What does Capensis mean to me?

How it all began & show casing the marine life I share the name with.

03 August 2020

By Danel Wentzel

There is a lot that goes into a name and not just names of people but of places, businesses, books, organisations. A vast combination of efforts, passions, memories and experiences all represented by a single name.

People are given their names but for everything else we choose the words that elegantly represent our work and often those words have meaning. Danel and I chose Capensis Diving as our name and here's why.

Capensis (pronounced Ka-pen-sis) is a Latin word that means "originating from the Cape". Capensis is often found in the binomial nomenclature of many endemic species to the Cape. There are over 3500 endemic marine species around the Western Cape's shores and is described as a biodiversity hotspot. [1]

Due to the sheer expanse of marine animals that we can encounter on our dives, Danel and I often explore the countless pages of our field guide library, trying to put an animal to a name. The most notable one is the Two Oceans by George Branch which includes 70 species, who all share the name capensis.

Capensis means more than originating from the Cape for us. It is the sense of belonging we feel when we dive with all the unique animals that also call Cape Town their home. This is where our passions for the ocean grew into what Capensis diving represents. All the people that are fighting for the protection of Cape Town’s water live here.

We are Capensis

There are over 70 different marine species that share the name capensis with us and lots of them may be familiar to you. You may even know their common names. It’s an absolute joy being a part of this family and we thought we would share a few of our favourites:

  • Hippocampus capensis - The Knysna Seahorse

  • Aonyx capensis - The Cape clawless otter

  • Hypselodoris capensis - The Cape Dorid nudibranch

  • Dichistius capensis - The Galjoen (South Africa's National Fish)

Capensis is a name that we all share and somewhere we all belong. Marine animals like the Cape Dorid and Galjoen have capensis as part of their heritage and we feel privileged to be a part of theirs too.

We all need to protect our ocean home and the best way to do that is to experience the ocean for yourself and fall in love with its unique beauty. Capensis Diving is passionate about our oceans and we want to give people the opportunity to experience it for themselves.

We strive to make Better divers for the Blue, so that those that fall in love may continue to nurture and protect it 💦