Shark Cage Diving, Cape Town
Some of the people I met at Ashanti and me went for a shark cage diving trip to Gaansbaai. Adrenalin pure. We went through an operator that was trustworthy and they knew exactly what they were talking about. It was great fun and my heart stopped once or twice (first properly because of the cold water ;) ) You like adventures? Like the water? Do it.
While we were in South Africa we decided to try out the shark diving and I can recommend this as an experience not to be missed, to see a Great white Shark up close, it is only then that you realise the size, the power, the speed and the frightening damage that one of these predators could do to you if it wanted to. This undoubtedly was one of the greatest experiences of my South African trip, it is a bit on the expensive side but money well spent. It cost us 1250 rand pp. about £85 but if you book online it is 1100 rand pp. about £75. This price is fully inclusive breakfast, boat lunch on board, refreshments and all diving equipment and gear.
You would need to hire a car but car hire in South Africa is not that expensive.
We used the Shark Lady Adventures, also the amount of things that you learn about the Great White Shark is very educational.
You don't need a PADI certification, or your own gear. ust bring your wits and leave your fear on the shore. This is one of the greatest opprotunities to do when in South Africa. It will take a full day to do so be sure to schedule your time for it. I went with Shark Cage Divers which is owned by Brian McFarlane and while I am not advertising for them, they really were a great group of people to go with. They know the area, really make everyone feel at home. The best time to go is in December to February because the amount of sharks is typically higher. Plus, as an added bonus you may have a chance to see some whales on the way back in to shore.
We were out on the water for about 6 hours just to try to get our first glimpse of a shark. We found 2 after about 4 hours. It was a nice day and they brought food along for the ride. The water was a steady 48F and looked great from above. The visiblity from the top of the boat was much better than in the water but all of it was worth it. They provided a light breakfast of rolls, juices, tea/coffee at their house before we set off. They put about 4-5 people in the cage and when a shark comes close enough they have everyone hold their breath and go underwater to view the shark. They have a few underwater cameras you can purchase at their house if you didn't bring yours along. You will want to bring some extra clothes if you plan on getting in the water. The wind was brisk out there and even though it was a warm day most of us were wearing windbreaker pants and jackets.
It was really amazing to see these beautiful animals up so close. We went where they were so naturally there is no guarantee that they will even be around. But to be just inches away from a great white is a rush and a thrill. One that I won't soon forget.
It is not the best aquarium I have ever visited but, neither is it the worst!
Usual kind os stuff happening here... large tanks full of fish... and sharks (including obligatory tunnels).
You can shark-cage-dive here
There is a touch feely section where adults and children alike can touch starfish and other assorted beasties.
For the ultimate adrenaline buzz how about coming face to face with a Great White shark ? there are several companies offering shark cage diving in the famous `Shark Alley`at Dyer Island
the sharks gather here for the regular food supply of seals, penguins and fish
Diving may be a misnomer, some companies offer qualified divers the full diving experience, but all non-divers are supplied with snorkels, this is no problem as the sharks are surface feeders and there is no need to be far under the water to see them, the guys on the boat will bait the water and tell you when to duck under the surface as the the shark approaches
the shark cages we saw were smaller than we expected they would be and sturdier, but the sharks themselves were smaller than we had thought they would be, no Jaws here !
Numerous companies offer the shark diving experience, and most pick up customers in Cape Town, check out the Tourist Information Bureaux and the leaflet stands at the hotels
we watched the sharks and the cage diving from our whale watching boat before going on to Dyer Island
Wanna get up close and personal with a Great White Shark? The place to do it is in Gansbaii. It is a two hour drive from Cape Town. There are several operators that take groups daily. We used White Shark Projects as our tour operator. They have a shuttle service to and from Cape Town. They had recently moved into a new location (what they call the White Shark Lodge), within walking distance from the boat launch. Upon arrival, they had breakfast waiting, and while we ate they discussed what we were going to be doing the rest of the day, as well as the safety procedures we needed to follow while on their vessel. Shark conservation is high on their priority list as well, and they educated us on this important topic. They provided rain coats for everyone, and also had long-sleeved shirts, t-shirts, and underwater cameras on hand for purchase. Sandwiches, snacks, and drinks were provided on the boat.
You must remember that sharks are wild creatures and seeing them is not guaranteed. We waited hours before they arrived and it was well worth it! We had seven different great white sharks entertaining us for about an hour before we called it quits and headed home, on a high-note! Most of the other vessels had pulled anchor and headed in without seeing sharks, but our captain asked every passenger if they were willing to wait a bit longer in the hopes that they would appear. Of course we were all willing to wait, we came to see sharks and anything less would be disappointing.
There was tea and fresh scones waiting for us at the lodge when we returned, and while we ate, the video of our day was being put together by their videographer. After watching the video, they took orders and promised the dvd video would be mailed to anywhere in the world within a few weeks. They also had showers for anyone that went in the cage and wanted to clean up before heading out. Overall an AMAZING experience!
Leaving Cape Town at 5.30am to drive two hours to Gansbaai, then a 20 minute boat ride out to dyer island where we threw dead fish guts into the sea, hung a cage over the side and pretended to be bait for 5 hours!
awesome trip with fantastic memories!!
You Must Do IT!! but its cold!
Gansbaai is a the home of the fearsome Gret White Shark, and for the more adventurous, a trip out on an organised boat trip is a must to see these incredible creatures!!!
Gansbaai, the "Goose Bay", was founded in 1881 by fishermen and named after the numerous wild geese that lived here. Until a few years ago Gansbaai, half an hour's drive east of Hermanus, was still a little fishing village with a little harbour, a fish factory and some shops and pubs. But for the last three years it's been much more lively here in Gansbaai. The place is entirely dominated by tourism and the number of inhabitants has multiplied.
The reason for this boom is Dyer Island, situated 12 kilometres off Gansbaai. The island itself falls under the administration of the Nature Conservation and is an important bird conservation area (Jackass Penguins and Oystercatchers). A huge colony of about 30.000 seals lives on the island, the favourite prey of sharks. That is why the waters around the island are teeming with sharks and there is hardly any place in the world where these predators can be watched more closely than here. Particularly strong in numbers is the giant Great White Shark (carcharodon carcharias), that can grow up to 8 metres long (3,5 metres in average).
Every day a couple of boats go to Dyer Island loaded with adventurous travellers, diving equipment and cameras. After a 20 minute trip the boat drops anchor near the island. The sharks get allured, not fed, with bait - a soup consisting of minced fish and saltwater. After only a few minutes the sharks start circling round the boat, getting up to a few metres close. Some sharks even jump out of the water.
Each boat brings a steel cage along. It is lowered into the water amd drifts on the surface, tied to the boat with ropes. Those daring enough can watch and photograph the sharks from an underwater perspective in the safety of the cage - a lifetime experience. More information to be found on the blue