Wikivoyage:What is a dive guide?

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This article is intended to provide guidance to persons wishing to create or edit a Dive guide on Wikivoyage. The procedure listed will result in a substantially complete and useful guide, but plunge forward and input whatever useful information you have available. It can be completed later.

What a dive guide should be

  1. Useful to the travelling diver
  2. Useful to the local diver who doesn't know all the sites
  3. Useful to the local dive operators who may also not know all the sites, or may be new to the area
  4. Useful to the travel agent planning dive trips for customers
  5. Provide factual details about the dive sites
  6. Reflect experience at the sites by recreational divers, and impressions of travelling divers
  7. If something is good, say what makes it good.
  8. Include as much of the information indicated by the template as possible
  9. Interesting and easy to read, well formatted and unambiguous.
  10. When in doubt, refer to Rule 1

This does not usually happen all at once. Any information that adds value as described above is welcome, and will eventually be edited into something that complies with the aims of Wikivoyage. If you have something that you think will be useful, put it in. If you can edit it into shape, go ahead, If not, someone else will do it later.

What a dive guide should NOT be

  • A list of dive operators from outside the area
  • A list of travel agents or booking agents which book dive trips to the area
  • A list of dive sites with no useful content, and lots of hyperbole and unsubstantiated superlatives. If you claim something is the best, it will be challenged, and if you can't prove it, it WILL be removed, probably with most of the other information as well, as most editors can recognise spam, but can't sift out the good information. It you want your edit to last, put in useful facts.
  • An attempt by dive operators to persuade potential clients that their turf is better than everyone else's by inaccurate representation.
  • Anything that is claimed to be "arguably the best" or similar will be deleted without further comment.
  • Unsubstantiated claims that a site or region is better than others. We don't care that some hack said it was the best, we insist on knowing why it is the best.

How to create the new dive guide article


Choose a suitable name for the proposed dive guide. Diving in Region name is the suggested style. (examples: Diving in South Africa. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay, Diving in Durban)

Add an internal link to the proposed new dive guide at an appropriate place in a higher level guide (Scuba diving#destinations or the destination section of a national dive guide for the appropriate country). Save the page to create a red link.

Click on this red link, to take you to the new article page, which will have your chosen name.

The substitution template: {{subst:DiveRegion}} should be used to prepare the outline. Type this in and save the page. This will create the outline of section headings.

Add content


Content should be added as follows: Click the "Edit" tab of the newly created article, and scroll down to the edit window to add your text. The explanation below will help you to add the desired content to each section. Enter as much as you can, and leave the unused headings for others to complete. If you need help while editing, click the "Editing help" link a few paragraphs below the editing window. This will open a help file in a new window. Your original window will remain unchanged and you can switch between windows without affecting edits.

Leader paragraph

  • The leader paragraph should explain what the article is about and who it is for.
  • The basic geographic extent of the region which is covered by the guide is stated.


General topography

  • Some information is provided on the physical geography of the region.
  • Extent of the region is clearly defined. (a map or other illustration may be sufficient)
  • Major landforms defining the region are mentioned and named and if necessary, explained.
  • The general topography of both underwater and land is described. Some form of relief map drawing or illustration should be present.

Climate, weather and sea conditions

  • If applicable, a description of the regional climate, weather systems, oceanography in terms of tides, currents, seasonal water condition variations, max and min values for water temperature, air temperature etc.

Marine ecology

  • If applicable, a description of the region's marine/aquatic ecology.


  • Special equipment and training required or recommended for diving in the region, both general and sub-region specific.


  • Any vulnerable ecological or archaeological material, its particular vulnerabilities, and its distribution in the region
  • Special procedures or precautions to avoud ecological or archaeological damage.
  • Any local legislation affecting diving in the region is explained sufficiently to allow a reasonably prudent diver to confidently avoid contravention.

Get help

  • Provide a list of emergency contact phone numbers for the region, or where there is no appropriate emergency service within the region, contact details for the most appropriate services outside the region.
  • These numbers should include where possible: Recompression chamber facilities, Hospital, Clinic or doctor, Diving medical practitioner (specialist), DAN local contact number, Police, Ambulance, Fire department, any specialist rescue organisations that may be of use, Sea rescue/Coastguard.

Get service

  • A listing of dive schools, dive shops, cylinder filling facilities, Scuba and cylinder service facilities, dive charter boats, liveaboards, etc. in the region should be provided. Any known idiosyncracies or specialist abilities (such as affiliated training agency, or foreign languages spoken) should be mentioned.
  • Only if there is no representative of any specific class of service business in the region, the nearest convenient agency outside the region should be listed, with approximate distance and any other critical information.
  • It is not necessary to list every dive school, shop, charter business, air filling station, or equipment service agent in the region, but at least one reputable representative of each of these classes should be listed with adequate contact information. If dry suits are recommended in the region, a dry-suit repair agent should be listed. If there is no dry suit repair facility in the region, list the one generally used by residents of the region.


  • List names of dive schools in the region


  • List names of dive shops in the region


  • List names of places that rent dive gear


  • List names of operators, charter boats, liveaboards operating in or from the area.


  • List organisations which service and repair Scuba regulators, BCDs, cylinders, drysuits. Specify the range of services for each


  • List contact details of places listed in "Learn", "Buy", "Rent", "Do" and "Fix". Include a list of the services provided for each. Use "Other listings" insertion template.

Get around

  • Explain how to get around the region as a diver, particularly a diver with dive gear. Options of private and public transport as available should be discussed.

Stay safe

  • Should be appropriate to most of the sites in the region.
  • A description of regional hazards, the risks connected to them, and appropriate mitigation where applicable.

See (Listing of dive sites)

  • listings of dive sites should normally provide a short paragraph describing each site in general terms. No great detail is required.
    • Site name
    • Location
    • Reasons why one might choose to dive there (optional)
  • The number of dive sites listed in a guide should be appropriate to region size. In general a region should not contain less than one city or other significant destination unit.
  • Sites which would ordinarily be reached on a day excursion from a destination such as a city would be in one dive guide, even if there are a large number of them. If there are major differences betreen two regions accessible from the same city as day excursions, and there are enough sites to justify a split, this may be appropriate.
  • Unless there is a good reason, such as the conditions are very different from the nearest other sites, it would not be appropriate to have a regional guide for a smaller number of sites than about 5, even if the sites are on different islands or near different cities.
  • A guide region should not cross national borders except in special circumstances.

Add images (Maps and photos)


Images should be uploaded to Commons by using the Upload page. See How to add an image.

Create the new dive site sub-articles


Articles for dive sites within the region covered by a dive guide should be created as sub-articles to the dive guide when there is enough information about the specific site. This avoids problems of ambiguous site names by referencing the sites to the region. Groups of drop spots clustered closely where most of the background information is common to all, can be put in a "Do" section of the same dive site article

Each dive site should have a link from the regional guide. Create this link at the appropriate place in the site listing under secion heading See in either alphabetic or geographical order, by typing in a link starting with the main article name, followed by a slash and the sub article name, which should be the most commonly used name for the dive site by English speaking divers. Follow this by a pipe "|" and the site name again.

For example: [[Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Castle Rocks|Castle Rocks]] will display as Castle Rocks.

When first entered this should be a red link. If it is a blue link the sub-article already exists. Click on the red link to create the sub article. If there is a blue link, check that the site is the one you intended, by clicking on it and reading the content. If it is the same site, edit it with your additional information, and make whatever changes you can to improve it. If it is a different site with the same name, find out why before making changes.

The substitution template: {{subst:Divesite}} should be used to prepare the outline. Type this in and save the page. This will create the outline of section headings.

Dive site page naming conventions

See also: Wikivoyage:Naming conventions, Wikivoyage:Disambiguation pages

Ambiguity can be a problem if just the site name is used as a display title, such as "Diving at Coral Gardens". Use of the full sub-page title Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Coral Gardens will avoid confusion if all other sites called Coral Gardens are sub-pages of different regional articles, but Cape Town has two sites called Coral Gardens, one at Oudekreaal and one at Rooi-els, but both are sub-pages of Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay. A disambiguation page could help for searches based on the alias (page name without disambiguator).

An exception to excluding hierarchy from article names is districts in a city, and this has been extended to dive sites for a number of years, but times and consensus may change. A better convention for dive sites may be possible. It is also acceptable to use a display page title that differs from the actual page title for districts (see the arondissements of Paris), so this should be acceptable to apply to dive sites to produce more compact titles. Titles such as "Diving (at) (the) <site name>" are suggested so that it remains clear that the topic is a dive site, not a regional topic, such as "Diving in <region name>" or a regular destination.

Add content


Content should be added in the same way as for the regional dive guide. The explanation below will help you to add the desired content to each section. Enter as much as you can, and leave the unused headings for others to complete. If you need help while editing, click the "Editing help" link a few paragraphs below the editing window. This will open a help file in a new window. Your original window will remain unchanged and you can switch between windows without affecting edits.

Leader paragraph

  • The site is named, with alternative names where applicable
  • Type of site specified
    • Water temperature class (Tropical, temperate or polar.)
    • Proximity to coast. (Inland, shoreline, inshore or offshore.)
    • Bottom type (Sand, shingle, rocky or coral reef)
    • Wreck age class if applicable (recent or historical wreck.)
    • Other classification. (Deep, cavern or cave, fresh water, lake, river, high altitude etc. if applicable)
  • Geographical location given in general terms
    • Nearest major landmark,
    • near [[Nearest City]] (internal link)
    • in [[Region]] (internal link)
    • in [[Country]]. (internal link)


  • A map showing the position and layout of the site in some detail, preferably to scale.
  • Reason/s why one would choose to dive the site.


  • GPS position for the site. Should put a diver at least somewhere on the site, specify where if possible
  • Alternative range and bearing or cross bearings to well defined and reasonably close landmarks. Photos of landmarks desirable.
  • distance from launch site or harbour for boat access (km or N.miles)


  • Optional image of whatever the site is named after
  • Explanation of origin of the site name, translation if applicable.


  • Maximum depth to be expected on the site
  • If applicable, shallowest point of the site


  • Range of visibility to be expected when conditions are generally considered suitable for diving.


  • Description of the layout of the site
  • General idea of slope, profile and rugosity
  • Description of major feateres and landmarks
  • Condition of wreckage if applicable


  • Only for rocky reefs
  • Type of rock, (geological age, name of formation optional)
  • Strike and dip optional if applicable


  • What weather conditions will result in good diving conditions.
  • Any specific weather conditions which will result in unpleasant or hazardous diving conditions.
  • Any special oceanographic or weather conditions the site is known for. (sudden offshore winds, upwellings, currents, plankton blooms, thermoclines etc.)if applicable
  • Information sufficient to allow a reasonably competent diver with a moderate understanding of the local weather and climate to forecast conditions during a planned dive over a short period (3 to 4 hours) when on site.


  • Generally only for shore access dives
  • Facilities must be in close walking range of parking area or entry points
  • Facilities appropriate to divers and accompanying family only.(parking, ablution, fast food, dive services, picnic areas, security, beach, shade, etc.)

Get in

  • Adequate directions to reach the site
  • A map or aerial photo indicating the position of entry/exit areas (only for shore entry ) if the main site map is not sufficient.
  • Sufficient text for a person who has no local knowledge at all to find the site and identify any access areas with confidence.
  • Photos of the standard entry and exit points if applicable.


Listing of drop points at the dive site for boat dives, and points of interest that might reasonably be the focus of a dive for shore dives. Combinations may also work. Routes may be described, general topography and features at each point of interest may be described.

Suggested Routes

  • Any suggested or recommended routes, not directly associated with one of the drop points listed above (such as a route linking several points of interest), with an indication of what the diver may expect to see. This may be a drift dive if applicable.


Marine life and/or Features

  • Photos of organisms or features one may reasonably expect to see at the site
  • Description of what a diver may see during a dive


  • Advice on photographic equipment (macro/wide angle, need for external lighting) if appropriate.
  • Photographic opportunities that may be expected or hoped for if applicable.

Stay safe


  • Site specific hazards of any kind, including access hazards if applicable. "No site specific hazards known" is null default.

Advice on mitigation is optional.

  • security problems and land based hazards may also be mentioned if applicable. (theft/mugging risk, animals stealing food etc.)


  • Skills or competence required for diving at the site, if any.
  • Skills recommended for diving at the site, if any.
  • "No special skills required/recommended" is null default.


  • Any equipment beyond the standard equipment listed for the region in the regional guide, either reqired or recommended for the site for safety of convenience. Reason should be specified if not obvious.
  • "No special equipment required/recommended" is null default

Needs clarification: Under Wikivoyage:Maintenance panel the mouseover for Destinations states that "Destinations are considered to be all district, city, airport, park, dive guide, region, country and continent articles". This could imply that the containing article for a dive guide would be the destination in which the dive guide topic is situated. (link to the decision to be inserted here) Breadcrumb navigation for the dive guide should therefore link to that destination. Sub-pages for specific dive sites are automatically in the main article for the destination or region. Some dive sites are not specifically associated with a destination at city level, and may belong to a wider geographical region, like "inland", "south coast" or "offshore", a marine protected area ("park"?) or an uninhabited island. Most dive guides are relatively undeveloped, and cover a whole country with little detail. There is no difficulty with Diving in New Zealand being considered part of New Zealand, or Diving in South Africa being considered part of South Africa. Some cases are more complex. Diving regions are not necessarily associated with political regions within a country - they are more likely to be associated with geographical regions based on hydrographic, oceanographic or geological distinctions which may be distributed over parts of, or groups of political/administrative regions.


A reasonable compromise might be to make the "Diving in Country" article part of the "Country article", with lower level dive guides within the country in the breadcrumb trail, but there may be exceptions.

Also needing clarification: Which breadcrumb templates to use. {{IsPartOf}} is intended for destinations, and {{PartOfTopic}} for travel topics. If dive guides are to be treated as destinations, {{IsPartOf}} seems most appropriate.

See also