Diving at Knysna Heads

Location Knysna Heads
Sites dived Knopie, The Paquita, Bruce Se Bank, Tapas Jetty, Featherbed
Dive Centre Shore entries for dives inside the lagoon, but when the weather is good you need a boat to dive outside the Heads. The operation which used to be at the Heads, is no longer. So if you wish to dive the stunning reefs outside the lagoon, contact Glynn Schaper at Scylla Dive Club. Someone there is usually desperate to get wet, whatever the weather. Cost will be to cover boat fuel and air fills.
Best Time to Dive After Westerly winds in March, April, May.
Water Temp 15 degrees celcius (ouch) up to 23 in summer.
Visibility Average 5-6meters however we hit 12 – 15 meters when it was raining.
Exposure Protection 7mm two piece or dry suit (Locals wear 5mm two piece)
Average diving depth Sites vary from 8m – 18m(in the Lagoon) to over 30m (outside the Heads).
Possible Marine Encounters As Port Elizabeth plus a mass of different types of NudiBranches, large shoals of Steenbras & Zebra fish, Rays, Pyjama Sharks, Puff Adder Shy Sharks, Octopuses (or pii, whichever you are happy with) Ragged Tooth Sharks, Red Romans and as usual along this coastline, soft corals, fans and sponges looking as if they have been purposely painted all colors of the Rainbow.

Inside the Lagoon – Tapas Jetty (Shore Entry from Thesens Jetty)– invariably a poor visibility dive and without much imagination a diver could miss catching a glimpse of the Knysna Seahorse amongst other animals. This can be a wonderfully satisfying dive by searching through the junk and debris covering the silty bottom. The numerous bottles and tyres scattered about have created artificial reefs for the tiny creatures. Look out for the blennies homes in bottlenecks, camouflaged and very shy seahorses, and the most delightfully colorful nudibranches.

The Paquita wreck (Shore entry from the Heads.), lying in the channel just before the Heads, must be dived half an hour before high tide to save you battling against a strong runout tide. While the weather on top was miserable drizzle, the visibility was a good 12 meters below. Easy, relaxing diving.

Outside the Heads, the diving is superb but much more dependant on the weather. All sites; Bruce Se Bank, Knopie, East Cape are deeper, more challenging dives which can be hectic for the novice diver on rougher days. Fairground surge shoots the divers through gulleys and around the rocks and can at times yo-yo divers from 10 to 20meters in a second or two. Great fun for the experienced but if diving in these conditions, judge your own limits and don’t blindly put yourself into dangerous situations.

Frequently engrossed by the reef’s goings on, we generally found ourselves having to make decompression stops (not the cleverest thing to do when in Great White territory). For example, this cute baby Puff Adder Shy Shark, pictured here coiled in shock from an clumsy collision with the coral, was no bigger than the palm of my hand.

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