserve. You will be woken up at 06h00 by an early morning wake up telephone call for early morning tea / coffee and “rusks” which are served in the lodge’s public area, after which you will depart on your early morning safari at about 07h00. Please check departure times with reception the night before, as this changes from month to month, depending on sunrise. All animal viewing is best done in the early morning and late afternoon when it’s cool. This is when the animals are more active and easier to spot. From about 10h00 till 15h00, when the day is at its hottest, the animals tend to lie in the shade, not moving, which makes for difficult game viewing. While on safari, you will stop somewhere in the bush for tea / coffee and snacks, after which, you will continue with the safari. Depending on animal activity, you will return to the lodge at about 09h30 / 10h00 for “brunch”. The rest of the morning / afternoon is free to laze by the pool, visit the Spa, spend time bird watching around camp, or join a three hour guided bush walk. Please note that the cost of the guided bush walks is ZAR 580 per person, and is not included in the cost below, and would be for your own account.


At about 15h00, you will again assemble for high tea before departing on the evening safari. At sunset you will stop somewhere in the bush for “sundowners” whilst you watch the African set below the horizon. After sunset, you will continue with the safari into the night, looking for the nocturnal animals with the aid of a powerful spot lamp. After the evening safari, depending on animal activity, you will return to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge for dinner.

Overnight at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in an air-conditioned, en suite, double / twin / single “Safari” Room on a fully inclusive basis.

Day 10:

After the early morning safari, followed by a quick, or maybe even a packed, to go “brunch,” you will be collected from Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge by our representative, for the 230 km or 4 hour return road transfer back to King Shaka International Airport - Durban, to connect with your return flight home. (Flight details to be advised.)

End of services.

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$3,090 per diver sharing, based on 2-divers sharing including full equipment hire

$2,980 per diver sharing, based on 2-divers sharing including tanks, weights and air only

$4,220 per single, based on single traveler including tanks, weights and air only

Morning safari; breakfast; road transfer from Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in the Hluhluwe / iMfolozi Game Reserve to King Shaka International Airport - Durban.

Lunch; dinner; overnight accommodation; onward air out of King Shaka International Airport - Durban; bar; items of a personal nature; gratuities.

For more information
Dive Discovery
1 800 886-7321
(415) 444-5100

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