Gear Repair

Air Fills

Nitrox Fills

Gear Rental

Dive Training

Our family have been operating at the Aliwal Shoal for the last 20 years and have started a new dive centre "The Shoal" catering for all diving enthusiasts who hope to learn more about the ocean and the environment. Our family was the first to start Tiger shark diving at the Aliwal Shoal as well as the sardine run off the Transkei coast. We pride ourselves in giving the best service and try to ensure that every diver leaves our centre enriched with knowledge and longing for more.

We have a large selection of rental gear and offer other services such as gear repair, air fills, nitrox fills and can also arrange accommodation to suit. We also stocking almost everything from masks and snorkels to wetsuits BC's and regs by Scubapro, Cressi, Sub Gear, H2O and Aquatec. Both Padi and SSI instructors are available should you want to either learn to dive or further your current certification. Without a doubt we offer the best service and usually form strong, long-lasting relationships with both our clients and students. We have an impeccable safety record, from launching boats to leading dives, we always come back with our clients and sometimes end up with a few more!


The Aliwal Shoal

The Aliwal Shoal was first dived in the 1950's and was extensively explored in the 1980's by operators to ascertain the viability of transporting divers to the launch. Umkomaas is the coastal town which has the launch site for the shoal under the Umkomaas bridge on the river (Mkomanzi) mouth. Lying 3 – 5 kms off shore, the Aliwal Shoal is on the inner edge of the Mozambiquan current and the warm waters often provide for excellent visibility.

The Aliwal Shoal is home to many different fish species as well as eels, rays, turtles and sharks. Dolphins, whales and Whale sharks are also frequent visitors to the shoal and can be spotted during the year. The shoal is approximately 1.2km in length, and runs in a north to south direction. Today, many thousands of divers flock to the shoal in search of excellent diving, true adventure and ragged-toothed sharks.


In 1849 a 3 mast vessel called the 'Aliwal' almost collided with the shoal, giving the shoal its now famous name. The 'Aliwal' was under the command of Captain James Anderson and he wrote a report of his experience...

"From the great interest you appear to take in this place and the coast in general, I think you would like to know that about 30 miles to the southwest from Natal, and distant from the land about two miles, I observed a very large and dangerous rock, or shoal, with heavy breakers. 
"I do not find this rock placed upon any chart or alluded to in any directory. I hope therefore, you will speak to the captains of coasting vessels, and inform them of it when opportunity offers." Captain James Anderson, In the 'Natal Witness', 14 Jan 1850.


In chronological terms the Aliwal Shoal has a relatively short history. Around eighty thousand years ago, the area around the shoal consisted of a bed of sand dunes. Heavy rainfalls caused sand & shell to dissolve forming a compound of calcium carbonate which was to form the core of the shoal in what became dune rock. The continental plates shifted, which caused a rise in the sea level of the Indian Ocean flooding the dune. When the sea levels rose, the dune was submerged and with more deposits of sand, seashells and other reef-building materials, a massive and elaborate sandstone structure was created.

The topography would have been very rugged with pinnacles, gullies and caves. Coral polyps formed large colonies on the sandstone, and the Aliwal Shoal was born. Over time the shoal has developed into a fascinating dive site with an abundance of soft corals, sponges, and hiding places.

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