South Africa Shark Diving
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!
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
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.
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.
ONE DAY GREAT WHITE SHARK DIVE
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.
South Africa & Namibia Expedition, July 21 – Aug 5 2008 Trip Report
South Africa’s Kruger National Park and the Kwazulu Natal, May 2008
Sardine Run South Africa ~ Cycle Safari Botswana, June 2007
Great White Sharks, Zambia Safari & Diving Mozambique, Aug. 31 2003
Cage Diving with Great White Sharks ~ South Africa, September 2000