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  • What is your location/are you a beachside dive resort?
    We are a beachside dive resort with dive centre, self-catering log cabins, secure parking, swimming pool, restaurant, private wooden walkway to the beach.
  • What is a PADI Five Star Dive Resort?
    PADI Five Star Dive Resorts are awarded 5* status because they excel in providing quality services to divers in a fun, friendly and professional environment whilst adhering to internationally recognised safety standards for recreational scuba diving and diver training.
  • How long does it take to learn to dive?
    Minimum of 3-5 days
  • What accommodation options are available?
    For a hassle-free dive holiday, escape the crowds and stay right here at Rocky Bay in self-catering log cabins. See our information sheet here. If you don’t mind driving to our dive centre every day and would prefer a hotel or B&B we can recommend some options, all within approximately 10-45 minute drive..
  • Do you offer other boat activities for people who do not drive?
    Yes, we offer fun boat rides and snorkeling trips that are suitable for adults and children of all experience levels.
  • Must I book dives and boat rides in advance?
    Yes, book under Services
  • Are you a family friendly dive centre?
    We pride ourselves on being a family friendly dive centre.
  • What activities do you offer kids?
    Boat rides & snorkeling Diving (Children aged 10-14 are considered Junior divers, from 15 years are considered adult divers). Bubbleblower Course - in the swimming pool. (Children from a minimum of 8yrs old can try diving with an instructor in the swimming pool to a maximum depth of 2 meters).
  • I have family members who do not dive, what can they do while I dive?
    They can enjoy relaxing at the beach or going for a walk along the beach, enjoy a coffee or a meal at the restaurant, relax at the swimming pool.
  • What do I need to bring with me?
    Diver certification card & log books MPA Scuba Diving permits (All divers require permits to dive at Aliwal Shoal. Annual permits can be purchased at the post office, alternatively we can issue temporary permits at the dive centre, valid for 1 month).
  • What are the best months to see sharks?
    The dive sites at Aliwal Shoal boast year-round shark activity. Below are guidelines of seasonal sightings of the various sharks on our reefs. All year round: oceanic blacktip sharks, white-tip sharks June to November: Ragged-tooth/Sand tiger Sharks (Adult sharks gather at Aliwal to mate during breeding season). November to May: Tiger Sharks, Zambezi/Bull Sharks September to March: Hammerhead Sharks June to November: Humpback whales (Annual migration along our coastline)
  • What other fish life does Aliwal Shoal have?
    There is a huge diversity of fish life at Aliwal Shoal, from the biggest to the smallest! Aliwal is a rocky reef with a combination of tropical and subtropical fish species. The remains of an ancient sand dune, the reef is dominated by algae and sponges with a variety of hard and soft corals. We regularly see turtles, rays, sharks, dolphins, moray eels, potato bass/grouper, kingfish, barracuda, octopus, nudibranchs, paperfish, pipefish, porcelain crabs. Not to mention all the usual reef fish such as angelfish, triggerfish, scorpionfish, devil fire-fish, fusileers, butterflyfish.
  • How deep are the dive sites?
    The Northern Reefs of Aliwal Depth: 6-30 m | Suitable for beginners and advanced divers The Southern Reefs of Aliwal Depth: 19-25 m and 23-32m | Great for Advanced Divers
  • What are the most popular dive sites?
    Raggies Cave, Cathedral, Howard’s Castle, Eelskin, Landers, Cowrie, Fern, Umzimayi Wall and many more.
  • Why dive Aliwal Shoal from Rocky Bay?
    We are perfectly positioned at Rocky Bay with our controlled launch site we provide divers with easy access to the northern and southern reefs of the Aliwal Shoal MPA
  • Why is Aliwal Shoal the best for shark diving in South Africa?
    Aliwal Shoal is the best place to dive with Ragged-tooth Sharks/Sand Tiger Sharks in their natural environment without the need to participate in shark cage diving. The males arrive first signalling the beginning of mating season, then the females arrive and divers can see sharks right throughout the mating season. The reefs of Aliwal are also home to Oceanic Blacktip sharks and White-tip Reef sharks with year-round sightings.
  • What dive certification do I need to dive Aliwal Shoal?
    Northern Reefs – Open Water (Great location to learn to dive with one of our instructors) Southern Reefs – Advanced (Nitrox certification is recommended to maximise dive times)
  • Why is Aliwal Shoal rated one of the Top 10 dives sites worldwide?
    Aliwal Shoal is a subtropical reef system with a huge biodiversity of marine life (including various endemic and endangered fish, ray, shark and turtle species) rated by the legendary Jacques Cousteau as one of the Top 10 Dive Sites worldwide. Diving occurs in the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area, which has also been identified as a Hope Spot by Mission Blue, recognising that this reef system is critical to the health of the ocean. Dr Ryan Daly, Marine Scientist at Oceanographic Research Institutute (ORI) was quoted as saying “Aliwal Shoal presents a marine oasis for many threatened and endemic species along our coast. It is particularly important for many shark and ray species that aggregate there every year. Its diversity, beauty and uniqueness makes it one of my favourite dive sites in South Africa!”
  • What does Aliwal Shoal MPA mean?
    A marine protected area (MPA) is a section of the ocean where a government has placed limits on human activity to help protect the environment and ensure sustainability for the future of both humans and nature. Various factors are taken into consideration and various zones allow different levels of activity. All scuba divers are required to purchase a scuba diving permit (valid for all MPA area’s) and adhere to the diving guidelines.
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