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The underwater photographer and adventurous diver will find the Wild Coast offers, when conditions allow, some of the most diverse and exhilarating diving available in South Africa.
This is where the warm Mozambique current mingles with the more temperate Agulhas current, offering a marine habitat to both warm and cold water species of marine fauna and flora.
Fish are diverse and the smaller reef creatures such as nudibranches and marine tropicals are abundant. TThe reef topography is stunning and sharks, including the Zambezi bull shark, bronze whaler (copper shark), tiger and ragged tooth, are encountered on most dives. This coastline is also home to some of the most romantic stories of lost treasures aboard some of the oldest wrecks in the country, dating as far back as 1552.
The annual sardine run, however, is the highlight and is a must for any avid underwater photographers. It is a truly amazing phenomenon and can be experienced in its full glory at Cathedral Rock. Though the diving is very temperamental on this stretch of coast, and not for the timid, there are a number of window periods during the year allowing divers to take advantage of the amazing diving, research and photographic opportunities that this special place has to offer.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Offshore Africa Dive Charters, Port St Johns
Tel: +27 (0)84 951 1325
How to get here
Getting to Port St Johns: either self-drive (approx 5hrs from Durban or East London). The nearest airport is Mtata, but only SAA flies there from Johannesburg. Private transfer from Mtata down to Port St Johns or Msikaba can be arranged. Otherwise, the alternative airports are in Durban or East London, and it is approximately a 5-hour transfer from either airport.
Best time to visit
The sardine run is an ocean related experience that takes place usually in June and July. Bearing in mind that the ocean realm is susceptible to weather conditions on a day to day basis and that we are dealing with nature, for those wishing to scuba dive or snorkel with the action, you may need to book a stay for a few days.
Things to do
Whale watching excursions, scuba diving and snorkelling, Port St John’s river cruise and Sardine run ocean safari are all on offer. Bird watching and nature photography.
What to pack
Remember your diving certification as well as logbooks as you will need to produce these before going out. Divers are encouraged to bring their own wetsuit, mask and snorkel, fins, BCD and regulators, however a range of equipment is available for rental but must be pre-booked.
On the boat, you will need sun protection, a waterproof jacket and waterproof bag for things you wish to being onto the boat.
Where to stay
Port St Johns has an abundance of accommodation offerings to suit all pockets.
What to eat
Fish and crayfish!