Aliwal Shoal

  • must see
From Boat, From Shore
Diver Level
Average: 9 m
Maximum: 27 m
Medium to strong
Average: 2 m
Maximum: 30 m
Aliwal Shoal is a rocky reef located approximately 3-5km/1-3ml off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The site was named after the vessel Aliwal that hit the shoal and sank in 1849. Aliwal shoal reef has unique dive sites, such as Chunnel, Cathedral, Raggies Cave, Amphitheatre, Tiger Ledge, Castle. All these sites are different from each other even though they are on the same reef. The shoal is home to a wide array of colorful reef fish as well as sea turtles, rays, angelfish and butterfly fish, however, the greatest attraction of Aliwal Shoal is surely the concentation of ragged tooth sharks. The schooling ragged tooth sharks can be seen on the shoal from July to November as they made the surrounding area their preferred resting ground for annual migration. Other sharks, such as great whites, tiger shark, whitetip shark and whale sharks are occasional visitors here as well.

When to go

Diving at Aliwal Shoal is available all year long. The average water temperature stays near 24°C/ 5°F through the most of the year and never falls below 16°C/60°F. Warm climate offers good conditions for diving almost any time of the year, but if you want to see ragged tooth sharks, the best time to come is between July and November.

What to see

Aliwas Shoal offers an abundance of spectacular soft corals, sponges, caves and hiding placed that attract a huge array of colorful reef fish. Also, divers can expect to see big marine species, such as rays, turtles, dolphins, sharks and whales.

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