1212 Water Adventures

Peter talks about all the different water adventures one can do in South Africa.


Jana: So you mentioned hiking. I think South Africa must have a lot of outdoor activities, right?

Peter: Hmm.

Jane: Some extreme sports?

Peter: Right, right. Yeah, it's, actually for a dry country it's interesting that it has so many water sports, people that really love water sports too especially on the eastern side of the country because it's tropical warm climate year round. The sea temperature is quite warm and at the same time it has a lot of really big waves so I think two of the world's biggest surfing events are held in South Africa yearly. The one is near Jeffreys Bay and the other one is near Durban and that's where all the world's surf champions come to surf and test their skills. But if you're not into surfing you can go wind surfing which actually on the eastern coast is really famous because of the strong winds over there and the relatively, not calm seas, but actually there's a lot of open plains to do wind surfing on so it's really famous for that. And then like skiing and water skiing of course really famous too. People really enjoy the water sports.

Jana: Great. I also heard about diving.

Peter: Ah, yeah.

Jana: Diving in South Africa.

Peter: Yeah, that's, one, two interesting things. One is shark cage diving that people are really, have in recent years become interested in.

Jana: That sounds scary.

Peter: I think it is. One of the, actually the breeding colonies of the great white shark is in South Africa, I think the other one is in Australia, and people come there to go down in big steel cages to go and see some of these huge sharks and they dive with them and I think it's pretty dangerous but it's interesting for some people. The other, the other interesting thing is that I wanted to mention about water sports, I have now forgotten.

Jana: Diving?

Todd: You said there were two things about diving.

Peter: Yeah, diving or water sports that was interesting.

Jana: Diving, I think. Normal diving.

Peter: Normal diving, deep sea diving. The other one was because of the ancient sea route past the...

Todd: You'll have to start again.

Peter: The other thing that's really interesting diving in South Africa, also dangerous, is diving for treasure because of the ancient shipping route from Europe right past the Cape Point, the southern most shipping route in the world. There's a lot of ships that sank because of the terrible weather in centuries past, over the last, I guess, five hundred years ships have sunk around the tip of Africa and people, divers come there to dive and find out if they can get some, if they can get rich basically diving for treasure and you get a lot of historical excavation as well. It's pretty dangerous too because there are two converging sea...

Jana: Currents.

Peter: Currents that meet and the one is warm and the one is cold so you have a really interesting combination of natural weather patterns at the same place so I guess a lot of ships sank because of all the storms in that area.

Jana: Wow, so treasure diving or wreck diving sounds more fun than shark diving.

Peter: I think so too but it depends on your interest I guess.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

breeding colony


One of the breeding colonies of the great white shark is in South Africa.

A 'breeding colony' is a place in where a large number of animals mate or create babies. These can either occur naturally in the wild or because of human intervention. Notice the following:

  1. The guidebook says that there is a parrot breeding colony near here.
  2. Many scientists work hard to keep this breeding colony functioning the way it should.

shipping route


The ancient shipping route from Europe goes right past the Cape Point.

A 'shipping route' is a specific path that boats would take when moving products from one part of the world to another. Notice the following:

  1. This was a common shipping route for jewels and spices.
  2. The cruise ship actually follows an old shipping route around the world.



You get a lot of historical excavation near the ship wrecks.

When you 'excavate' an area, you dig up or move around dirt to look for old or interesting artifacts. Notice the following:

  1. The archaeologists found many old tools during the excavation.
  2. It's very rare to find interesting things in excavations in this area.



It's pretty dangerous too because there are two converging seas.

If two things 'converge,' they come together and combine with each other. Notice the following:

  1. Do you see the part where the two colors converge in the glass?
  2. Our ideas about things rarely converge.



Treasure diving or wreck diving sounds more fun than shark diving.

A 'wreck' is something that has been completely destroyed. In this case, Jana is referring to something that was destroyed and is now sunken beneath the ocean. Notice the following:

  1. The car was a complete wreck after the accident.
  2. One of the most interesting places to dive around here is a wreck of a ship just off the coast.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
breeding • shipping • excavation
converge • wreck
  1. How many times per year could ships complete this route?
  2. It is important to have colonies for animals that are in danger of extinction.
  3. The cloudy water over there is where the ocean and river water .
  4. The Titanic is a famous ocean .
  5. It costs a lot of money to do an underwater .