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Up Close and Almost Too Personal with the Great White Sharks of False Bay

By | October 11th, 2016|Tour Happening's|

  Up Close and Almost Too Personal with the Great White Sharks of False Bay with African Shark Eco Charters By Paul Danckwerts How do you write about a great white shark, it’s immense never ending silvery flanks catching the light as it scythes through the bubbly gloom six inches in front of your face? With difficulty. Just to see one of these behemoths is a privilege and an emotional one at that for anybody who knows anything about these misunderstood monsters of the deep. The Blue Pointer 2, a 36-foot vessel that sports two 300hp engines on the aft, sits comfortably at its berth in Simonstown on Africa’s Cape Peninsula. It’s a custom vessel built for shark cage diving. With an upper deck for the non-divers, an on-board toilet and a cabin there’s plenty of room to move around in. It is captained by Rob Lawrence, one of the [...]

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The shark-iest reason you will want to visit Cape Town in winter

By | August 12th, 2016|Tour Happening's|

The shark-iest reason you will want to visit Cape Town in winter   According to South African tourism statistics, if you are reading this you are possibly doing so from North America, Europe, Australia, India, China or Namibia and that getting out to sea, one way or the other, is on your list of things to do while on vacation in Cape Town.   Locals will tell you that there is always something to do here and they’re not wrong yet despite this, visitor numbers take a hard dive in winter. It seems even the Mother City is not immune to seasonality.   The city has been working tirelessly over the years to change the perception that Cape Town is only a summer vacation destination among regional and international visitors alike.   Here’s a fun fact, the best time to view and dive with sharks in South Africa is in [...]

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The sharks are back in Town

By | July 14th, 2016|Tour Happening's|

With back to back morning and afternoon trips to Seal Island, it's safe to say our Great White Shark friends are back! On average we have been having 3-6 different Great White Sharks around our boat on a Dive Trip and even more number of predations in the am trips. It was great to see some return Great White Sharks from the previous seasons (which we've named individually according to distinct markings) and some new ones too. Today, Wednesday 13th July 2016 we were greeted by our biggest Great White Shark of the season, which was estimated to be around 5M+. She left the crew and guests speechless after putting on a show for us to remember! On another note, the 30 minute rides to and from Seal Island have been nothing but spectacular. We have been accompanied by pods of Common Dolphins, our usual Brydes Whales and the occasional [...]

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The return of the Great White Sharks to False Bay

By | June 15th, 2016|Tour Happening's|

Let’s Talk About It…Their Return The return of the great white sharks to False Bay In False Bay, it’s been a very long and painful stretch; an 8 week and 6 day stretch to be exact. But now, and I say this with cautious optimism; “they are back!” Our sharks seem to have returned to our Island, bringing with them, a couple juveniles, 2 meter juveniles, that jump and hunt with inexperienced skill, and as yet a little on the cautious side, not too sure of our boats. But then there is the lovely lady; a 3.5 meter girl, with a girth well worth the mention, and she just loved our boat and cage! Not even our experienced bait man, Wellington could get our decoy away from her in time. She “played” and let us all see why these creatures are some of our favourites! She swam a figure of [...]

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Great Whites Missing from False Bay

By | June 6th, 2016|Press|

Great Whites Missing from False Bay? Let’s Talk About it… Ok, so as I am quite sure, you have read somewhere, if not on our Facebook page, then possibly TripAdvisor, that the False Bay Great White Sharks have been pretty much non-existent for several weeks now. This is true! It could be global warming or el nino, but the reason for this behaviour is not entirely 100% figured out yet, though it did happen last year as well, albeit a little later in the year. So we have absolutely no doubts as to whether they will return or not, our only question is: “when?” We have been going “to sea” … get it, the pun? … about twice a week since the beginning of their disappearance, and now find ourselves around the same time they returned last year, so we are counting on history repeating itself and are eagerly awaiting [...]

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Red means DANGER

By | August 29th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

We’ve always associated colours with meaning; blue = cold, yellow = sunny and red = danger. So following that train of thought, the words “Red Tide” should set alarm bells ringing as a sign of something dangerous. Red Tide is a colloquialism for the out of control growth of harmful algal blooms, these are small, single cell plants that live in our oceans and freshwaters, which then produce toxic effects on fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds and have been known to cause illness in humans, if the contaminated fish / shell fish is consumed. These “blooms” will most often discolour the water tainting it red, reddish brown and sometimes orange, bringing us back to the common name; “Red Tide.” At night and with a florescent light, this phenomenon, can actually look quite beautiful. Though every coastal town / city has at some point in their history and more than once, [...]

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The Goblin Shark

By | August 26th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

The Goblin Shark…. This uniquely fascinating sea creature, in my books, is one of the rarest and most intriguing of all shark species yet to be found. This somewhat repulsive predator is probably the most unpleasant looking of all its known counter parts. However, that being said, further investigation into the life of the Goblin Shark, shows us that looks can ultimately be deceiving. When one first lays their eyes on the unsightly animal, our thoughts waver uncontrollably to prehistoric times and rightfully so. These frightfully looking animals are a rare species of deep sea shark (Mitsukurina owstoni), often called a ‘Living Fossil’. It is the only member of the family Mitsukurinidae, which is still around, 125 million years old lineage. Now that is impressive! The Physical appearance of the Goblin Shark is what intrigues me the most. It has a pinky colouration, making them extremely unique, ranging from pinkish [...]

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Trip Happenings

By | August 19th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

Trip Happenings with African Shark Eco-Charters August 17th So after three bad weather days in a row with very strong winds, we at African Shark Eco-Charters are contemplating what we may find when we go back to the island. Will the weather have encouraged new sharks into the bay, or fooled our current sharks into thinking it’s the end of the season? It’s obvious what we are all hoping for, but this late in August either is possible. The trips before the strong winds were very up and down, as has been the norm for this season – impossible to predict! A couple of mornings we were out and saw 8 or 9 good predations, other mornings none. One morning we had 3 breaches on the decoy, the next nothing! The white sharks have always been an entity unto themselves, but their behaviour this year has been incredibly confusing – [...]

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Sharks in the Bay

By | August 18th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

August 8th 2015 It’s been a beautiful, hot and sunny time in False Bay for the last week, with flat calm seas ensuring our African Shark Eco Charters trips’ have been very enjoyable! It’s also been fantastic that we have had one of our favourite sharks from last season ‘Propguard’ being very active around the boat. This is a shark we got to know very well last season, and it created huge excitement when she returned early last month – and looking very fat! Where-ever she has been for the last year, it’s been good for her, and since her return she’s spent many trips around our boat, Blue Pointer II, giving the guests a thrilling time with her almost 4.5m bulk appearing out of the gloom (and sometimes very speedily!!)! Now none of us can pretend that this season has been in any way similar to last year. This [...]

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Talking About Sharks…

By | July 25th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

I said before that I wanted to venture into the world of sharks with you, one at a time, learning about their individual characteristics and make up, and thought I would start with an overview of some of the more “outstanding” of the 510 species of shark. I spoke of the Lemon Shark in my previous blog, and also admitted that this is one of my favourite sharks, but there are a whole lot of others that will inspire awe and amazement at their sheer abilities and odd looks! Possibly one of the most vicious looking of all sharks is the Ragged Tooth Shark. They tend to hang out together and feed in the manmade catacombs of ship wrecks! Being most active at night, they stay pretty well hidden until darkness falls. These fearful looking creatures hunt other smaller sharks, bony fish, rays, crustaceans and squid. As scary a predator [...]

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