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The dive site Livingstone Reef is an offshore rocky reef in the Roman Rock area of Simon's Bay, in False Bay, near Cape Town in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.


Map of the dive site at Livingstone Reef
Map showing the position of Livingstone Reef in relation to the surrounding reefs

Fairly high profile corestone reef around the pinnacle, and another large outcrop some way to the east. Quite pretty. Typical medium depth west False Bay invertebrate cover, with lots of sea fans.


  • 1 Livingstone Reef: S34°10.605' E018°27.571'


  • 199° magnetic to Roman Rock lighthouse
  • 276° magnetic to Long Beach

This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required. The site is entirely within the Boulders Restricted Zone of the Table Mountain National Park MPA.


The name "Livingstone Reef" is derived from the name of the diver who found the pinnacle by accident when diving the north pinnacle of Castor Reef. The reef was known to exist, but had not been reported before as a dive site.


Maximum depth is about 23 m on the sand and the top of the pinnacle is about 14 m. There is another pinnacle to the east which comes up to about 15 or 16 m.


The western pinnacle is fairly compact, but made up from a group of large rocks clustered together, with crevices, gaps, and a few overhangs. The highest rock extends about a metre above the 15 m depth, and the local area is generally above 18 m for several metres around.

The surrounding reef is relatively low, mostly between 21 and 18 m deep, and the sand is at about 23 m.

The reef is elongated from north-west to south-east. The length is estimated at about 220 m, and width from south west to north east is about 30 m near the pinnacle. The pinnacle slopes down rapidly to sand to the north-east and southwest, while to the south-east and north west the slope is more gradual, over quite an area of low reef. Further to the south-east it gets more rugged again, and extensive outliers in the form of low ridges and boulders lie to the northeast and south of the high reef.

About 100 m to the south-east of the pinnacle there is another slightly lower monolithic pinnacle reaching up to about 17 m depth from the sand on the north eastern side.

Geology: Granite corestones of the Peninsula pluton, surrounded by fairly fine quartz sand.


The site is exposed to south easterly wind and waves, so should be dived in light winds, or if the wind is somewhat from the west, and is often good in winter. The site is reasonably protected from south westerly swell, but if the wave period is long there may be significant surge. This is an area which sometimes has a thermocline, and the temperature may drop several degrees, often with a marked improvement in visibility, resulting in better but colder conditions than the surface would suggest. Temperatures may drop by more than 5%deg;C across the thermocline, and this is more likely in summer.

Get in[edit]

Boat dive: The site is too far offshore to swim

The site is about 6.1 km from Miller's Point slipway, 3.5 km from False Bay Yacht Club, or 3.3 km from Long Beach


Marine life[edit]

The reef cover is typical for this area and depth range. There are fairly large numbers of gorgonian sea fans, anemones, soft corals, arborescent htdroids, bryozoans, feather stars and sea cucumbers. Fish include Bank steenbras, Redfingers, Two-tone fingerfin, Hottentot, Chubby clingfish, Klipfish and various shy-sharks.


The pinnacle is an area of complex topography, with several deep gullies and crevices, and a few overhangs and small swim-throughs


This is a good site for macro photography, and if the visibility is good, wide angle should produce good results.

Suggested Routes[edit]

The most spectacular area known is in the immediate vicinity of the pinnacle. Dive around it, from the sand to the NE and SW to the top of the pinnacle. If you choose to go further afield, try following the north east edge to the eastern pinnacle, and further.

Stay safe[edit]


No site specific hazards are known.


No special skills required, Most of the site is deeper than the recommended limit for most entry level divers. Certification appropriate to the depth is expected. The ability to deploy a DSMB is recommended.


A DSMB is recommended so that the boat can see where you will be surfacing.


Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Roman Rock reefs

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