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

Dive the Big 5, Sep, 2002,

by Joseph Puglia, Fl, USA . Report 721.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Carribean, Red Sea, Micornesia, Solomons
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny,rainy Seas choppy
Water Temp 55 to 72 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 20 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Recreational limits
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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 Gansbaii.
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 weekends.
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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