Mossel Bay is part of South Africa’s Garden Route and a rather quaint seaside town with a working harbour about four and a half hours drive from Cape Town. Most visitors pop in as they explore the Garden Route. It has some great history and architecture too as well as being a good jump off point for whale watching and shark cage diving.
The weather is generally mild and happily receives 80% of its rain in the evenings. The coldest months are July to October with temperatures ranging between 13-18°C and the sea temperature dropping to 17.6 °C. The warmest months are December to March when temperatures range from 18-23°C with sea temps usually around 20°C . The wettest months are March, April, May, September, and October.
On the whole, the diving is on shallow 2-8m colourful reefs. Expect to see large red romans, octopus, black tail, feather worms, sea fans, basket stars and a multitude of colourful sponges. Santos and Mitches Reef are such sites. Butterfly Wall is also shallow, 8m but of note as it attracts tropical fish in the warmer months. Sponge Reef is deeper 22-25m and great for macro lovers. Windvogel is the more hectic dive due to depth (max 33m) and strong currents but the intrepid could be rewarded with large fish action, sharks and maybe seals too.
If you are not stopping in while driving along the Garden Route then you can fly into George Airport. Mossel Bay is a little over half an hour drive from the airport
This reef forms the Western border of Mossel Bay’s main swimming beach. Depth ranges from 2-7m. A short boat ride leads to a beautiful garden of featherworms, sea fans, redbait, octopus and abundant schools of blacktail. On the edge of the reef, “Sanddollars” can be found. Please do not remove the live shells: we are only visitors in their world, their ocean is our responsibility.
The “Santos” was wrecked in 1874. The ship was carrying furs & timber when it ran aground during a gale force southeasterly wind. The wreck is mostly covered with sand. However, the mast, anchor and chain are still visible.
This reef is 8m deep. A short fun boat ride will enable you to discover the deeper side of the reef without running low on air! Orange sponges up to 3m in length, banks of seagrass and large red romans can be found.
This scattered, but beautiful reef, with large sponges that are visited regularly by red roman’s, is lying in 22m-25m of water. This is a superb dive for the advanced diver who appreciates the macroscopic life on reefs. This reef is only accessible by boat, as it is also situated at Cape St. Blaize.
Phluffy is a newly discovered reef, pet named after the local dive shop owner, Sue Walmsley, by two local spear fisherman Ken & Rudan who bumped into it one day while out stalking game fish. The reef is awesome with some of the finest corals found on the garden route. Reef fish and large sea fans with basket stars entwined in their arms can be found in abundance.
This reef is best dived off a boat to enable divers max time on the reef. It is 4-8m deep. During summer months, a variety of tropical fish, which are brought in by the warm Aghulus current, can be seen. Large sea fans, yellow sponges and large, colorful anemones are found. This area is also the home of the famous long nose pipe fish thought to be extinct for many years, Shovelnose crayfish can often be found around the reef this creature is normally only found in depths exceeding 80m. A very relaxed dive normally dived when conditions are too rough to dive other areas, therefore sadly often missed by divers going for the better-known reefs.
A spectacular reef for the advanced diver. A check out bay dive is required before divers can attempt this dive. Drop-offs from 3m to 20m. Max depth 33m. Strong currents and a blinder pinnacle make it not your average dive! Situated at Cape St. Blaize and accessible by boat only. Caves, gulleys, large fish, sharks, and seals. Exquisite color abounds on the rocks and in the crevices, so don’t forget your torch.
(concrete structures that are placed to strengthen the harbor wall). Divers should at all times be aware of ski-boats using the Municipal & Yacht Club slipways. This is a shore entry. A surface marker buoy is mandatory. Divers are advised to take a guide when first attempting this dive. Large Red Bait pods, anemones, black tail, crabs, crayfish, octopus and cuttlefish can be seen in this area