Shark snorkeling in Umkomaas is a great way to experience sharks in their natural habitat, without needing to go through extensive scuba diving training beforehand. As you snorkel at the surface of the sea and watch as these amazing creatures gather beneath you, you will gain a better understanding of their behaviour and have your preconceptions dispelled.
We snorkel at the Aliwal Shoal reef which is listed as one of Jacques Cousteau's best dive sites in the world (Jacques Cousteau was a pioneer in marine exploration and is considered to be the forefather of scuba diving). It consists of a rocky reef that sits in the middle of a sandy plain with many caves and overhangs that shelter all sorts of marine species. Indeed, the nearby Agulhas Current brings warmth and nutrients to the area, whereby the aquatic wildlife at Aliwal Shoal can thrive. This is also why larger predators, in particular tiger sharks, often frequent the area in search of prey and to breed. Sightings of these fascinating creatures present a real highlight for all those who go snorkeling in Umkomaas.
Programme- Meeting & Preparation:
In order to go snorkeling in Umkomaas, we ask you to arrive at our dive centre at 07:00 am where you will check-in and get geared up. We're happy to provide you with free rental equipment for the day if necessary. Moreover, we will start loading the boat at around 07:30 to be ready and set for an 08:00 am launch from the Umkomaas River Mouth. The boat ride to Aliwal Shoal takes around 10 to 15 minutes, depending on which of the many spots around Aliwal Shoal we choose. - Diving:
We use a bait stem and a bucket which we suspend at about 8 to 10 metres in depth and let it drift in the current. This attracts several different shark species, most notably the tiger shark (during the summer months) and the pelagic black-tip shark which roams the area nearly all year round. While the scuba divers on the boat dive down to go face to face with the sharks, you're free to swim around at the surface and observe the unique spectacle of sharks gathering around the bait. In the meantime, our skipper will remain on the boat, keeping a watchful eye on you to make sure you're safe at all times.
- Total duration: 3h
- Group size: Up to 10 people per boat
- Number of dives per trip: 1
- Experienced skipper
- Boat ride to and from the dive site
- High-quality snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, wetsuit, fins)
- Ability to swim
- Marine Permit (obtainable from our Dive Centre or any Post Office in South Africa)