Thursday, November 1, 2012

Scuba Diving in Plettenberg Bay

Dive into Plett (and Knysna!)

Text by Janet Middleton

Diving in South Africa
Picture: Oceans Africa Diving
Although the Garden Route is not widely known for scuba diving and snorkelling, one might be very surprised to know that the waters of the Southern Cape Coast are some of the most diverse and colourful in the world.

Every manner of soft coral, anemone and sponge adorn reefs teeming with marine life including rays, reef fish, elusive nudibranchs and the endemic shyshark species. Scuba diving in the area can be quite varied to include shallow shore dives on colourful reefs, ideal for macro photography to deeper sites offering spectacular topography, game fish and sharks.

Gorgonian Fan Plettenberg Bay
Gorgonian Fan Garden Plettenberg Bay        Picture:  Prodive
Scuba Diving Plettenberg Bay
Ready to go. Plettenberg Bay
Plettenberg Bay is known for an abundance of marine life and a boat trip to the dive site is often interrupted with sightings of whales, dolphins, marine birds and seals. The Robberg Peninsula is home to a colony of Cape Fur Seals and no diver should pass up the opportunity to do a dive or snorkel with these graceful, playful marine mammals. It is known as one of the highlights of visiting Plettenberg Bay.

Cape Fur Seal Plett
Inquisitive Cape Fur Seal off Robberg.  Plettenberg Bay.
Another must-see dive site is the Paquita Wreck, just inside the Knysna Heads. Legend tells that she ran ashore in 1903 under suspicious circumstances. Knysna diving is known for the elusive Knysna Seahorse and the Paquita is one site where divers may have an opportunity to spot them. The Knysna Heads are known for very strong currents and the wreck can only be dived on the turn of the tide, but this all adds to the adventure of diving here.

Diving in Knysna
Knysna Heads. Site of the Paquita wreck.

Sharks Plettenberg Bay
Hello!  Plettenberg Bay.  Photo: Prodive
The Garden Route is a treasure trove of dive sites, varied and appealing. Photographers will love the colourful invertebrate life, adventure seekers can dive with seals, sharks and rays and the area has a rich marine history of shipwrecks.
  • Have you ever dived or snorkelled in the area? 
  • Do you have any favourite spots that you would like to share?

Contact:             Prodive Dive Centre Beacon Isle Plettenberg Bay
More info:           Dive South Africa 

Forests of gorgonian fans are littered with basket stars and huge orange wall sponges flow across the contours. Anemone gardens abound and jewel anemones sparkle from the darker recesses. Cup corals and feather stars, brittle stars and nudibranch, sea hares and  pipefish, horsefish, shy sharks and occasionally larger sharks complete the scene. 
This text and photo: Oceans Africa Diving

Scuba Diving in Plettenberg Bay