Where to scuba dive in East London
If you’re a scuba diver looking at the houses for sale in Port Elizabeth, there is good news: there are great diving spots “just up the road” in East London. South Africa’s hundreds of different dive locations mean that there’s no one place that you should go and dive – it means you should at least try to give them all a go. There are some amazing diving sites in East London, so read up about them below, then book yourself some East London accommodation and stay over for a while so that you can get some diving hours under your belt.
Three Sisters Reef
Located about one kilometre off Bonza Bay, you can take a boat out to what is regarded as one of East London’s best reef dives. The water temperature is fairly warm at 17 to 21 degrees Celcius and the visibility at Three Sisters is good at a depth of about 8 to 15 metres. It’s best dived in winter when the rainbow-coloured reef is more visible. It presents a varied dive, with ledges and crevices to explore, as well as breath-taking pinnacles around which multitudes of large reef fish flourish. Keep an eye out for the ragged tooth sharks and leave your spears on the shore. Spear fishing here is illegal.
Launching a boat from the Gonubie or Nahoon River mouth will get you out into Nahoon Bay where there are three individual dive sites characterised by a sandy seabed from which pinnacles protrude and provide an interesting dive. The total depth is between 10 and 18 metres, where there are caves, ledges, and plenty of soft corals that sustain a variety of reef fish. The current sometimes brings in juvenile tropical fish, and if you enjoy underwater macrophotography, Nahoon Bay is perfect for it.
Launching a boat from Port Alfred, you’ll find Riet Point approximately 3 km east of the mouth of the Kowie River. It’s a spectacular dive site with plenty of colourful soft corals and exceptional reef life. The dive is between 10 and 22 metres and the deeper you go, the larger the reef sponges become. It’s a tough spot to anchor in and therefore to fish, so huge reef fish swim freely without the threat of being caught. It’s advisable to take two dive tanks and enjoy this shallow dive before heading to Kilbrennan.
Providing a dive of 8 to 18 metres, Janssens Rock is an interesting dive because of its structure: a broken reef, some gullies, and a flat reef. There are four pinnacles that come up to just a few metres below the ocean’s surface, and a tempting tunnel approximately 8 metres long. Beware, though, that ragged tooth sharks enjoy the safety of the tunnel, so if you do want to explore it, make sure there’s enough room in which you and your dive buddies can manoeuvre quickly if you need to. The sponges and soft coral grow abundantly and in rainbow colours, so there is a lot of underwater sea life to see.
If the scuba diving bug bites you and you want to check out other locations, take a hard look at the Thonga beach lodge: you may just fall in love with the place.