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The dive site Outer Photographer's Reef is an offshore rocky reef in the Seaforth area of Simon's Town on the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.


Map of the dive site at Outer Photographer's Reef
See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Understand

This is just one of the many smaller offshore reefs in the 20 to 30 m depth range that can be found along the coast of False Bay south of the Roman Rock reef complex, where there are a moderate number of scattered granite outcrops of various sizes, many of which are virtually unknown.


1 Outer Photographer's Reef: S34°11.778' E018°27.898'


The name "Outer Photographer's Reef" refers to its position offshore relative to Photographer's Reef


Maximum depth is about 29 m at the reef edge, though at high tide it will be a bit more, and 30 m can be found a short distance away. The top of the reef is about 18 m, with a minimum depth of 16 m at low tide.


The main reef is a ridge of granite approximately 170 m long and 35 m wide, with the long axis bearing roughly 315° magnetic. The reef is surrounded by sand. The long sides are very steep, and overhang in places on the south-west wall, which rises from the sand at about 27 m to about 18 m. On the south-west side there is also a deep gully with sand bottom, which splits the reef into two sections, one very much smaller than the other. There are a few low outliers off the ends and to the sides which have not been mapped. The north western end slopes down quite gradually from a tabular top at roughly 18 m depth, which ridges up slightly to the south east to a minimum depth of roughly 16 m at low tide. The north-east wall is a little deeper both at the top and bottom, and not quite as sheer.

There are a few outliers of substantial size. To the south there is a large outcrop rising to about 20 m on top, with a transverse crack down to the sand, somewhat less than a metre wide. To the northeast there is another outcrop said to rise to about 19 m, and there are several low boulders scattered around the reef.

Geology: Granite of the late Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton.


The site is usually at it's best in winter but there are also occasional opportunities in other seasons.

Get in[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Boat dives

This is a boat dive. It is too far offshore to swim as a shore dive. The site is about (distance) km from Simon's Town jetty and the False Bay Yacht Club, or (distance) km from Miller's Point slipway.


Marine life[edit]

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

The top of the reef is heavily covered with feather stars and grey sea cucumbers, but is too deep for kelp, and though there are some sea squirts, they are not the dominant species. In May 2022 the southern outlier was heavily covered by small golden sea cucumbers, with a few other species scattered around. Purple sea pens can be found on the sand.

  • The main reef is wall sided on both long sides, and there is a deep sand bottomed gully and a slight overhang on the south-west side.
  • The southern outlier is also fairly flat topped, with steep sides and a large transverse crack extending down to the sand.


Suggested Routes[edit]

No specific route recommended. The site is small enough to visit most if not all of it on a single dive. The upper surface is relatively monotonous, so start by going down to the sand, then explore the wall, The south-west side is more topographically varied.

Stay safe[edit]

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


No site specific hazards known.


No special skills required. Certification appropriate to the depth will be expected. Ability to deploy a DSMB is recommended.


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

No special equipment required. A DSMB is recommended in case you need to ascend away from the shotline.


Outer Photographer's Reef and nearby dive sites

Back to the list of Alphabetical list of sites, or dive sites in the Seaforth to Froggy Pond area

Other regional dive sites:

This dive guide to Outer Photographer's Reef has guide status. It has a variety of good, quality information including location, conditions and equipment, and info on marine life and other sights. Please contribute and help us make it a star!