Everyone loves coming across something unique. And perhaps, even valuable while on a diving expedition!
Whether it’s a colorful and rare species captured on film, a little trinket or a bit of treasure that someone discarded on the ocean floor, we all have not-so-secretive dreams of stumbling across something that’s not just beautiful, but truly extraordinary.
Perhaps this is exactly why a new diving venture off the coast of South Africa is already gaining a long roster of celebrity scuba diving fans, and a bit of a waiting list.
The trip focuses on diving for diamonds. It’s part treasure hunt, part vacation to one of the most unique and seldom discovered diving destinations in the world.
For centuries, a tumultuous weather feature known as the Benguela Current has been bringing a bounty of diamonds to an offshore area known as the Angola-Benguela Front.
The stones were originally deposited on the ocean floor millions of years ago after being transported along rivers and deltas throughout the African continent.
The Benguela Current is strong enough to bring even the largest stones to the surface, so to speak, leaving behind a glittering trail that you can readily discover.
The practice of heading to the open water to hunt for the diamonds has more benefits than just an exciting new opportunity for tourism in the region, too.
For one thing, the natural process is conflict-free. And, is far more humane than the brutal diamond mining trade that plagues the coastline.
It’s also a phenomenon that seems to be growing in the area. According to the Benguela Current Commission, regions of the front located just off the Namibia border may be home to roughly 1.5 billion carats worth of diamonds.
A fact that has started to attract diamond dealers and merchants from all over the world.
Granted, the price to take a diving diamond expedition is a little hefty. And will cost tourists roughly $15,000-$20,000 in addition to the airplane tickets but the experience is simply unparalleled.
Throughout the trip, divers will enjoy luxurious accommodations and meals. The trip typically includes a stay in the colorful town of Port Nolloth, one of the safest towns in the region.
Once onboard and treasure hunting, the dive masters will do the bulk. They will do the work by sucking up large portions of sediment and gravel through giant pipes. Once the masters collect the gravel, it’s time to start looking.
The process is similar to gem mining or gold mining. Visitors will sift through and look for telltale sparkles that indicate a gemstone, and not just a typical ocean floor pebble.
In the process, divers might also scoop up garnets or other little treasures. And dive guides attest that because of the fruitfulness of the region, visitors are all but guaranteed to find a precious stone or two.
Returning home with a one-carat stone is a likely outcome. But, there have been reports that visitors have left with diamonds as large as 80 carats.
This type of dive trip is a relatively new one and is starting to be noticed by divers across the world. There’s a chance that the waiting list will only grow as word gets out about this new kind of diving expedition.
So what’s the next step if you want to go? Get your open water diving certification, (if you haven’t already), and start saving your vacation funds.
Though costly, with the sheer number of valuable gemstones in this unique region, it’s possible that this diving trip may inevitably pay for itself.