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World | South Africa | Diving Protea Banks:

Protea Banks overview


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Protea Banks dive site map

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Scuba Diving at Protea Banks, South Africa

Water temperature:

19°C (66°F) from July to October to 24°C (75°F) in February


3mm or 5mm wetsuit


5 - 40 metres (15 - 130 feet)

Type of diving:

Shark diving, reef diving

Marine life:

Bull (Zambezi), tiger, hammerhead, thresher, copper, dusky, ragged tooth and black tip sharks, occasionally Makos. A variety of reef fish, ribbon tail skates, moray eels, spotted eagle rays, manta rays and large schools of pelagic fish. Depending on the season dolphins and whales can also be seen

When to go:

August and September to see ragged tooth sharks, November to see bull sharks, June and July for the sardine run

How to get there:

From the UK - Fly to Johannesburg then transfer to Durban

Protea Banks is rated as one of the world's best shark diving spots. All dives are boat dives. Divers are taken to the reefs in boats that are launched directly from the beach and through the surf that has been likened to white water rafting in wetsuits. All dives are drift dives and are lead by local dive masters.

Visibility varies from 5 to 40 metres, and the water temperature in summer is 24C+ and in winter not colder than 19C. The depths vary between 30 and 40 metres and one must be an experienced diver for these often 3 knot mid-water drift dives. This is adventure diving at its best but is for experienced divers only.

Ragged tooth sharks (grey nurse or sand tiger sharks) come to Protea Banks in Kwazulu-Natal in spring (August/September) as part of their breeding ritual. Placid and slow moving, the "raggies" accept the divers without fuss. November brings the game fish and they are followed by the Zambezi (bull) sharks which are classed as a dangerous species.

Hammerheads do not follow any seasonal pattern. They are shy and keep their distance. Tiger sharks are often seen in the summer but they tend to keep their distance. The sardine run in June and July brings the copper sharks which scan the surface for the sardine shoals. Quick but shy, they are the smallest of the seven species of shark commonly found in this area.

Melt du Plooy, PADI Open Water

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