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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Rambler Rock

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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay : Rambler Rock
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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Rambler Rock

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The dive site Rambler Rock is an offshore rocky reef in the Simon's Town area on the Cape Peninsula side of False Bay, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Map of the dive sites at Rambler Rock


  • S34°10.924’ E018°27.899’ (North Rambler Rock west pinnacle)
  • S34°10.916' E018°27.996' (North Rambler Rock east reefs)
  • S34°11.011’ E018°27.918’ (South Rambler Rock)

A reef south east of the Roman Rock lighthouse off Simon’s Town Harbour. It is marked on the SAN charts which show two major groups of rocks at this site: the north group and the south group.

This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required.


The reef is marked on the SA Navy charts as "Rambler Rock".


Maximum depth about 22m on the sand at the West pinnacle. Top of the pinnacle is about 10m. Maximum depth at the eastern reefs is about 27m on the sand. The top of this section is estimated at 12m.


Visibility is difficult to predict, and may differ from sites further inshore (usually better) and further south (may be better or worse). When conditions are generally good for this area it may be in excess of 10m, more commonly a bit less.


North West pinnacle[edit]

Very large boulders and outcrops over a fairly small area (About 75m East to West, 35m North to South), coarse sand bottom, a few outlying outcrops of smaller size.

North East reefs[edit]

Extensive fairly low profile reef with areas of moderately high profile boulders. Not very well known, but pleasantly varied.

South pinnacle[edit]

This is a very interesting section of reef, made up of several rectangular granite boulders. Top of the pinnacle is at 14m, with several large boulders and going down to around 23m in scattered low-lying boulders. The reef has many seafans, and sea cucumbers cover it in abundance. It has good topography for the wide angle photographer and an abundance of nudibranchs and small creatures for the macro enthusiast.

Geology: Granite of the late Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton.


This site can be dived at any time of the year that has low or short period swell. Poor visibility at the surface does not necessarily extend to the bottom. The site is exposed to winds from all directions, which can produce an unpleasant choppy sea, and make it difficult for the boat crew to see a diver on the surface. The site is usually at its best in winter and spring.

Get in[edit]

This site is only accessible by boat. It is about 3.9 km from Simon’s Town or 5.4km from Miller’s Point.

See[edit][add listing]

Marine life[edit]

The rocks are encrusted with a variety of organisms depending on depth and orientation. There are kelp and sea urchins on the tops of the pinnacles, and Red-bait and other large solitary ascidians scattered around. The steeper sides are largely covered by common feather stars, There are also occasional sea fans, some quite large. The sand is coarse and shelly near the rocks, and there are sand stars, brittle stars, sand slugs, burrowing anemones and purple sea pens on the sand.


This is a good photographic site. (photographic equipment suggestions)


  1. North pinnacle: Live boat dive. Drop onto the pinnacle and explore. It is small enough to swim around a few times at varying depth, so start at the bottom and work your way up. The kelp is restricted to the top so a SMB can be towed easily. Alternatively use the shotline or deploy your DSMB at the end of the dive.
  2. South pinnacle: Much the same as North pinnacle. (more information needed, please help if you can)

Stay safe[edit]


A Great White shark has been seen at this site.


No special skills required, though the ability to deploy a DSMB is useful as most dives are from a live boat.


A light is useful to restore colour at depth, a compass to keep track of your movements, a DSMB to let the boat know where you are surfacing, and Nitrox can extend no-decompression time significantly in this depth range.

Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Roman Rocks reefs

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