Please log in, register or Login wth Facebook

BSAC

BSAC Shop
0 items, £0:00Basket
  

Indian Ocean / Africa

South Africa: Overview

sadivemap(408x279q60a2)(1).gif

Map - courtesy www.Divethebig5.co.za

sashark(250x189q60a2)(1).jpgCovering a huge area of land, washed by the Atlantic and Indian oceans, South Africa has enormous wealth above and below ground, making it one of the richest natural storehouses on the planet. With staggeringly beautiful rural areas such as the Cape Winelands, the towering dunes of the Wild Coast, the magnificent game parks of Kruger and Zululand, and the Kalahari and Karoo deserts, barren for much of the year but a carpet of flowers in spring, the possibilities for tourists are endless. Alternatively, visit sophisticated cities such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town, or charming historic towns like Stellenbosch or Pietermaritzburg. Even once infamous townships such as Soweto are now growing into vibrant cities in their own right.

This large, diverse and beautiful country offers world class accommodation and cuisine to the visitor including the subtle South African wines and food ranging from Malaysian, Indian, western and indigenous flavours. For divers there is the unbeatable chance to combine some of the world's best diving with a world class game park safari and see nature's top predators both on land and sea.

There is just so much to do here - so many diverse holiday opportunities - that one visit will not be enough. Here are some of the top South African Attractions:

Table Mountain
This majestic sandstone mountain is undoubtedly Cape Town's most wellsagarden(250x188q60a2).jpg known and well loved landmark. The mountain is a treat for hikers, climbers and amblers with over 550 recognised paths. For the less energetic there is a cable car which does a single rotation on the five-minute ascent/descent giving the passengers a panoramic view. At the top cable station is a restaurant, a souvenir shop and viewing platforms with fat, furry dassies (rock rabbits) lazing in the sun on the surrounding rocks. From the top you will get a stunning view over Cape Town - one of South Africa's most beautiful cities.

Cape Point
Cape Point is one of the greatest landmarks in the world: a wild and scenically spectacular area at the tip of the Cape Peninsula and African continent.

The Wine routes in the Western Cape

Take a tour through the winelands of the western cape sampling a range of delicious wines as you go. Hic!

The Garden Route
satable(250x173q60a2).jpgThe Garden Route region runs along a scenic stretch of coastline beginning in Cape Town and ending in Port Elizabeth, a small coastal city on South Africa?s south east coast. The region has become South Africa?s most popular tourist destination after Cape Town, and it?s not hard to see why. Visitors are drawn year-round to its indigenous forests, freshwater lakes, wetlands, hidden coves and long beaches. There are fantastic attractions all along the way.

Kruger National Park
It is a huge park, stretching almost 350km along the country's eastern border with Mozambique. Most of the 147 mammal species are scattered throughout the park, though there are definite differences between the northern and southern sections.

KwaZulu-Natal game parks
KwaZulu-Natal has many of South Africa's greatest attractions crammed intosacapepoint(250x167q60a2).jpg one province. There is a coastline of wonderful beaches, the most famous near the cosmopolitan city of Durban. The Midlands area is where colonial grandees had vast stud farms, and built huge houses for their families in the gently rolling countryside that reminded them of home. The Midlands are hemmed in on one side by the Drakensberg Mountains, an area of outstanding beauty with soaring peaks, amazing views and a wide range of activities available. On the other side lie the Battlefields, a relatively small area crammed with names that resonate in South African history: Spioenkop, Blood River, Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift.

The northern half of KwaZulu-Natal is the Zulu heartland, where rural beehive cottages dot a landscape increasingly untamed, merging into Maputaland, an area of wilderness and parks such as Hluhluwe-Umfolozi and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, diverse ecosystems teeming with game. Bordering KwaZulu-Natal are the two kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland, where beautiful scenery blends with a traditional way of life.

And so much more....

Diving:

sawines(250x188q60a2).jpgWhen people talk about diving in South Africa, words like "adrenaline rush" and "exciting" come tripping off their tongues. Certainly, the diving here has to be some of the most thrilling in the world. Even the boat ride makes your heart pump! Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoals offer some great adrenaline diving. The local Rib skippers expertly navigate through large breakers, an experience that has often been likened to ?white water rafting in wet suits?, and even at 18m down you can feel the surge.

The grey nurse sharks (they call them raggies down there) are the star attraction and are best seen in large numbers between July and December. The waters are sub-tropical and temperatures never drop below 19 degrees, and average between 21 and 25, so wetsuits are the order of the day. Further south at Cape Town another shark brings in the divers, cage diving with Great Whites is an unforgettable experience. Much needed government regulation is now in place and the cowboys have been driven out. About as exciting as it gets!


Climate:
South Africa is in the southern hemisphere and so winter is June, July and sarorke(250x168q60a2).jpgAugust.
Winters are generally warm and dry. Sea conditions are generally calm. In spring it starts to warm up but is often windy. Sea conditions are choppy. Summer (Dec - Feb) is the rainy season. Air temperatures are very warm. Sea conditions are variable. Autumn - slightly cooler air temperatures but little wind. Sea conditions are usually calm.

Best Time to See:

Whalesharks: October - April
Manta Rays: Year Round
Ragged Tooth Sharks:June - November
Zambezie Sharks: November - May
Scalloped Hammerheads: October - April
Great Hammerheads: Year Round
Oceanic Black Tip Sharks: January - May
Tiger Sharks: Year Round
Copper Sharks: August - December
Giant Guitar Shark: September - July
Marlin/Sailfish: Year Round

Getting There:

Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and South African Airways are the only airlines that fly directly to South Africa. If you don't mind longer flights, Lufthansa is a good bet; you'll stop over in Frankfurt though. South Africa is such a large country that it is normal to fly between cities and this can save you a lot of arduous travel.

  

Dive Location Filter

Only show new locations
 
Emergency Kill Cord

Reality Check

Fantastic location for an adventurous holiday. The cost of living is incredibly low and your holiday will represent very good value. Don't underestimate travelling distances - fly between destinations to save long uncomfortable journeys.

 
fish giles

Tourist Office

This large, diverse and beautiful country offers world class accommodation and cuisine to the visitor including the subtle South African wines and food ranging from Malaysian, Indian, western and indigenous flavours. For divers there is the unbeatable chance to combine some of the world's best diving with a world class game park safari and see nature's top predators both on land and sea.

 
aaaaaa