Aliwal Shoal, KwaZulu-Natal
Roughly 5 kilometres out to sea off the coast of the town of Umkomaas, and half an hour's drive from Durban, the Aliwal Shoal, the remains of an ancient sand dune, was named after the near-sinking of the three-masted vessel "Aliwal", captained by James Anderson, in 1849.
Aliwal Shoal has diverse marine life including large predators. The Shoal is known especially for its abundance of Grey Nurse Sharks (known locally as Ragged Tooth Sharks or "raggies") between July and November when the sharks congregate to mate. Other marine life spotted here includes mantas, moray eels, stingrays, turtles and schools of pelagic and coral fish.
There are many sites of interest on the shoal. The more famous include Raggies Cave/Shark Alley, Pinnacles, Cathedral, South Sands, North Sands, Inside Edge, Outside Edge, Chunnel and Manta Point. There are also two wrecks near the reef - the MV Produce which sank in 1974 and the SS Nebo which sank in 1884.
Aliwal Dive Centre
Tel: +27 39 973 2233
Address: 2 Moodie Street, Umkomaas, KwaZulu-Natal
To find out more about scuba diving at Aliwal Shoal, visit the Aliwal Dive Centre website.