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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Rooi-els Point

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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay : Rooi-els Point
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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Rooi-els Point

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The dive site Rooi-els Point is an inshore rocky reef in the Rooi-els area on the east side of False Bay, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Aerial view of the dive site at Rooi-Els Point and Reef. (Photo CDS&M)

The point at Rooi-els seems an obvious place for a dive site. There is a break that extends north of the point indicating an extended reef. These reefs are a northwards continuation of the reefs at Coral Gardens (Rooi-els) and are very similar in many ways.


S34°17.8’ E018°48.8’

At the point at Rooi-els, mostly to the seaward side, and extending to the north east as a ridge.

This site is NOT in a Marine Protected Area. A permit is not required.


The name "Rooi-els Point" is the simple geographical description of the location.


Maximum depth is about 20m, but it is mostly 12 to 17m on the bottom.


Moderate reef of ridges running roughly magnetic north-south. Rugged sandstone ridges and gullies, mostly fairly broken, and of variable height on moderately consistent bottom depth. Occasional small patch of sand in a gully, but mostly rock bottom.

Geology: Ordovician sandstone of the Table Mountain group, probably Peninsula formation.


Exposed to south westerly swells. Long period swell will make shore exits uncomfortable even if the swell is low. Boat dives should be OK in short period swells which are a bit big for shore entry.


Limited parking at the turning bay at the end of Rocklands road.

Get in[edit]

Boat dive from Rooi-els slipway, or shore dive.

Shore dive: Turn off the R44 into Anemone street. Drive to the T-junction and turn right into Rocklands Road. Park at the north-east end of Rocklands Road. Find a suitable spot for entry among the rocks on the shore towards the point. Depending on conditions, there may be several suitable places, but all will require a walk across the rocks. If you are planning to return to the same spot for exit, check your landmarks well once beyond the kelp.

Alternative exit: If the sea picks up another exit is around behind the point (right side in the photograph), which is sheltered unless the north-wester is blowing. This will require quite a long swim but in some circumstances may be preferable to the exposed outer shores of the point.

See[edit][add listing]

Marine life[edit]

Quite colourful further out (50 to 100m probably), Lots of bryozoans, sponges and corals, colonial ascidians etc. Kelp forests very dense inshore and fairly dense on the reef north of the point.


The area is fairly good for macro photography.


Shore dive: Straight out to sea from the point about 50 to 100m. Dive and work your way around the reefs. Save at least 50bar for the return trip. More if the conditions are a bit rough, as you will want to cross the dense kelp forest under the canopy.

Boat dive: Drop in about 50 to 100m offshore and go where it looks good. The site has not been mapped and there may be much to discover.

Stay safe[edit]


Shore access requires a scramble over rocks and a slightly tricky entry and exit. Strong offshore winds may develop in a short time.


No special skills required. Moderate fitness and agility is needed for the entry and exit


A flashlight will be useful for looking under overhangs, and a reel and DSMB if doing a live-boat dive. Nitrox could be useful in the deeper areas.

Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Rooi-els

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