Some useful links
A few words in advance: A big, big "Dankeschoen" to all people who helped us to make our stay a most pleasant one, especially Hannelie for her perfect arrangements and to our hosts (in order of our itinerary), Bev and Herbert in St.-Michaels-on-Sea, Reon in Umkomaas and Alet and Gerhard in Gansbaai - with their hospitality they all made us feel like being at home !
Our trip was organized by Dive South, a south african tour and dive operator.
The lodges in the game reserves are run by "Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife", the official conservation authority in the province. We stayed at Hilltop Camp in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi and at Ntshondwe Camp in Ithala Game Reserve. Both offer spectacular views over the countryside. Hilltop Camp was very busy, almost overcrowded, whereas Ithala was much more quiet while we were there. From the "safari point of view" we personally liked Ithala better - you have more open graslands, so it is much easier to spot the animals.
Nolangeni Lodge in St.Michaels is a nice place to relax after the arduous dives at Protea Banks. A little secret: Bev and Herbert are top chefs, and I would highly recommend to ask them if they can prepare a dinner for you !
In Umkomaas Dive South have their own resort, the KwaMnandi lodge (which at the beginning of last century was used as a brothel!). Rooms are for any budget - in light colors, not in dark red. Right next to the Resort are several dive centers who run trips to Aliwal Shoal. Make sure to have a traditional braai (= south african barbeque) or ask Reon to cook a butterfish for you.
In Gansbaai we stayed at De Kelders B&B. From your bedroom (!) or from the terrace you can watch the Southern Right Wales breaching just in front of you, close to the shore. What an experience! A perfect place to relax.
There are several operators who offer trip to the Great Whites. For Underwater-photographers the No.1 choice is Marine Dynamics. Only drawback: They often are fully booked months in advance (guess why?)