View of Table Mountain from the water this morning

FAQ: Diving in Cape Town

Tony and I recently had to put together some material for an advertising brochure, and were invited to submit a 400 word advertorial on diving in Cape Town. It has some salient points in it, so we thought we’d include it here for your reading pleasure.

What is there to see while diving in Cape Town?

The waters around the Cape Peninsula are extraordinarily rich with marine life found nowhere else in the world. The clean, cold waters of the Atlantic and the warmer waters of False Bay are host to countless fish species, giant sting rays, beautiful sea plants, and extremely diverse invertebrate life such as nudibranchs (colourful sea slugs), molluscs and brightly coloured sea anemones. Diving in Cape Town is colourful and always exciting.

There are many wrecks to explore, easily accessible either on a dive boat or from the shore. Some of these were deliberately sunk as artificial reefs, and others fell victim to winter storms and now have a permanent home on our coastline. There are also rocky reefs and mysterious kelp forests that hide a multitude of fascinating inhabitants. You can even do dives with seals or with remarkable sevengill cowsharks if you want to – the options are endless.

What’s the best time to learn to dive?

Summer is an appealing time to learn to dive because the weather is sunny and warm, and this is a busy time for diving in the Cape. However, the best water conditions in False Bay are in winter: the water is clean, clear, and not too cold. Cape Town is a year-round diving destination and there’s no bad time to sign up for a course. If you’re planning a tropical holiday where you hope to dive, we’d recommend getting your dive qualification before you go so that you can have the best possible experience on your holiday.

Which diving course is right for me?

There are a couple of options for a beginner diver. The first is called Discover Scuba Diving. You will learn some very basic skills, and then do a proper sea dive under instructor supervision. It’s not a qualification, but gives you a chance to decide if diving is for you.

If you do decide you want to become a qualified diver, the course to start with is the PADI Open Water course. This course qualifies you to dive to 18 metres, anywhere in the world – all you need to do is show your PADI certification card to book a dive or rent equipment. The course takes about four days to complete, and can be done part time and over weekends to suit your schedule.

Where can I get more information on diving in Cape Town?

Check out, and our blog at We’re happy to answer any questions you have!

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.