“The Windy City” has a subtropical climate with light rain throughout the year. The area lies between the winter rainfall, Mediterranean climate zones of the Western Cape and the summer rainfall regions of eastern South Africa. The proximity to the ocean has a moderating effect on the climate, so winters are cool but mild and summers are warm but considerably less humid and hot than more northerly parts of South Africa’s east coast. Jan Max: 25 °C, Min: 18 °C; Jul Max: 20 °C, Min: 9 °C. Sea temperatures range from 17°C around August to 24°C from January to April.

Port Elizabeth is within the warm temperate Agulhas bioregion, which extends from Cape Point to the Mbashe River. It is some 360km from Mbashe mouth and 660km from Cape Point, so is somewhat towards the warmer side of the region.

Winter is traditionally the best time to dive Port Elizabeth with an average visibility of 5m – 8m in the Bay and between 10 – 15m on the Wildside. The average water temperature varies between 15 and 19 degrees, the Wildside is known for its thermoclines of 11 degrees on deeper dives.

The Wildside refers to the stretch of coastline outside the bay and includes the coastline along Cape Receife, Sea View and Noordhoek.

Avalanche

Depth: 15-25m

Qualification: Advanced

Avalanche is an extensive reef located on the Wildside, densely populated with corals and fish life.  It comprises of a spectacular wall with awesome topography and spectacular colours.

Philips reef

Depth: 8-16m

Qualification: All Levels

Phillips reef is often a forgotten dive site which offers some spectacular diving. The reef is in close proximity to Hobie beach with characteristic gully formation. The Ragged Tooth shark is often sighted here together with the pajama and leopard sharks. The reef is densely populated with colourful sea fans, sponges and soft corals. Crustaceans, nudibranchs and a wide variety of fish also populate the reef.

White Sands

Depth: 12-24m

Qualification: All Levels

White Sands Reef is made up of wide stretches of sand separated by extensive gullies. The reef is covered with soft corals, sponges, sea fans and other invertebrates, with rays being a common sighting

Evans peak

Depth: 15-30m+

Qualification: Advanced

Evans Peak is situated close to St. Croix Island and showcases some of the best diving in the area. A single, striking pinnacle rises to within 15m of the surface, covered in soft corals and large orange giant sea fans near the base. Ragged-tooth sharks and other species of sharks are often spotted here.

Shark rock pier

Depth: 3-8m

Qualification: All Levels

The Pier is surrounded by small scattered reefs providing an enjoyable shore entry directly in front of Hobie Beach. Yellow-Bellied Rock Cod, rays, sandsharks and catfish have been spotted amongst the large sea fans and corals on these patches of reef.

Riy banks

Depth: 15-30m+

Qualification: Advanced

An extensive reef system situated 20km from Hobie Beach, a boat trip often rewarded by penguin, dolphin and whale sightings. Spectacular drop-offs and walls characterise this popular deep site. Due to its location, one is never sure of the conditions and what one might see, however, we often experience excellent visibility making for a magnificent dive. Schools of game fish and a vibrant reef await the adventurous diver.

Gasmic Reef

Depth: 16-28m

Qualification: Advanced

Gasmic is characterised by a narrow gorge made up of dramatic walls covered in cream tipped Noble corals, soft corals and teeming with fish life. The elusive horse fish is often spotter on this reef. A breath-taking dive.