Shipwreck diving off Knysna
Did you know?
The Knysa seahorse, at only 7 centimetres long, is one of the smallest in the world.
Scuba diving in Knysna is a great adventure for anyone interested in shipwrecks. The Paquita, a German vessel, sank on the eastern side of the Knysna Heads way back in 1903.
The wreck, which is easily accessible to qualified divers, remains in excellent condition. Its iron plates still glimmer brightly and its anchors are clearly visible, despite sitting at the bottom of the ocean for over a century.
Various dive operators offer both day and night dives at this site and they're highly recommended by those in the know. In a review on a scuba diving website, www.wannadive.net, Michael Holthuysen wrote: 'The wreck is in beautiful condition with anchors clearly visible and many other delights to discover'.
According to various sources, the sinking of the Paquita was premeditated – an apparent attempt to bamboozle insurance brokers. Because the ship sank in the calmer section of the lagoon, far from the more dangerous port entrance where strong currents could genuinely cause sailing difficulty, the insurance company concerned did not pay out.
Divers exploring the Paquita wreck can go as far as 16 metres below the surface. The visibility of the water at the site is graded as moderate, with divers able to see up to 10 metres in any direction.
In addition to the wreck, divers will experience a variety of marine life, such as monster-size garrick (also known as leerfish), small sharks, cuttlefish and an assortment of colourful sea anemones. There is even a chance of spotting the rare Knysna seahorse, believed to be the most endangered variety of seahorse on the planet and indigenous to the Knysna Lagoon.
The Knysna Tourism Association can recommend dive operators who will provide equipment and qualified dive guides.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0) 44 382 5510
Knysna Elephant Park
Tel: +27 (0) 44 532 7732