Since I got in contact with diving in October 1998 in Sri Lanka through a friend of mine I spend
a lot of my free time on this hobby. The wish of every diver is to dive with Dolphins, Whale Sharks and
regular sharks. Therefore I decided to spend my holiday in South-Africa at Aliwal Shoal which is known to
be one of the best diving sites in the world. It is ranked in the top five, next to the Maledives and the
Great Barrier Reef.
On the Internet I did some investigations where to dive, with whom to dive and where to stay. I found out that the best place to stay to be able to dive at Aliwal Shoal was Umkomaas so I contacted Diving Centre The Whaler in Umkomaas which is owned by Brett Louw. He contacted me almost immediatly after I send him an e-mail and was more then willing to help me getting a place to stay and by providing me additional information which I required.
He also informed me that it was easy to arrange trips to Sodwana Bay and to Protea Banks, where I also wanted to do some diving because I heard some good stories from John Neuschwander, the editor of the Dutch magazine Duiken. He has visited Aliwal Shoal and when I visited him he showed me some video's of the diving at Aliwal Shoal.
I booked a flight to Durban, South-Africa and on May 27 I started the long journey. It takes about a 12-14 hours flight, depending if you have a direct flight or if you have some stop-overs, which I had.
When I arrived in Durban, Sandy was waiting for me to bring me to Umkomaas, about 45 km south of Durban. DC, the dive instructor, was waiting for me. Brett was with a group in Sodwana Bay having some fun. DC gave me the key to my room and I start unpacking my stuff and my gear.
DC informed that the first diving will be in the morning at 7 o'clock, so on my holiday there was no time for sleeping in.....if I wanted to do some diving atleast....
On Monday I got up early and went to the diving school where DC was waiting for me. He informed me that I would be diving with Umkomaas Diving Lodge because The Whaler and not enough people to go out on their own duckie. That was fine by me....
The rest of the week I got up every day around 6 and did two dives in the morning and spend the afternoon do some site seeing. On Thursday we got in the car directly after the diving..for a nice trip to Sodwana Bay....
To continue reading my experiences in Umkomaas, South-Africa press the turtle