The spectacular Protea Banks must be experienced to be believed and on this tour we have been treated to Protea Banks at its finest. The first day and our baited dive brought a 4m Tiger shark and five Bull sharks. The Tiger shark appeared seven short minutes after the bait bucket went into the water, resulting in a clamouring rush of divers trying to gear up and get into the water as quickly as possible. The rush was not needed in the end as this majestic creature stayed with us for some time before gracefully gliding away into the blue.
Once the larger Tiger shark had left the area the Bull sharks, who having previously looked so small in comparison, suddenly looked much bigger. They became more active and came in much closer to the group. The five sharks vied for position within close proximity to the tantalising bait and circled our group in the water. They were respectful but curious and made the 80 minute dive a constant source of entertainment.
On our second day the conditions were at their best with 35 meters of visibility and crystal clear deep blue water with a strong enough current to please any pelagic and schooling fish. Our first dive to the caves of Northern Pinnacles to find sharks teeth was a success with each group member finding their own souvenir. Fish swarmed around us in the current as we popped in and out of sheltered cut outs and caves. An exhilarated group began their way to the surface only to come face to face with a shark patrolling the area.
As far as we were concerned, Protea Banks had more than delivered and our second dive of the day could have been pitch black and completely void of life and we would still have gone away happy. But it was not…. As if saving the best for last, our drift dive on Southern Pinnacles was a dive that one could only dream about.
Within minutes of descending, a large Tiger shark appeared to investigate the new visitors, again a new individual and a healthy 3.5m in length. She cruised past and, having satisfied herself that we were of no interest, continued on her way. Having barely had enough time to share underwater high fives and victory dances another grey silhouette was seen to the side of us, a large Bull shark came into our vicinity with inquisitive head swings and hung watching us for a short while before moving off. Again great excitement, but then it just got better!
Two Greater Hammerheads slid into view, close enough to pose for photos and circle the group, these were followed in quick succession by an Oceanic Black tip, another Bull, four Guitar sharks moving along the ocean floor and three Eagle rays just to add to the thrills.
Not knowing which way to look first the excitement grew to fever pitch when a school of Giant barracuda arrived and then a school of Scalloped Hammerheads. Our dive literally flew past in a whirlwind of large ocean delights and it was a noisy bunch of divers that finally hit the surface whooping with glee. Now this is what diving in Africa is all about!
Tomorrow it’s on to Aliwal Shoal, another well-known shark diving Mecca.
If you’d like to join us on a Southern African Dive Safari, we have a 20% discount on a confirmed departure on the 7th January 2013 and we’d love to have you on tour with us! If time is not on your side, you can also opt to do a shorter 7 Day Big Shark Tour or a 13 Day Mozambique and Sodwana Dive Safari Tour.
Don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity! Here’s a short video to make sure you pack up your gear and get on tour with us soon! Get ready to roll off the edge into a world of wild wonders!
Read more of Fern’s blogs about the Dive Safari and if you have any questions, please contact us on +27 (21) 426 5445 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern African Dive Safari Tour Diary, Blyde River Canyon, Timbavati and Moholoholo
Southern African Dive Safari Tour Diary, Kruger National Park
Southern African Dive Safari Tour Diary, Praia do Tofo
Southern African Dive Safari Tour Diary, Swaziland and Sodwana