Like so many other fellow scuba diving professionals, i decided to give up my career in the corporate world and pursue something a little more adventurous. Being an avid diver in South Africa for many years, it was a life long dream to travel the world and dive with sharks. When the opportunity finally came, i grabbed it without any hesitation. After completing my professional level training with PADI, i was ready to jump in the deep end and start my new life. I was lucky to work in some of the most exotic destinations on the planet. Finally i was living my dream and i was in a position to share my passion with many new divers, from beginner to professional level. Life just couldn't get any better! While island hopping i had the opportunities to explore the most incredible underwater realms that i previously only got to see on the Discovery Channel.
Over the next 5 years i got more experienced in the dive industry and decided that this is definitely what i want to do for the rest of my life. The next step would be to start a scuba diving center somewhere in the world and continue my work in conservation and diver training. I started searching for my piece of paradise. The criteria being: natural beauty, bio-diversity, unique diving, loads of sharks, abundant marine life, good food, affordability, Basically i had to answer one question, "if i could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
Most places in the world is known for something unique but specific. But there was that one place that had it all.... Aliwal Shoal South Africa. The place where i completed my PADI Divemaster course back in 1997. The diving is phenomenal, the shoal is home to a large variety of big sharks. In the winter months vast amounts of Grey Nurse Sharks congregate on Aliwal Shoal to mate. In the summer months you get to see 4-5m majestic Tiger Sharks on the baited shark dives. And to the delight of any shark fanatic, you can dive with large groups of Oceanic Black Tip Sharks on any given day. These waters are frequented by pods of dolphins, migrating whales and numerous other pelagic species. The shoal is home to over 1200 marine species of which 15% is endemic to the area. This place is any photographers dream. Last but not least the Shoal also boasts 2 very impressive historic wrecks.
As things turned out i settled in Scottburgh, which offers the shortest passage to Aliwal Shoal and the pristine Southern Reefs. It has been 3 years now since Crystal Divers South Africa established itself as a PADI 5 Star IDC Resort. The diving is in a class of its own and it is impossible to mention the countless breathtaking dive experiences i have had since settling down in this part of the world.
If variety is what you are looking for when choosing a dive destination, then Aliwal Shoal will not disappoint. And if you are passionate about sharks then the Marine Protected Area of Aliwal Shoal is a must visit destination.
When looking for your own piece of paradise to visit during your next dive holiday... look no further. Visit us at Crystal Divers South Africa and experience diving like never before.