Justin’s Caves Dive Site

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Justin’s Cave might be my favourite dive site in the world.

The site is off the coast of Cape Town, in South Africa and is accessible both by boat and shore. It is a cold water dive, but because of the conditions, the water is exceptionally clear.

Justin's Caves Dive Site

Photo Credit: Talya Davidoff

The Dive starts in a kelp forest against a granite wall covered with juvenile Rock lobster and gas-flame nudibranchs.

The wall gives way to a short swim through of about two meters. In the dim light, you can find resting shy sharks and small schools of Sea breams.

As I exit the swim-through, the underwater world that meets me is simply breathtaking. Every surface is covered in brightly coloured sea anemones, sea stars, and urchins. This is the central point of the dive where you will continually return as the dive progresses I swim over the bed of anemones to the far end of the of this underwater enclosure, this is where I find another swim-through that splits into two and rejoins in the end.

I always end up taking the lower one because on the inside of the walls are small patches covered with peach coloured soft coral. These fragile organisms sway to and fro in the light surge as I pass by. The more I move around this sight, the more swim-throughs I find. Each one revealing the secret micro life that the Cape has to offer.

The dive is shallow so the natural light creates a tropical scene in cold water. The way the rock formation is placed makes the main area of the dive a safe haven for all marine animals. I often make my way back to this part and just observe the large schools shoaling fish.

The Author: Talya Davidoff is a marine biologist, freediving champion and dive instructor.

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