Shark Cage Diving in Cape Town – A Must for Thrill Seekers!
Winter – Shark Season in the Cape
Dreaming of coming face to face with the ocean’s most formidable predator? Winter is just around the corner, and that means that shark season is all but here, and it’s the perfect time to start planning some winter shark cage diving in Cape Town. Gansbaai, set along the picturesque “Whale Coast” in the Western Cape, is home to the densest population of great white sharks, in the world! What better place to experience a close encounter with these giant fish?
During the winter months, from May to September, see these majestic beasts migrating from many different areas, making their way to a prized feeding ground, one we humans call Shark Alley, set between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, off the rocky shores of Gansbaai. Shark diving in Cape Town is a day excursion, with Gansbaai just one and a half hours drive from the city of Cape Town.
Where to Stay
If you will be setting up base in Cape Town, here are Greatest Africa’s top City establishments, for a luxurious stay in the mother city:
- The Cape Grace Hotel – Luxury at the V & A Waterfront
- Abbey Manor – Charming Boutique Hotel at the foot of Table Mountain
- Winchester Mansions – Colonial Luxury on the Atlantic Seaboard
If you are staying along the whale coast, Hermanus is the perfect setting to enjoy this picturesque coastal country. Here are Greatest Africa’s top recommendations for a Hermanus stay:
- Harbor House, Hermanus – Ideally set above the old harbor
- Birkenhed House – Luxurious contemporary beach house
- The Marine Hotel – Breath taking clifftop retreat
Shark Cage Diving Day Excursion
Start your early morning shark diving excursion with some refreshments, before departing from Gansbaai’s small and friendly harbor. Only a handful of organisations are licensed for cage diving operations in the area, and almost all of them are heavily conservation focused. Tourism plays a vital role in the research and protection of the great white shark.
Heading out to Shark Alley, you might spot some other marine life along the way. Usually, the boat ride will last around 45 minutes. Once the boat captain has identified some sharks in the area, you will drop anchor, and prepare for the once in a lifetime experience of swimming with great white sharks within the safety of a protective cage.
Depending on which operator you dive with, there will be three to five divers in the cage. Shark Cage diving in Cape Town is easy, no special training or complicated equipment is needed. The cage itself sits just above the water, so when a shark comes by, the on-board team will let you know to duck under and watch the shark pass by – this is known as a breath dive. You will have a wetsuit, goggles, weights, and booties, but no scuba gear.
Once you are ready, you will be lead into the cage, firmly attached to the side of the research vessel. If the water is choppy, it can be a bumpy ride! The decoy is thrown, sometimes attracting over 15 different sharks at once. You will be amazed by the sheer size of these fish, some reaching 5 metres or more in length.
It’s hard to explain how impressive these creatures are when viewed from such close quarters; it is a truly exhilarating experience. You might be feeling a little scared and apprehensive before the sighting and close contact, but you will more likely be enthralled at the great white sharks sheer predatory prowess and enormous presence. These are curious creatures and great white sharks need no enticing to greet you closely, you will stare right into their eyes as they brush past the cage with open jaws.
Lunch & Memorabilia
Each dive lasts about 15 minutes, there are usually around 5 diving groups. After your dive, enjoy your on board packed lunch, before heading back to the Gansbaai harbor. Generally, there will be some hot refreshments to take off that crisp ocean edge, and shower facilities if you would like to freshen up. Take some time to enjoy a brief conservation talk, before watching the newly cut footage of your once in a lifetime experience. Take home the stills and video for a small fee – The perfect token as you cross diving with great white sharks off the bucket list.
Don’t forget to bring
- Swimming costume
- Warm, dry clothing for after the dive
- Seasickness tablets
- Underwater Camera
- Sense of adventure!
Where better to experience this thrilling encounter, than off the spectacular Western Cape coast. Enjoy breathtaking scenes from this rocky shoreline, and soak up the nearby wine route. Guests exploring the Cape may also enjoy a full day private wine tour, with boutique wine producer and MD of Greatest Africa, Richard Hilton, of Hilton Vineyards or one of our other winemaker led specialist guides. Greatest Africa was founded in the Cape Wine region and is a local travel specialist. Contact us today to plan your exciting Shark Cage Diving in Cape Town or any other other activity and accommodation needs!