Diving inland in South Africa/Komati Springs
Komati Springs used to be a mine prior to 1972. When mining because unfeasible, equipment was pulled out, and they ceased pumping out water. The groundwater rose back naturally, thus providing a dive site of note. This left an open hole to 54m, and a cavern and cave system from 9 m to 186m. Water in the hole reached reaches up to 26 degrees in summer, and never drops below 16 degrees in winter. Visibility is 10 – 20m. There are grids at 5, 10 and 30 meters. The site is 915m above sea level, so not as high as the Gauteng sites. Weather is normally good, and dive conditions are always good.
Komati Springs, is one of the most popular technical diving and technical diver training sites in inland South Africa due to the depth, accessability, overhead environment and consistant conditions.
S25 56.058 E30 42.648
This site is not in a Marine Protected Area. A permit is not required.
Maximum depth found to date in the mine system is about 186m, and 53m in open water.
5 to 40m.
The area is surrounded by the oldest mountains on the planet dating back to 3.7 billion years. This is a Greenstone Belt area, and these are zones of rocks left over from the original portion of the Earth. It is the oldest well-preserved real estate on Earth. Dotted throughout the area you can also see Komatiites - outcrops consisting of the hottest rocks ever to erupt on the planet. They are named after the Komati River, which in turn carved out the Great Nkomati River Valley. The surrounding grasslands represent the most threatened biome on Earth. .
Geology: The site is an abandoned and flooded asbestos mine. The surrounding area has been rehabilitated and is considered safe from asbestos contamination.
The water temperature varies seasonally. In summer the surface temperature can rise to 25°C, dropping to about 20°C at about 30m, and 17°C at depth. In winter the water drops to a consitant 16 to 17°C throughout the water column.
This is a shore dive site. The entry point is steps to the edge, then a ladder to get to the water. Parking is next to dive site.
The cave system of the abandoned mine is a three-dimensional maze with lots of exploration opportunities.
Cave system, and deep water.
Cave certification is required to be allowed entry to the overhead areas, unless you are being trained as a cave diver at the time. Certification appropriate to the planned depth of the dive is required.
Cave diving equipment is necessary for penetrations.