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Dive Review of Dive the Big 5 in
Africa/South Africa

September, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Joseph Puglia, Fl, USA
Report Number 721
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Carribean, Red Sea, Micornesia, Solomons
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
55   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Recreational limits  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
4 stars    
This trip was a diving/safari trip combined.  Dive the Big 5 handled all
the arrangements.  We booked through Reef and Rainforest and Kisten was a
big help.  

We dove at the Cape of Good Hope with a local dive shop.  We encountered
seals, pajama sharks and beautiful colors.  The water was cool 55F.  We
rented wet suits and I would not do that again.  They fit poorly; we got
cold quickly.  The diving was fun.  That same day we saw Penguins and
toured the cape.  A great experience.

We then moved to Grootbos and Gansbaii for Great White Shark diving.  Our
first dive day was a chamber of commerce day, sun shining a nice 78-80F air
temp.  We dove with Great White Shark Company.  The Great Whites were an
experience of a life time.  I not sure which was better; in the cage or on
the boat.  We had sharks all day!  Nancy, my wife and dive buddy, was
jumping with exitement!  Our second day of shark diving had significantly
worse conditions but the sharks were just as exciting.  The diving is done
with hookas and you are in a cage.  The water was 64F and we used their wet
suits (7MM farmer John/Jane).  Grootbos is a gorgeous resort just east of
Next stop Umkomaas at 2 hour flight north.  This is home to the Raggies
(Sand Tigers.  We stayed the Ocean View Guest House not as fancy as
Grootbos but clean and well kept.  John Mugambo, the owner makes you stay
quite pleasant.  We dove with Sea Fever, the operation was not note worthy.
 We enjoyed the Raggies even though viz was low.  Water was in the 60'sF
We then moved on to a safari camp called Phinda.  From there we dove at
Sodwana Bay at the very north corner of South Africa.  Phinda provides a
same day Cessna plane ride, diving and lunch. The diving was beautiful. 
The dive, 2 mile reef, started with an eagle ray, schools of moorish idols,
colorful anthias, and a four foot marble eel.  Other sightings included
pipefish, three frog fish(on one dive), purple parrot fish, tons of
nudibrands.  A beautiful place to dive.  I understand it gets crowded on
All dives are surf launches; not for the faint harded.  
The remainder of the trip was spent at another safari camp, Ngala tented
camp, in Kruger National Park.  Both safari camps were beautiful and the
animals were amazing.  This the best land/sea trip we have ever been on.  I
was truly a trip of a life time!

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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