Aliwal Shoal

Aliwal Shoal is a fossilized sand dune with interesting and unique mountain like reef structures that hold many swim throughs, gullies, and crevices to explore. The reef is only accessible by boat, there are no shore entries.

Aliwal Shoal is a Marine Protected Area. Divers can expect to have encounters with both big and small marine life such as angelfish, butterflyfish, triggerfish, turtles, rays, and sharks.

Level

Level

  • Beginner
  • Advanced
Visibility

Visibility

  • 12 m
Current

Current

  • Light Current
  • No Current
  • Strong Current
  • Ripping Current
DIVE TYPES

DIVE TYPES

  • Drift Dive
  • Snorkeling
  • Wall/Drop Off
  • Macro Spot
  • Cleaning Station
  • Cavern/Cave
  • Pinnacle, Needle, Seamount
  • Wreck Dive

Temperature & Visibility

Dives

Wildlife Diversity

Affiliated Training Center

Recommended Training

Open Water Diver

Begin your lifelong adventure as a certified diver with the globally recognized SSI Open Water Diver certification.

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Boat Diving

Discover pristine dive sites that cannot be reached from shore and experience the excitement of liveaboard diving. Learn all you need to dive from boats with the SSI Boat Diving Specialty. Start today!

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Stress & Rescue

Learn to identify stress, prevent accidents, and learn rescue diver skills with this essential Diver Stress and Rescue Specialty program. Help yourself and other divers to stay safe. Get started now!

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Enriched Air Nitrox Level 2 (40%)

Extend your dive time, shorten your surface intervals and spend more time exploring the dive sites you love, with the SSI Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty certification program.

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Night Diving and Limited Visibility

Diving does not end when the sun goes down! Become a night diver and meet the incredible marine life that only comes out at night. Join the SSI Night Diving and Limited Visibility specialty program.

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Navigation

Become a better, more confident diver who always knows where they are going. Learn how to use a dive compass, natural navigation techniques and more. Join the SSI Navigation specialty today!

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Waves, Tides & Currents

Take control of your dives no matter the conditions with the SSI Waves, Tides and Currents specialty. Learn all you need to go diving in currents, waves and rivers, enjoy shore diving and learn about the environmental conditions that affect dive sites.

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Deep Diving

Many exciting and iconic dive sites lie in deeper waters. The SSI Deep Diving Specialty will get you there - safely and with confidence. Learn how to plan and conduct dives to between 18 and 40 meters deep with SSI.

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Wreck Diving

Do you want to explore iconic towering shipwrecks and dive World War airplanes covered in vibrant marine life? Discover the world of wreck diving and get started today with the SSI Wreck Diving Specialty program.

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Scooter / DPV

Enjoy longer dives, explore further and cover a larger area on every dive. Become an SSI Scooter/DPV Specialty Diver. Get started today.

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Perfect Buoyancy

The SSI Perfect Buoyancy Specialty is the best way to improve your body position for relaxed dives, lower your air consumption and increase your bottom times. Take control of your enjoyment. Start online now!

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Photo & Video

Learn how to take underwater photos that capture your dive highlights and incredible marine life encounters with the SSI Photo & Video Specialty program. Get started online today.

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Shark Ecology

Sharks are vital for healthy oceans and are truly spectacular to dive with! Join the SSI Shark Ecology program and learn how to dive safely with sharks, why their behaviors are misunderstood and more. Start online today!

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Marine Ecology

The SSI Marine Ecology Specialty program is the best way to discover the exciting science of marine ecology and become an underwater naturalist. Enhance your dives in a new way. Earn the SSI Marine Ecology specialty certification now!

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Sea Turtle Ecology

You will learn to identify sea turtles species, discover their history and role in marine ecosystems, and threats to their survival. Upon completion, you will earn the SSI Sea Turtle Ecology Specialty certification.

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Manta And Ray Ecology

Diving with mantas and other rays is one of the best dive experiences you will have. Learn how to safely interact with rays and recognize different species with the SSI Manta & Ray Ecology Specialty program.

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Fish Identification

Learn how to identify fish with the SSI Fish Identification specialty program and enhance your dives! Discover all you need to identify common families of Caribbean, Indo-Pacific and Red Sea reef fish and earn your SSI Fish Identification specialty certification.

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Extended Range Nitrox Diving

Do you enjoy nitrox diving? The SSI Extended Range Nitrox program will certify you to dive to a depth of 40 meters with limited decompression while diving with nitrox. Start online today!

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Extended Range (Twin Set)

Are you looking to become a tech diver? To dive deeper, farther, or longer than you ever have done before? Begin your journey and extend your range with the SSI Extended Range Trimix diver certification program.

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Extended Range Wreck Diving

Do you dream of exploring ancient ships or famous world war wrecks? Become an SSI Extended Range Wreck Diver and learn how to go wreck penetration diving up to a maximum depth of 40 meters. Start this exciting SSI advanced wreck diving course online today!

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Extended Range Cavern Diving

Do you dream of diving in the crystal-clear waters of a Mexican cenote or exploring caverns in the Mediterranean? Become an SSI Extended Range Cavern Diver and discover the thrill of leaving direct access to the surface behind! Start online today!

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Technical Wreck Diving

Do you want to experience amazing wreck dives? Increase your technical dive skills to conduct complex wreck penetration dives and join the world’s elite exploration divers. Start the SSI Technical Wreck Diver certification today!

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Cave Diving

Go further than you ever have before and experience the thrill of underwater cave diving. Learn to explore caves with a single navigational choice in the SSI Cave Diving program. Join the exciting world of technical diving today!

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Basic Freediving

Discover the freedom and tranquility that keep freedivers returning to the water. Learn how to go freediving with this essential freediver training and earn your SSI Basic Freediving certification! Your adventures as a freediver begin here!

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Dive Guide

Do you want to lead certified divers underwater, begin the path toward becoming a scuba diving professional, improve your skills, or get closer to the coveted Divemaster rating? Become a Dive Guide and upgrade to Divemaster today!

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Dive sites nearby

The Most recent of the ships to fall victom to the pinnacles of Aliwal Shoal is the MV Produce that sank on the 11th of August in 1974. The maximum depth 32m on the sand. This Norwegian bulk carrier had an original length of 168 meters and was carrying a full cargo of Molasses when it sunk.

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Inside Edge - Aliwal Shoal

The inside edge of Aliwal Shoal rises from the sand forming a fantastic landscape of pinnacles, gullies, swim-throughs, and caverns. Some of the best diving in Africa is found on the Aliwal Shoal. It is home to a diverse array of marine life.

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Amphitheatre’s name says it all, divers can just observe the living color. Schools of marine life deliver the most brilliant show. Maximum depth is 27m with the top of amphitheatre at 18m.

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Outside Edge, Aliwal Shoal

This dive site has a minimum diving qualification of Advanced Open Water diver as the maximum depth is 27m and is only accessible by boat. Due to its depth, it is not suitable for beginner divers.

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North Sands is a large sand patch surrounded by rock formations. Enjoy stunning displays from various Rays, Sand Sharks, and Sand Tigers during the winter months from April to October.

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Nebo Wreck, Aliwal Shoal

The SS Nebo wreck was a British steamboat which sank in 1884 and one of Aliwal Shoals many victims. It had departed from England and was en route to Durban, when it sank close to the coast it had 4500 tonnes of metal cargo that was planned for building a new railway.

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Raggies Cave is a large overhang with a swim-through and is renowned for the sand tiger sharks that congregate here during winter and spring. The maximum depth is 18m, with an average depth of 11m.

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This is a dive site for everyone, it has three main features – a pinnacle that spirals rapidly up towards the surface, an overhang that provides a sheltered hiding place for many of the shoal’s shier residents, and the famous Chunnel Cave.

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Pinnacles forms a cluster of mountain like rock formations with many crevices, gullies, and ledges to explore. This dive site is a must for the list of sites to visit when diving Aliwal Shoal. Maximum depth is 18m with the shallowest pinnacles at 5m .

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Cathedral is one of the most popular and impressive dive sites to visit on Aliwal Shoal. Maximum depth is 27m with 18m on top of Cathedral. Both big and small aquatic beauties decorate this unique reef structure.

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