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Africa > Southern Africa > South Africa > Diving in South Africa > Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay > Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Smits Cliff

Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Smits Cliff

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The dive site Smits Cliff or Hells Gate is a shoreline rocky reef in the Batsata area on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


The site is not dived very often as there are more popular sites which are more accessible. As a result it is mostly unexplored and has not been mapped.


  • S34°16.48’ E018°28.41’ 1 Smits Cliffs Below the cliffs visible above the water on the south side of Smitswinkel Bay,

This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required.

Smits Cliff is the reef below the peak on the far side of the bay in this photo


The site name "Smits Cliffs" refers to the cliffs above the site and the contraction for Smitswinkel Bay commonly used by local divers. The cliffs at the south side of Smitswinkel Bay are marked on the charts as "Hell’s Gate". The mountain above them is called Judas Peak (919 m).


Maximum depth is probably about 16 m.


Not a particularly spectacular site, but interesting, Large and medium sandstone boulders and outcrops, with coarse shelly sand in low spots.

Geology: Ordovician sandstones, probably of the Graafwater formation.


This site is well protected from south westerly swell, but quite exposed to south easterly weather. It would usually be a winter dive.

Get in[edit]

Smits Cliffs and nearby dive sites

Access to this site is only by boat. The site is approximately 6.2 km from Miller's Point slipway and 13.5km from Simon's Town jetty.


Marine life[edit]

Moderate variety of invertebrates.



No specific routes recommended.

Stay safe[edit]


No site specific hazards known.


No special skills required.


No special equipment recommended


Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Batsata area

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