False Bay

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Summing up the surprises of the 2016 white shark season, Seal Island, False Bay

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

Summing up the surprises of the 2016 white shark season, Seal Island, False Bay Leigh de Necker   White sharks typically visit False Bay’s Seal Island to take advantage of vulnerable young of the year Cape fur seal pups when they start entering the water to feed. This is generally between March and September, however, this season showed a number of deviations from the expected norms. We took a trip to the Island towards the end of January and before we even had any bait in the water, we had seen a shark. We were beyond excited by the chance of having an early start to the season. This was the first of many unexpected surprises the season had to offer. For February and March, we had amazing shark activity around our boat, seeing an average of 4 sharks a day and still enjoying the late summer, early autumn warm [...]

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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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Don’t Get Mouthy…

By | August 16th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

  Don't get mouthy When you hear the words “Megamouth Shark”, what is the image it conjures? If you think big, nay huge mouth, well then you would be correct. It stands to reason, if it has a huge mouth, it has to have a rather large frame to fit it into, and again you would be correct. This is one of the largest shark species, being out grown only by the likes of Whale Sharks and the controversial Megalodon Sharks. Despite its massive size and mouth, this shark sports very small teeth, as it is a filter feeder, swimming open mouthed through the depths swallowing jellyfish and plankton that are attracted to it by the luminescent photophore surrounding its mouth. It has fleshy “lips” and a broad rounded snout, which has confused some observers into believing that they were in fact seeing a baby killer whale. Little is known [...]

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Mako Sharks

By | June 21st, 2015|Tour Happening's|

The Mako shark is the fastest swimming shark in the world at 40 kilometres per hour, attaining burst speeds up to 70 kilometres per hour. Most individuals are between 1.5 and 2.5 metres in length but large females up to 4 metres have been previously recorded. This species is found in temperate and tropical (17-22 degree Celsius) waters up to 500 metres in depth. These sharks, like white sharks, are adapted to life in these cool waters and have a heat exchange system in their body that keeps their muscles and internal temperature above that of the surrounding cool waters. This adaptation allows these sharks to maintain a high degree of activity. These sharks are top predators that prey on various fish species as well as sea turtles, dolphins and occasionally marine debris.  Females are slow maturing at approximately 19 years, while males mature much sooner, at 8 years. Between [...]

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Shark Teeth

By | June 6th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

The part that scares people most about sharks has got to be all those sharp and pointy teeth, but you can actually tell a lot about sharks based on their teeth.   Most well publicized are the serrated triangular upper teeth of great white sharks, perfect for tearing into their prey, the Cape fur seal. However what most people don’t know is that juvenile white sharks actually have small unserrated needle-like teeth more like those seen on ragged tooth, mako and bull sharks. Now you may wonder how and why that would be, the answer is simple, juvenile white sharks feed on different prey to their larger counterparts and have teeth perfectly adapted to do so. White sharks up to about 2.5 to 3.5 metres feed on fish mostly and thus need those shark pointed teeth to keep hold of those slippery fish and swallow them whole. Obviously as they [...]

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The Seven Gilled Cow Sharks of False Bay

By | May 20th, 2015|Tour Happening's|

The Seven Gilled Cow Sharks of False Bay. Interestingly enough all sharks once possessed seven pairs of gill slits. Through evolution and many, years of defining, some shark species lost a pair or two of their gill slits. The broadnose sevengill however did not. The seven gills, or Cow Sharks, as we prefer to call them, have been around for millions of years, and fascinatingly enough have not had the urge to evolve much at all. The old naval base of Simon’s Town in the southern peninsula, offers one of the most fantastic shore diving sights in the world. Amidst the kelp and age old boulders lies another ancient species, the cow shark. This majestically old shark shares a primitive skeleton similar to that of the fossils of extinct sharks, hence the fact we believe it to be millions of years old. Enjoying a healthy diet of large fish, squid, [...]

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Being Shark Smart in the Water this Summer

By | October 31st, 2014|Tour Happening's|

With summer on its way and the Great White Sharks moving closer inshore, our shark cage diving season in False Bay has officially come to an end, and African Shark Eco-Charters thought it would be a good idea to remind everyone to keep shark smart in the water and to obey the Shark Spotter’s Flag Warning System. Considering the number of people who use the ocean on a daily basis, the actual number of attacks by Great White Sharks is extremely low. People are not the natural prey of the Great White Sharks. Everyone entering the ocean should do so at their own discretion,  knowing that they are entering a wild environment in which sharks  naturally live. Stay shark smart!  We are entering their territory; they are not coming into ours. Shark Safety Tips If people exercise caution and are aware of their environment, the risk of an attack can be [...]

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Seven Gill Cow Shark Diving with African Shark Eco Charters

By | September 29th, 2014|Tour Happening's|

The Cow Shark is characterized by an extra pair, or pairs of Gill Slits. There are 37 species in the family Hexanchidae, but the one being discussed here is the Spotted Cow Shark, or 7 Gill Cow Shark.  These incredibly inquisitive creatures are known as the most primitive of all Sharks; due to the fact their skeletons resemble those of ancient extinct forms, with extremely modern adaptions.   Why this Shark is so interesting is due to the seventh Gill slit that it hosts. Being ovoviviparous, the mother carries the egg cases inside her until they hatch, and they feed off large fish, other Sharks, crustaceans and carrion.   In False Bay, African Shark Eco Charters offers the unique experience of diving with these intrusive creatures, in a very controlled and relaxed environment. Usually they move around the kelp beds and over sandy channels in groups of up to 10-20, [...]

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The Great White Shark season at African Shark Eco Charters draws to a close

By | September 25th, 2014|Tour Happening's|

End of the season Far too soon it seems my season with African Shark Eco Charters has come to an end. How the months have flown by so fast I have no idea, but what a time its been! I am so lucky to have shared it with a huge number of people from around the world on a daily basis! The guests we’ve had on board have been so much fun, all incredibly varied –different cultures, languages and ages (from 8 to 80!), but almost without exception each and everyone has gone away with a new respect (or a continued one!) for these beautiful animals. For me that is the most important part, trying to change the ‘media view’ that people have - into a much more real and understanding one. I will take such a lot with me from my time in Simon's Town, not least memories of [...]

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African Shark Eco-Charters – Our Shark-Proof Cage

By | April 4th, 2014|Tour Happening's|

Now that Great White Shark season has officially started here at African Shark Eco-Charters and in False Bay, our boat has been doing almost daily runs to Seal Island, and our Shark Cage has been put to good use.  For all those who are concerned about going into the Shark Cage, I though I would give you some background information on it. Our Cages are designed and made by qualified welders and meet the requirements of the Great White Shark Safety Code of Conduct. The cage is rectangular-shaped and while it is a drifting surface cage, it is secured to the side of the boat with 2 ropes, and an additional rope is attached to the bottom of the cage for stability to stop it from drifting or bobbing in the swell.  Once everyone is onboard and the Blue Pointer 2 is anchored off Seal Island you are fitted in [...]

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