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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Vulcan Rock

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

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The dive site Vulcan Rock is reef in the outer Hout Bay area on the Atlantic 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.

Vulcan rock is the highest point of a large granite reef and breaks the surface at some states of the tide. It is low and flat on top and big enough to park a car. If there are extensive whitecaps it may be difficult to see from a distance, so it can be tricky to find on a day with low swell and a strong South easterly wind unless you have GPS. A spectacular dive if the visibility is good.

Name "Vulcan Rock"

The rock marking the site is shown on charts of the area as Vulcan Rock.

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Map of the dive site Vulcan Rock.


S34°03.967’ E018°18.582’

This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2009)


The site is acessible only by boat. it is about 5.5km from Hout Bay Harbour. Anchoring is possible, but the bottom is very rugged and anchors often foul.


The site is exposed to (weather/sea conditions). (conditions which will result in poor diving and/or difficult access). The site is usually at it's best (conditions/season) but there are also occasional opportunities (conditions /season).

This is an area which sometimes has (special circumstances, caused by, resulting in).

Keep a lookout for times when (weather conditions which indicate good diving)

(weather conditions which indicate poor diving conditions)

(weather conditions which may make access difficult, and how to deal with them)


Maximum depth is over 30m but this is some way to the north of the rock.


Granite of the Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton


Vulcan rock is the top of a very big granite tor. It is made up of large corestones on top of more of the same, down to at least 25m or so. There are lots of crevices, overhangs and fairly narrow gaps. Boulders are often several metres high. There is usually a knocking sound as loose boulders are rocked by the swell.


(site specific hazard list: Access, sea conditions, weather conditions, other)

Skill level

No special skills required.


Good site for photography, specially close-up shots of invertebrates.


The site is cold and relatively deep, and a dry suit is recommended. This is a dive site where the use of Nitrox can be worthwhile to extend no-stop time. A reel with DSMB, Light and Compass are also recommended.

Marine life

Heavy growth of red bait in shallower parts, Some kelp, probably mostly Split-fan kelp, Heavy encrustation of sponges, sea fans, bryozoans and colonial hydroids on steep faces, and particularly under overhangs. Flatter rock surfaces in deep areas are often covered by urchins and grey cucumbers.

Suggested Routes

Choose a route to suit your desired profile. For greater depth go north past the north pinnacles which do not break the surface. There is a large swim-through near the pinnacle. at about ??m depth



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