With a coastline spanning both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, it’s no surprise that South Africa has some of the world’s best snorkelling sites.

Here are a few of the country’s best spots.

Sodwana Bay

Situated in the northern part of the KwaZulu Natal Province, Sodwana Bay ranks as one of the six best snorkelling destinations in the world. With over 1200 resident species of fish, a variety of tropical reefs, and snorkelling conditions that remain great all year round, it’s easy to see why.

Aliwal Shoal

Aliwal Shoal lies on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal Province, and is famous for sightings of ragged-tooth sharks, cold-water fish and warm-water reef fish. Other members of the site’s population include an array of sponges. It’s also an intriguing shipwreck dive.

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Maputaland

Located in northern KwaZulu Natal, Maputaland has Cape Vidal near Saint Lucia for sheltered snorkelling at low tide. The area also has Kosi Bay Nature Reserve. It’s situated at the mouth of the Kosi Lakes on the Mozambique border, and is a beautiful spot for underwater investigation. Its warm waters are a delight.

Protea Banks

Protea Banks is just offshore from Shelly Beach, south of Port Shepstone. Regardless of when you visit, you’ll get to move through swarming fish and intricate coral reefs. But, come during summer and you’re likely to see Zambezi tiger Sharks and hammerhead sharks. Come during winter and you’ll share the water with ragged-tooth sharks.

Garden Route

The celebrated Garden Route has many incredible spots for snorkelling, some filled with marvellous coral reefs, others highlighted by mystical shipwrecks. Plettenberg Bay, for example, is packed with invertebrates like sponges, anemones and nudibranchs, all offering a brilliant array of colours. Knysna, however, is home to the Knysna Seahorse: a rare and beautiful creature you’ll need a good a eye and patience to spot. Explore these scenic areas and others in places like Mossel Bay and Storms River.