Natural predation of a Great White Shark on a Cape Fur Seal Predation is one of the most fundamental interactions in nature and one of the most fascinating interactions to observe, but predation is rarely observed in the wild. Seal Island, in False Bay, South Africa, provides unique opportunities to observe natural predation by Great White Sharks on Cape Fur Seals and to observe social interactions among both species. Breaching is one of the hunting techniques that great white sharks use to surprise and kill its prey. They surface with such force and explosive energy that it propels the shark right out of the water. The great white shark will try and catch the young smaller inexperienced seals. The best time is just before and at sunrise and mainly at certain area’s around the island and only for a few months of the year. This behaviour is absolutely [...]
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Breaching Great White Shark clears the air at Seal Island, False Bay A Great White Shark breaches clear out of the water at Seal Island, False Bay. Join us on one of our "Airjaws" shark breaching trips to witness this spectacular breaching behaviour of the Great White Sharks. This is certainly something that you do not want to miss! Here is some further information on our Great White Shark breaching trips. We would consider our high season to be from May to end of August and the best months for the predation and breaching activity is during June, July and August. September is in between high and intermediate season. February and March is too early for breaching. Here our trips focus on the shark cage diving and surface viewing. Transfers: Optional: Return transfers from designated pickup points in Cape Town Duration: Approx 5.5 hours. The trip departs from Simon’s town at [...]
Shark cage diving? Choose African Shark Eco-Charters. Here is why! My favourite thing about Seal Island is... Of all the things that make Seal Island in False Bay special, one particular aspect stands out for me. For a few short moments during sunrise each morning the island is alive with the natural predation activity of the great white sharks on the cape fur seals. While some of our guests may not be too thrilled with the very early start in the morning, it becomes well worth it for the opportunity to witness these top predators hunt. Seal Island is so unique because it is the best place in the world to view white sharks breach, sometimes multiple times, when they hunt seals early in the morning. The ocean floor topography, a steep drop off surrounding the island, allows the sharks to attack from below with such velocity that they are [...]
Dawn breaks over Seal Island False Bay The first day back at sea after a number of days of foul weather always makes me at bit nervous. Will the sharks still be there? Yesterday we were back at Seal Island after a stretch of wild Cape Town weather and I was excited and anxious to see what the shark activity would be like. The morning AIRJAWS trip started with a gorgeous red sunrise and clear skies; a welcomed sight after a week of rain. Predation activity was slow so we anchored up to prepare for the cage diving. A full boat of guests waited with expectation as we put out our baits and the decoy. After a few brief sightings we finally got a wonderful player shark around the boat. This beautiful 2.5 meter shark was light grey and had distinctive tufts of parasites on its dorsal fin. [...]
False Bay: Full of life and ready to entertain you! The past few days at Seal Island in False Bay have been unbelievable! After the strong storm over the weekend, dawn broke Monday morning on the water to a beautiful sunrise over the mountains and a very welcomed warm, sunny day. We started the morning with an amazing breach on our decoy by one of our favourite and most well-known great white sharks, ‘Cuz’. The breach was a full, out of the water hit on our fake seal, leaving all guests and crew on board the Blue Pointer 2 jumping and screaming with joy. The spectacular breach was followed by a close viewing of a Southern Right Whale. Southern Right Whales are endangered species, which makes every sighting special. The whales start coming into False Bay around this time of year and are very easy to approach by boat due [...]
Great White Shark up close to our boat, Blue Pointer II. © RJ Petrie Just Livin’ the Dream in False Bay! Hello avid great white shark lovers! We had an amazing time Saturday on the Blue Pointer 2 in False Bay. It was a cold start at the pier in the early morning, but as soon as we made it to Seal Island it was obvious that the sharks had shown up with an appetite. We witnessed multiple predations, including a few full breaches. Flying sharks! Seal Island is the only place on Earth where great white sharks attack in this manner in such dense numbers and so often. White sharks rely almost completely on sight to hunt; they attack seals from below with such force and speed that the impact propels them out of the water and into the air. White sharks have a very high kill success rate, estimated to [...]
Seal Island, False Bay is where the action is. It's where the great white sharks go "shopping" during shark season. Seal Island is not very big at all. Its small and rocky elongated with its long axis oriented roughly north-south, measuring approximately 400 by 50 metres, and with a maximum elevation of about 7 metres above the high tide line. The island has a narrow western shelf, with the water depth dropping off to a depth of 20 metres within 5 metres of shore, and a broad eastern shelf, where the water does not drop off to comparable depths until about 20 metres from shore. Off the southern tip of the island is a small, craggy outcrop, the portion which protrudes above the surface at high tide is approximately 4 metres long and 2 meters tall. Water temperature off Seal Island varies little throughout the year, hovering between 13 and 14°C at the [...]
Today, on our great white shark trip we had a natural breach. This is the second natural breach of the season we have witnessed so far. This behaviour is very early for this time of the year, as well as the great whites returning early to the island. A few years ago we would not have considered doing any shark trips during February and March's sightings were only around 70%. It is to be noted however, that there are still great whites inshore, with the shark siren going off on many of the False Bay beaches. So far we have had 100% sightings on our shark trips and up to 8 sharks seen at a time which is uncharacteristic for this time of year. The shark's are actively hunting now We had a rotting seal carcass wash off the island and drift next to the boat and had a shark come and scavenge on it. We also [...]
[pullquote]Thank you Rob and Karen and for offering me an educational trip. It was a great experience. Herman, guest house owner.[/pullquote] Great White Sharks are back at Seal Island and our first trips have gone very well with four sharks seen on both trips and our guests successfully managing to dive. Even though it is still early in the season for the Great White Sharks in False Bay, for the past two seasons the Great White Sharks have been moving back to Seal Island earlier on in the year, and we have had some very good sightings during February - March months. Our trips mainly focus on the cage diving and surface viewing during this time as it is still too early in the season for the breaching and peak predatory action. Join Rob Lawrence and African Shark Eco-Charters on a Great White Shark cage diving trip during your [...]
Seal Island, False Bay, South Africa Geography of Seal Island Seal Island is a small, elongate rocky islet with its long axis oriented roughly north-south, measuring approximately 400 by 50 metres, and with a maximum elevation of about 7 metres above the high tide line. The island has a narrow western shelf, with the water depth dropping off to a depth of 20 metres within 5 metres of shore, and a broad eastern shelf, where the water does not drop off to comparable depths until about 20 metres from shore. Off the southern tip of the island is a small, craggy outcrop, the portion which protrudes above the surface at high tide is approximately 4 metres long and 2 meters tall. Water temperature off Seal Island varies little throughout the year, hovering between 13 and 14°C at the surface and a degree or so cooler at the bottom where the [...]