Diving in Durban

Durban, South Africa’s third largest city (behind Cape Town and Johannesburg) is home to almost 3.5 million people in its metro area and takes up 1,500 square kilometers (3,900 square miles) of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The beautiful climate and even more beautiful beaches have mad Durban one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of South Africa. Just north of Durban is the town of Umhlanga, a great place to launch a diving boat trip from.

The diving here is packed with variety, meaning it suits both beginner and more advanced divers. You can expect good conditions year-round, with water temperatures ranging from a balmy 20-25C (68-77F) in summer and 15-20C (59-68F) in winter. But aim to go between the months of November to February for the best diving and best conditions. The diving here is all about exploring colorful reefs and truly amazing wrecks, populated by pelagic fish that range from tuna to barracuda.

Keep a look out for the yearly sardine run, which takes place between May and July and is an awe-inspiring spectacle not to be missed. Not only are the quantities of coordinated sardine unfathomable, they also attract predators in the form of sharks and larger fish looking for a good feed.


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Wildlife in Durban/Umhlanga Rocks

The marine life in this area is similar to most you will find off the northeast coast of South Africa. In this spot, the lionfish, crayfish, ghost shrimp, batfish and giant scorpionfish are all very prominent. Loggerhead turtles, cuttlefish, and Moray eels can also be seen here in abundance and there is a wide range of sharks to see in each season with the ragged-tooth shark being one of the most common species. There are also many tuna here as well as barracuda that you will come into contact with.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Whales
Humpback Whale
Minke Whale
Dolphins
Common Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin
Sharks
Great White Shark
Tiger Shark
Great Hammerhead Shark
Sand Tiger Shark
Bull Shark
Whitetip Reef Shark
Zebra Shark
Oceanic Blacktip Shark
Rays
Giant Pacific Manta
Eagle Ray
Stingrays
Electric Ray
Skate (fish)
Guitarfish
Turtles
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Reptiles
Banded Sea Krait
Seahorses
Pipefish
Fishes
Moray Eel
Angelfish
Butterfly Fish
Clownfish
Barracuda
Lionfish
Wrasse
Puffer Fish
Molluscs
Octopus
Crustaceans
Crayfish
  Jan - Mar Apr - Jun Jul - Sep Oct - Dec
Whales
Humpback Whale
Minke Whale
Dolphins
Common Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin
Sharks
Great White Shark
Tiger Shark
Great Hammerhead Shark
Sand Tiger Shark
Bull Shark
Whitetip Reef Shark
Zebra Shark
Oceanic Blacktip Shark
Rays
Giant Pacific Manta
Eagle Ray
Stingrays
Electric Ray
Skate (fish)
Guitarfish
Turtles
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Reptiles
Banded Sea Krait
Seahorses
Pipefish
Fishes
Moray Eel
Angelfish
Butterfly Fish
Clownfish
Barracuda
Lionfish
Wrasse
Puffer Fish
Molluscs
Octopus
Crustaceans
Crayfish

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