Great White Sharks breaching!? Don’t you mean whales breaching? Nope it’s true, and you have to see it with your eyes to believe that Great White Sharks can “fly”.
False Bay, Cape Town is home to the “flying” Great White Sharks. This is a term used for the Great White Sharks’ unique ability to breach out of the water. This behaviour can be seen nowhere else on earth on such a regular basis. This unique hunting behaviour has become world renowned and put False Bay on the map for any shark lover.
The breaching behaviour is seen mainly when hunting seals. The Great White Shark comes from the deep sea, aims it sights at its prey and then, like a torpedo, it propels itself out the water, at the seal. The seal literally has no idea what has hit it. Then, with a big splash it’s gone. If the shark misses the seal then the chase is on, and boy, what an exciting chase! It is a game of cat and mouse of epic proportions. Watching nature at it’s best gets your heart pumping and the adrenalin flowing.
The Great White Shark also breaches for the seal decoy. Rob and his crew tow a decoy, shaped like a seal from the back of his boat, to encourage the sharks to breach. This technique has become so popular, as it is allows the ideal opportunity for photographers to try catch the flying sharks on film/camera and to find what areas are good sharks spots around the island. (The famous Airjaws and several other documentaries have been filmed from Rob’s boat.)
The Great White Sharks also fly out of the water when they are not hunting, but no one quite knows why.
To view the Great White Sharks breaching in False Bay, Cape Town, the best company to go with is African Shark Eco-Charters. African Shark Eco-Charters (owned by Rob Lawrence), has been operating in False Bay since 1996, and was the first Great White Shark charter company to have a licence in the area. His operation was the first company to document and research the breaching Great White Sharks.
Picture taken by Rob Lawrence