Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Justins Caves
The Dive site Justin's Caves is an extensive area of rocky reef in the Oudekraal area on the Atantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Information is provided which may assist in planning Recreational and Research Scuba diving at this site, and links to photographs of marine organisms that have been found there.
The site has spectacular topography and colourful ecology, and is justly one of the more popular shore dives of Cape Town.
Name "Justin's caves"
There are a number of small caves and spacious swimthroughs which contribute to the name, but it is not recorded who Justin was.
S33°58.848’ E018°21.473’ (Shoreward entrance to main cave)
S34°58.85’ E018°21.50’ (The highest rock in the group)
(Description of location)
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2009)
Shore dive. Park at side of road on outside of bend near S3358.941’ E01821.594’. There is an entry/exit point directly opposite the caves at the bottom of a slope covered with rounded boulders of medium to small size at S33°58.910’ E018°21.571’. This gives the most direct route to the caves which are under the group of large granite boulders about 150m offshore. The gully is quite shallow over rounded sandstone boulders and there is a nice flat granite rock at entry point to put gear on if the tide is low enough. If the tide is very low the kelp can be a bit of an obstacle, particularly in the gully, and the rocks can be slippery. An alternative entry and exit point which is far more protected from the South West swell is at Sandy Cove, about 50m to the north, but if the conditions are too rough at the entry described here, the caves will be very surgey. Not generally done as a boat dive, but if it is, the boat should stay out of the channel between the rocks and the shore, as unmarked divers use this area on the surface and at shallow depth. The ground is generally unsuitable for anchoring, and boats should not be left unattended at anchor.(how to get there, boat or shore)
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Views of the site from the shore.
View of the site from the entry and exit point which is in the middle foreground of this photo. The caves are under the group of granite boulders in the background. The first swimthrough referred to in Route 1 is under the second high rock from the left, and the main swimthrough is under the low rock just to the right of that in the photo. Access is over the small round boulders in the foreground and through a gap to the left of the gully. Swim out on the surface to just short of the high rock in the background. The gully is quite shallow and at low tide the kelp is a hassle.