Scuba diving in the Cape

Scuba diving, photo courtesy Mark & Andrea Busse.

The best thing about diving in Cape Town is that you have two oceans to choose from – the warmer Indian Ocean to the east and south, and the colder Atlantic Ocean to the west. If the conditions aren’t good on one side of the peninsula, you can always try your luck on the other. Most sites are easily accessible from coastal roads, so many divers prefer to explore along the shoreline, where visibility is often very good.

Scuba diving provides access to a colourful and varied range of marine life, reefs and wrecks, and Cape Town has been touted as the best training ground for scuba diving in the world. A number of dive operations located in and around the city offer dives off the coast and various courses, including the Open Water Diver, Advanced Diver, Rescue Diver or the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD) Nitrox courses.

Established in 1990, Dive Action ( offers a one-stop shop for Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), National Association of Underwater Instructors and IANTD training, scuba gear purchasing and servicing, and recreational scuba diving.

When you’re underwater, the last thing you want to worry about is old or malfunctioning scuba equipment, or equipment that is not right for you and your level of diving. Dive Action only stocks scuba equipment its staff would use and offers prospective divers 30 years of collective experience diving in Cape waters. Dive charters travel to Hout Bay, False Bay and Cape Point, while other dives focus on the Atlantic reefs and wrecks, and the False Bay reefs and wrecks.

Dive Action dives many sites on Sundays, but will dive any day if there are enough divers to warrant taking the boat out. The company normally does three dives on Sundays (to a deep reef at at 08h30, a shallow reef at 11h00 and either a deep or shallow reef at 13h00). Fourth dives will be considered if there are sufficient divers to warrant the launch. Dives cost R180 per person per dive, excluding gear hire and air. Full gear hire costs R400 per day including air – R30 extra for Nitrox.

Although Dive Action does not do great white shark cage diving from its boat, this can be arranged. Shark cage diving takes place at Gansbaai at a cost of R1 250 per person, including an on-board breakfast, snacks and basic drinks. Transfers from Cape Town to Gansbaai can be arranged at R350 per person.

Table Bay Diving Tours ( is conveniently situated in the heart of the V&A Waterfront overlooking Quay 5, with the picturesque Table Mountain as a backdrop. An experienced team is on hand to help you discover the thrill of scuba diving or take you on a guided tour of the best dive sites in the area. If you would like to continue your diving education and sign up for the next level in PADI training, the company will assist you.

The company also offers helicopter tours, shark cage diving, boat trips, sand-boarding, nature hikes, abseiling and winelands tours. Most of its affiliates offer a shuttle service to and from the V&A Waterfront.

Contact Cape Town Tourism on +27 (0)21 487 6800 or email for a list of other accredited dive charters and ask the organisation to book your trip at no extra charge, or browse through the list of tour operators specialising in scuba diving that are registered with Cape Town Tourism.

  • Phone: +27 (0)21 487 6800

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