About Umkomaas and Aliwal
South Africa is famed for it's heart pumping, adrenalin filled diving. And no where has a better reputation for its diving than Aliwal Shoal. Several species of shark, ray and turtles are routinely seen on the reefs and wrecks that lie around Aliwal Shoal. Still not enough pelagics? Why not try a dedicated shark dive? Scuba Travel have teamed up with one of the region's premier dive centres Ocean Worx and boutique hotel Ocean Park so you too can now enjoy the adventure that is a holiday in Umkomaas and Aliwal.
The Ocean Park guesthouse is a friendly and relaxing hotel that only offers 9 rooms, creating a tranquil atmosphere for your stay. Each room has its own unique decor and the different views overlook the gardens or sea, with spectacular views. There are twin, double and even family room available. All are en suite with air con, satellite TV, mini bar, safe, tea and coffee making facilities. There is also a self catered option.
You can take life at your own pace at the Ocean Park. Simply relax under the gorgeous lapa (gazeebo), soak up the rays by the pool or take a tour of the 6 hole putting green. Meals are served in the lounge area with stone fireplace or al fresco - don't miss out on the braai, a traditional style BBQ. The communal bar is a hot spot, where traveller meet to exchange their experiences from the savannah or underwater. This is a true glimpse into South African life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Johannesburg is an 11 hour direct flight from the UK. Some airlines will offer a stopping service. It is a huge country, with the Indian ocean to the east and Atlantic to the west. Most diving is concentrated on the Indian Ocean side, with Cape Town and the wine region to the south. It's easy to to fly, drive or take the train between points on a single trip, but you will want to make sure you have time to enjoy both the journey and your destination!
Weather and Climate
On average max air temps in South Africa are around 30 over our winter months, dropping down to the low 20s in our summer months. It can vary from location to location however. Diving in Protea Bank and Aliwal does run year round, but for the top encounters aim for Jan-May or Aug-Dec. Great whites in Cape Town are best between May to August. The Sardine Run is not a guaranteed annual event. However, if it does run, it will go sometime between the end of May to July.
The gateway to many of our South Africa holidays is Johannesburg. You can easily fly between here and Cape Town. We are able to book a number of flight options from the UK to South Africa. Some flights are direct (Virgin, BA, South African Airways), whilst others stop en route (KLM,Emirates). Flights operate from a number of regional airports. If you have a specific airline you prefer to fly with, simply let us know in your booking request. A supplement may apply for regional departures. Times and any applicable supplements will be confirmed by your travel consultant before you finalise your holiday. If you wish to make your own flight arrangements to South Africa, let us know and we can remove the cost of the international flights from your quote. We are unfortunately not able to redeem airmiles on your behalf. Please do not confirm any flight arrangements yourself before your holiday is confirmed by us.
Depending on your airline, you may have the option to stop en route. Dubai and Amsterdam are popular options.
Arrange before you go
UK passport holders will be issued a tourist visa on arrival (90days). You will need 2 full pages clear. Do ensure your passport has 6 months validity from your return date to prevent any issues with your airline. Children under 18 must have their birth certificate. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid and you fulfil entry requirements. Regulations can change: please review current FCO advice: click here
Scuba Travel requires all of our customers to have diving insurance. Please make sure that you have appropriate cover for your diving activities. We also strongly recommend you have travel insurance. It's worth taking out travel insurance once you have paid your deposit to ensure you are covered for unforeseen events and cancellation. Find out more about our combined dive and travel policy click here
Please speak to your local GP or check out the latest NHS advice on travel immunisations: click here
Preparing to fly
You will be able to manage your booking online once you have been ticketed (after you have paid your holiday balance). Most airlines will now enable you to select your seating at this point. There may be a small charge for prebookable seating before online check in opens. Please speak to the airline for more information about charges.
As you are flying with a scheduled airline, you will be able to check in online with your airline. Please visit their website for more information about when online check in opens.
An airport lounge is a great way to start your holiday or to while away flight connections in comfort. Scuba Travel works with Lounge Pass to offer a huge range of affordable airport lounges around the world. click here
Prebook your airport parking to save money! If you have a long way to travel, why not also look at booking an airport hotel. These aren't as expensive as you might think. click here
What happens when I arrive?
On arrival please make your way through baggage claim and immigration. There will either be a rep to meet you or you will have full details of your where to meet your transfer (with a confirmation voucher) in your travel documentation. If you have any issues on arrival, please contact us. We have an emergency contact, manned by a member of the team here in the UK. Please call 0044 7747 488 002. We will be able to help your rep locate you in the airport.
Transfers are included in your holiday. You be advised in your travel documentation of how to find your transfer.
At the end of your holiday, your return transfer details will be advised locally. There is no departure tax.
Included in your holiday
Tipping is entirely at your discretion. We do not make recommendations as to how much to tip. Should you wish to leave a tip for the staff and crew, it should reflect the level of service you have enjoyed.
Plugs and electricity
Please take your own equipment with you. If you require rental kit, do let us know in advance so we can check current availability and costs
Deposits and Balances
Ways to pay
We charge 2% on credit card transactions but nothing on UK debit card payments. All non sterling card payments will be subject to the 2% surcharge. Alternatively, you are welcome to pay via bank transfer. Overseas transfers must add £6 to the sterling total to cover international handling fees. We are not able to accept PayPal transactions.
If you have booked as part of a group, you can still call and pay directly without needing to go via your group leader. Please have your trip reference number to hand to help us locate your holiday as quickly as possible. You will receive a transaction receipt - your group leader will forward your ATOL certificate and booking confirmation
For diving in Umkomaas and Aliwal we have teamed up with OceanWorx, one of the area's premier dive centres, exploring the reefs and wrecks. This is an experienced team that dives it all - from reef and wrecks to dedicated shark trips, no two dives are ever the same!
OceanWorx are able to teach all recreational PADI courses, including Divemaster. The dive centre is well equipped with hot showers, changing, kit storage and wifi. OceanWorx is your home away from home and hub for everything dive related in Aliwal.
- 3 8m dedicated dive RIBS offering 2 dives each morning
- Huge variety of dive sites including reef and shark dives
- Dive the Nebo and Produce wrecks
- Full range of PADI dive courses
Diving in Ailwal is quite unlike anywhere else in the world. All diving is from RIBS and best suited to advanced divers - most dives are drifts and this can be in the blue. Year round you can expect to find turtles and dolphins. There are even humpbacks, cruising down the coast (Jun-Nov). And if it is shark diving you are looking for, you are in the right place! Tiger sharks are most common Dec - Jun, raggies Jun - Nov, whalesharks Dec-Feb and mantas... well they can turn up anytime! Speak to the dive centre locally to arrange dedicated black tip or tiger shark dives (local supplement approx 1 370 00 rand).
Diving Rates & Prices
If you pre-book your diving as part of a holiday package with Scuba Travel you can take advantage of our special rates and make considerable savings on your dive package or dive course at Umkomaas and Aliwal.
- 1 days diving from: Price on request
- 3 days diving from: Price on request
- 5 days diving from: Price on request
Scuba Diving Courses
- PADI open water referral from: Price on request
- PADI open water course from: Price on request
- PADI advanced course from: Price on request
- Nitrox Specialty from: Price on request
- Other courses available on request
- Full set (Mask, Fins, BCD, Reg and wetsuit): Price on request
These prices are subject to change and you will be advised of the exact cost at the time of booking.