Aliwal Dive Centre
By Johan Boshoff
In the heart of Umkomaas, only a three minute walk from the beach, shops, restaurants and banks, is a facility that offers everything a diver could want.Aliwal Dive Centre was established over 12 years ago, and the current owners, Lesley and Nigel Pickering who took over in March 2004, had the idea to create a dive charter company that would offer everything to the diving community. Today they are proud to say that they have achieved their goal.
The luxury dive lodge offers accommodation from backpacker style en-suite rooms to double/twin rooms, the majority of which are air-conditioned, have a sea facing balcony, fridge, fan, safe and tea/coffee making facilities. For convenience, the rooms are situated above the Dive Shop and Training School and every morning after the first dive a full cooked breakfast is served on the sun deck next to the 4m deep solar heated swimming pool.
The dive charter is fully equipped with air and nitrox fills and the kitting up area has hot showers with a storage room for all your kit. The 8m boats are also fully equipped with all the necessary safety equipment and are driven by skippers who have many years experience launching to Aliwal Shoal. Each boat launches with a maximum of ten divers along with one divemaster who endeavours to show the divers all the beauty that the Shoal has to offer. Diving with someone who has extensive local knowledge and experience always makes you feel at ease. Aliwal Dive Centre is also a PADI 5 Instructor development centre that can train divers from basic Open Water to Instructor.
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