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South Africa is a beautiful place to visit. As beautiful as it is on land, you may find that it is even more magnificent under the surface of the ocean. Whether you are a shark-enthusiast, love tropical coral reefs, or just want to go for a casual snorkelling/diving session, there is something in this country for everyone. Below we have compiled a list of some of the best places to go.
With warm waters and an abundance of tropical sea life, Sodwana Bay offers some of the best snorkelling sites in the country and even the world. There have been over 1200 species of fish which have been identified and there are some spots which are famous for their turtles. Although the snorkelling is good all-year-round, the best times of the year are during the summer months.
Along the Garden Route, you will find Plettenberg Bay. This spot is well-known for its population of invertebrates, offering an array of beautiful colours when you snorkel. It offers four different reef types to choose from and some great night-diving spots if you are interested in that. You can also snorkel with the seal population and watch them play gracefully around you under the water.
Included along the Garden Route is Mossel Bay. As you may have guessed, the invertebrate population here is quite extensive too. The shallow reefs are a attract many snorkelling enthusiasts and offer the perfect environment for beginners. With octopus, nudibranchs, colourful sponges and basket stars, this is yet another great destination to spot a lot of interesting sea life.
On the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal, Aliwal Shoal is home to both warm-water reef fish and a number of cold-water species too. It is also known to have a good population of ragged tooth sharks, so shark-enthusiasts would love this beautiful snorkelling and diving location.
Protea Banks is south of Port Shepstone and is home to a number of shark species. During the summer months, you can spot more hammerheads, Zambezi (or bull sharks), and tiger sharks, while in winter you can spot a lot of ragged tooth sharks. It also has swarming fish populations and beautiful coral reefs to explore, so don’t get disheartened if you aren’t solely looking for sharks.
The combination of the warm eastern current and cold western current of Nelson Mandela Bay offers a diverse plant and fish population and a unique experience. When visiting the cold-water coral garden, you will be able to see many tropical fish species as well as some amazing jellyfish and octopus.
With an entire country’s coastline to explore, there is no doubt that you will have the experience of a lifetime. The abundance of sea life and beautiful coral reefs are intriguing to almost everyone and snorkelling or diving on one of them is something everyone needs to experience at least once. So, take a trip to the one that appeals to you most, grab yourself some gear (or hire some), and get out there.
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