Although in the Gansbaai we also “dived” with the white sharks in masks and a snorkel in a cage, we found our “real” dive with tiger sharks at Durban a very special experience.
Sharks at the reef of Aliwal Shoal
You dive here at the now worldwide famous Aliwal Shoal reef located about 3 miles off the coast of Amanzimtoti, and about twenty miles below Durban. You depart with the zodiac from the protected, wide estuary in Umkomaas. The boat trip that follows is not always pleasant because you can have high waves there. But once you get to the reef, a “relaxed” drift dive takes place at a depth of 15 to 30 feet where you do almost nothing. Except for watching the many sharks and one or two tiger sharks. Calculate on a view of between 30 and 40 feet and not too high-water temperatures. We wore a quarter-inch-thick diving suit and did not get overly hot.
Diving with tiger sharks
The omnivorous tiger shark, which is so named because of its striped back, together with the white shark and bull shark, is the most dangerous shark species for humans. For that reason alone, you are full of adrenaline during the dive. A great experience but possibly not suitable for everyone. It is not so much the dive as the tiring boat trip where you have to hold on well with all your gear.
There are many diving centres that organise this dive. One of them is Aliwal Shoal Scuba to which we owe the header photo and which also does a lot more than just offering diving enthusiasts a beautiful experience. The shark species is threatened. One of the causes, at least at Durban, is the use of shark nets. Aliwal Shoal Scuba does a lot to ban the use of these nets, for example by providing information.