South Africa & Mozambique Shark diving

Jordan and I recently went to South Africa and Mozambique Shark diving.


Had a fantastic time in the two countries. We saw 10 species of shark over the three weeks and had some amazing dives. Not easy diving on a couple of  days as we experience huge swells and surge like i have never experienced and the first time in my life needed sea sick pills , but was well worth it for what was we see below the waves.

First week on Aliwal shoal South of Durban to see the Ragged-tooth Sharks which stay on the shoal from July to late September. Aliwal is a rocky reef which is the remains of an ancient sand dune 5km off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
We had some great dives on cathedral rock which is were they stay in numbers. One special dive site for the bigger Raggies is Ellen’s cave, but you need the current to drop so you can get down to the cave or you just get taken out into the blue if it’s running , we were very lucky on our time there,  the weather and current calmed down so we got one of those days were Ellen’s cave was doable. We had an incredible dive on this place, we got down to the deep cave and had three big Raggies in side and managed to get some nice shots. We started to take  on some Deco mins so had to start our ascent to spend the second part of this dive out in the blue were it all went crazy. Two big hammerheads and then big dusky sharks came in and circled us all for some time, things can get interesting with Dusky sharks , singles are ok ish but in any numbers can get a bit  aggressive. Next I turn to my left and a huge whale tail is coming down next to me , this Humpback had come right past Jordan within touching distance but it was moving a bit So I didn’t see it like she did, but none the less an incredible diving moment.  Can’t believe I don’t see a Whale coming right past me.. should have gone to spec savers! We covered most of Aliwal on other dives and see lots of Oceanic Black tips Another great dive was a drift along the North to south sands were we see Raggies, white tip Reef and a huge Shoal of young Barracuda. We drift with the barracuda for a while, an awesome sight to be in the middle of this massive group of fish.
After a week on Aliwal we headed up the coast over land into Mozambique to dive the Pinnacles reef off Majenine coast about 25-30 min Rib ride from Ponta Do ouro , here you dive on the edge of the continental shelf , It’s not for the faint hearted as the sea state and swell can get hard core  on some days to say the least , but the diving on the other hand was fantastic. It’s two large pinnacle rocks together with a large Plato area 50 meters deep,  the rock heads come up to 30 meters with a deeper shelf ocean side which is a Tiger shark highway in the summer months from January. Due to the high winds that pick up in the afternoons in Southern Mozambique it’s only 2 morning dives on the pinnacles as recovery would be compromised. We done 22 dives on the pinnacles and no day was the same. 
On the first dive Jordan had a nice big Bull shark come and check out her trainee marine biologist bottle and she kept her cool. Along with Hammers and silver tips it was a great start.
Second dive we had a nice Tiger out in the blue which was great but was a bit skittish and dived deep and away. 
The second week was mostly Hammerheads and one morning we had over 100 passing overhead . The next day we got to see a Great hammerhead, a huge shark and no mistaking the larger Dorsal fin.
The Bull sharks showed up more and we saw a real monster at around 3.5mtrs, the size of the head on this thing was unreal, this was some sight I can tell you. They glide in from the deep with there huge pectoral Finns stuck straight out as there looking for Round Ribbon tail Ray’s to eat. We could see these huge black circular Ray’s on the Plato floor as we sat above waiting for the Bull sharks to come in. 
It’s one of those dive sites anything can show up at anytime and it gets the adrenaline going like no other. All you could hear on all dives were humpback whales and calves calling out which made every dive even better. On one dive the call from one was so deep it went through your chest. On some days while on surface interval we had the Humpbacks  breaching and tail smashing around us together with our journey  back to ponta Du Ouro, spinner dolphins escorting us home amazing!

We done 32 dives over the 3 weeks and we saw 10 species of shark, Bull, Tiger, Dusky, Ragged-Tooth, Silver tip , Oceanic Blacktip , Hammerhead, Great & Scalloped, White tip Reef, Grey Reef. And Bronze Whaler or Copper shark.
Away from the Sharks on the top of one of the pinnacles we found Flabellina and a rare Spanish Dancer. I know people who have been diving years and only seen a handful of these giant nudibranches so there you go George Macro Indonesia eat your heart out. The RIB launch was some experience as the beaches you depart are all surfing hotspots, so with your feet in the foot straps and hanging on for dear life as you out run a huge tube wave in the trough. The RIB is flat out past the white water with the impact zone of the wave falling behind the boat, your then under the tubing wave, you get past the lip , under the peak of the wave. Then gets the RIB onto the shoulder or face of the wave and out to sea. I got to review my boat handling Andrew!! You sometimes had 2 of these waves to encounter, it’s the timing that’s key, the skipper would position the boat looking at these Monster waves in the distance, we sit there engine idle for sometime, then no warning its full throttle, we’re going and hold on man!!
It’s the Law in Mozambique and South Africa that life jackets are to be worn by divers on the launch. We did see one diver flying off another RIB and disappear into the white water because they did not hold on or feet were not in the foot straps. A worrying sight for sure. 
We had a fantastic  time with the guys who looked after us , great food, loads of banter going on. A real fun bunch who live a breathe this fantastic part of the world and understand the sharks in the area, Mike our Guide has done over 4,000 dives over the years on the pinnacles and knows every inch of that Reef, never had any trouble even the odd white shark passes through most months He said they never stop on the reef, just have a look and clear off. I can’t wait to go back for a summer trip there , you won’t see the Raggies or Duskys in summer as they move south for cooler water, so with rising temps to around 28 degrees it’s the best time for Tigers and Sail fish which make it a great photography opportunity so well worth considering.


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