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The dive site Container Bay is a shoreline rocky reef in the Rooi-els area on the east side of False Bay, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Aerial photo of the site (Photo DGS&M)
The entry gully at Container Bay
Start of the path from the road to the entry area at Container Bay
See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Understand

This is a site which you might dive if you are staying at Rooi-els or nearby, and wanted a bit of variety. The site is more suitable for snorkelling, and has been popular for collecting rock lobster in season.


S34°18.75’ E018°49.05’ 1 Container Bay(approximate)

The last bay at Rooi-els that is accessible by public road.

This site is not in a Marine Protected Area. A permit is not required.


The name "Container Bay" refers to a shipping container that was washed up on the rocks in the 1980s or earlier, and has since almost completely rusted away.


Maximum depth is about 14 m.


Rocky reef around the perimeter of the bay, with a sand bottom in the middle with occasional rocky outcrops.

Geology: Sandstone probably of the Peninsula formation.


There is often quite strong surge due to the shallow water.

The site is exposed to swell from the south west, so should be dived when this component of the swell is low and weak, and is often good in south easterly winds.

The site is usually at it's best in summer but there are also occasional opportunities at other times of the year.



Get in[edit]

Usually a shore dive. The shore entry is fairly easy and there is no point in taking the trouble to arrange a boat trip. Park at the side of the road. Note that this road is a narrow unpaved cul-de-sac and there are no areas suitable for turning. You may have to reverse back to the fork. There is a path from the roadside to a gully suitable for entry and exit at S34°18.674’ E018°49.162’. Alternative entry and exit points are possible, but the only one with reasonable road access is to the north of the bay, and is over a shoreline of small rounded boulders which can be seen at the top left of the aerial photo.


Marine life[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#The marine ecology

Extensive kelp forests and clumps wherever there are rocks on the bottom. This was a popular site for Kreef and Perlemoen diving, but they have mostly been dived out. The reef is fairly shallow and there is quite a lot of understorey seaweed, including areas of feathery caulerpa. There are various ridges and gullies and most of the interesting and colourful reef life is under overhangs and in crevices. The point to the south has gullies which are relatively deep.


This is not a particularly good site for photography, and macro equipment is likely to produce the best results.


Enter at the gully and work your way across the sand and central outcrops to one of the points, then back along the shallower reefs to the entry gully.

Stay safe[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Stay safe


Strong surge in shallow areas and gullies, and over the top of ridges, particularly in a long period swell.


No special skills required. The site is suitable for snorkelling as most of the interesting areas are quite shallow.


See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Equipment

No special equipment required or recommended.


Container Bay reefs and nearby dive sites

Back to the Alphabetical list of sites, or list of dive sites in the Rooi-els area

Other regional dive sites:

This dive guide to Container Bay is a usable article. It has information on location and equipment as well as some complete entries on what to see. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.