5 dazzling caves for scuba diving in South Africa

Posted by Taylah Strauss on 9 June 2022

We’ve given you some spectacular snorkelling spots in Cape Town and in KwaZulu-Natal. Now, it’s time to go a little bit deeper than the surface. Grab your diving gear, and go explore these underwater caves. We round up four freshwater dive sites, but also an ocean dive for those whose first love is the sea.

deep diving spots


1. Wondergat, North West

The Wondergat cave sits around 30km from Mafikeng and 60km from Lichtenburg in the North West province. Its maximum depth is around 58m. No permit is required as it is not within a Marine Protected Area.

The cave has a shore entry site and an entry fee of R100.

This is not a dive site for beginners, and we recommend going in a big group.

You must bring your own equipment, however, there are on-site cylinder refills available for R100.

For more information, visit the Wondergat’s official website or email [email protected]

2. Justin’s Caves, Cape Town

Justin’s Caves – a rocky reef outcrop – is an excellent way to explore Cape Town’s spectacular marine life, from hard and soft coral reefs to beautiful kelp forests.

The maximum depth is around 14m, and the caves can be accessed on the shore. For R2100 pp, if you book with Into the Blue, you can swim through these wonderful caves for a minimum of half-day. Equipment rental is included in the price, as well as a Marine Protected Area permit valid for one month.

Meeting point: 88 Main Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town.

For more information, visit Into the Blue’s official website or email [email protected]

3. Marico Oog, North West

This dive site consists of four parts you can swim through. The first is a 10m stretch covered by floating water lilies, around 1.8m deep and 2m wide. The second part is a small pond, 10m across and 5m maximum depth. The main part is the second pool, directly across the first. The maximum depth is 12m.

At the end of the rock, there is a cave you can swim through. If you brave these waters at night and swim through the cave on your back, you can have a peek at the starlit sky. This part spans 40m and the maximum depth is also 12m.

This is a great site for beginners and those looking for just a relaxing dive.

It can be accessed by a passage through the reeds and water entry is via a ladder. No more than eight divers are allowed at one time and buoyancy control is a must.

There are different routes to reach the dive site, from Johannesburg and the Free State.

There is an entry fee of R80 payable, as well as a R20 vehicle entry fee.

For more information, visit the Marico Oog website or call 084 512 9185.

4. Boesmansgat, Northern Cape

Boesmansgat – a natural sinkhole around 55km south of Kuruman in the Northern Cape on Danielskuil road. This cave has a 100m diameter and a maximum depth of around 270m, making Boesmansgat of the deepest freshwater caves globally.

The entrance to Boesmansgat – accessed by some 10km through Mount Carmel farm – is very narrow before opening up into a vast main chamber.

This cave is famously or rather infamously known as a very difficult dive site and has claimed the lives of many expert divers over the years.

For more information, visit the Boesmansgat website or call 053 384 0564.

5. Komati Springs, Mpumalanga

Komati Springs – once a mining site – is now a spectacular inland diving site, open all year round come rain or shine. It spans over 110m long and it is 50m wide. The cave system itself is any seasoned diver’s dream, as it has eight interconnecting levels.

But if you’re not as experienced, it doesn’t mean you can’t join in on the fun, there are areas for all skill levels.

Here’s how to get there from, Johannesburg, Nelspruit and Durban.

An entrance fee of R150 is payable for adults, and R75 for children under 12. For those who want to spend a little longer and go overnight, an entry fee of R160 is payable.

Click here for a list of complete rates for tank refills and other equipment.

Picture: Pexels


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