Extreme Adventure > Shark Diving South Africa

South Africa Shark Diving

Great White SharksDo you want to dive with shark, shark and more shark? AFRICA is the place. There are more species of shark in the waters off Africa than anywhere else in the world. Don't let this little slice of information pie detract you from everything that Africa diving has to offer. It's not just about the shark!

From the Sharm El Sheikh in Red Sea down to the tip of South Africa where the Atlantic and Indian oceans merge, there are great dive spots waiting for you to discover. Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa all offer amazing and pristine diving. A customized tour can be put together to meet your every expectation. Combine your dive vacation with a fantastic land safari and you'll have yourself an adventure of a lifetime.

South Africa is best known for big action, shark diving and it's the most popular place to encounter the enormous, elusive and intimidating Great White Shark. We recommend cage diving with this fellow, but they have been known to make an occasional presence here and there while free diving. Yikes!

Best Time
Great White Cage Diving is seasonal. The best time of year is from mid-April - October.

Great White Cage Diving is done off the southern most shores of South Africa, about 2.5 hours drive from Cape Town. The area is known as the "Cape of Storms".

The winters are normally wet and can be quite uncomfortable, while the summers are sunny, hot and known for the "Cape Doctor" or south-easter, which blows pretty much daily.

The trips to get you to "Shark Alley", the narrow strip between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, are weather permitting. The statistics for being able to get you out there are; 12 days out of every 30 in the winter months (April - October) and 20 days out of 30 during the summer months (November - March). So you can see that you are taking a bit of a chance, weather wise, if you choose to do only one day of Great White Cage Diving. This is the reason we recommend 3-4 days for this exciting activity.

There are definitely times of year when the Great White's are more active; this being May - October. There are a couple of reasons that contribute to this behavior.
First, the water temperature is actually warmer during the winter months (approx. 16C/65F) than during the summer months (approx. 9C/48F). Sharks prefer warmer water and therefore are more active in the winter months. Unfortunately, this coincides with the time of year when the weather is at it's worst.

Second, November is when the Cape Fur Seals are having their pups. The Cape Fur Seals are the Great White's main source of food. The seals congregate in the thousands on Geyser Rock, where up to 60,000 can be found during the pupping and mating season (Nov/Dec). With this great abundance of food around, it is extremely difficult to attract the sharks to the boat. Even if they do, the sharks just aren't all that interested in the bait that's put out and often times don't hang around for very long, which hopefully is long enough to get divers into the cage and view them in their natural surroundings. So you see, one day of cage diving may not be enough for a good viewing opportunity.

Dive Qualifications
Great White Cage Diving is open to all CERTIFIED sport divers. The non-diver is welcome to experience the excitement on the top-side, but for insurance purposes are not allowed to get into cages and dive with the sharks.

Whale Watching
June - November is the whale watching season in the Cape Town area. Southern Right Whales congregate off the coast near Walker Bay, Hermanus and Gansbaai. You can view them directly from the shore. The Garden Route coastline is home to the humpback whale and bottle nosed dolphin year round in-shore. Bryde's whales, minke whale and common dolphin are found just offshore.

You will be collected from your hotel in Cape Town at 6:00am for the 2 hour road transfer to Gansbaai. After a light breakfast and dive planning you will set out for "Shark Alley" between Dyer Island & Geyser Rock, weather permitting. Five hours will be spent with Great White Sharks, after which you will head back to shore for your 2 hour road transfer back to Cape Town.

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