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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Buffels Bay

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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay : Buffels Bay
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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Buffels Bay

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The dive site Buffels Bay is a shoreline rocky reef in the Buffels Bay area on the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.



S34°19.217' E018°27.73'

Between the slipway at Buffels Bay and the small sandy beach just to the north.

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

Thye slipway at the dive site at Buffels Bay


The name "Buffels Bay" is name of the small bay of which the dive site is a part.


Fairly shallow , less than 10m.


Visibility is affected by any waves which break at the beach to the north of the reef, as the water is shallow and the sand is fine.


Geology: Ordovician sandstones of the Table Mountain group, probably of the Graafwater formation.


The site is exposed to wind and waves from the south east, and is very near to Cape Point, so some south west swell will make it round the corner. The site should be dived in fairly flat conditions. The site is reasonably protected from north westerly wind ans waves.


Off road parking in reasonable security (lock your car, the baboons know how to open the doors), Toilet facilities, slipway, beach, tidal pool and picnic area. Fires may be made in designated fireplaces.

Get in[edit]

This site is usually dived from the shore, as the access is easy, though there is a slipway at the site.

There is adequate paved off road parking at the site.

Entry and exit is usually at the small sandy beach just to the north of the rocky shoreline of the dive site. This is easy walking distance from the parking and the path is obvious. There may be surf at the entry point, whic can make access difficult or hazardous.

See[edit][add listing]

Algal turf on Buffels Bay reef
Rock lobster

Marine life[edit]

The reef is shallow, and is dominated by kelp forests and algal turf understorey, but there are areas with sponges, feather stars, Rock lobster and Abalone.


The site is shallow, and the surf at the beach picks up a lot of fine sand, which reduces the visibility and caused backscatter, so macro photography is most likely to produce acceptable results. On a very quiet day wide angle with natural light may also work.


Enter at the beach to the north of the picnic area or at the slipway and swim around over the reef. There are no specific recommended routes.

Stay safe[edit]


Surf entry and exit may be a problem if the swell is high. There is a slipway where skiboats can be launched, so there is a possibility of boat traffic. If you dive near the slipway be aware of the possibility of boats being launched and recovered.


No special skills required.


No special equipment required. If boats are operating from the slipway a surface marker buoy may be prudent.

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