We are excited to welcome our newest member, Zaakiyah, to the African Shark Eco-Charters family. Recently, Zaakiyah got to experience her first-ever encounter with the Great White Sharks on a shark cage diving trip in Gansbaai. We asked her to mention a little bit about her shark cage diving experience. Here is what she had to say:
“It was a beautiful summer morning when I left Cape Town for Gansbaai to experience my first shark cage diving experience. It took us just under 3 hours to arrive in Gansbaai. It was a beautiful scenic drive and once again I felt privileged to be a South African but mostly, Capetonian.
I was calm and relaxed until I arrived at the Kleinbaai Harbour. When we all gathered the excitement started as I realized there was no turning around. The pre–trip talk was necessary as it covered all the important do’s and dont’s. We boarded the boat thereafter.
The boat ride was about 20 minutes before we reached our destination…the channel between the Dyer and Geyser Islands. The boat ride to and from the shark cage diving location was short and smooth as there was no wind.
The sharks were “shy” at first as they did not appear for the first 30 minutes. But their curiosity got the better of them! They could not stay away. There were three sharks, one with a size of approximately 5m. This 5m beauty was the most inquisitive of all three of them. In the following hour or so, this particular shark visited the cage about eight times. With each visit, it was just a swim by. However with the last visit and before our departure, the shark made their last appearance. This was not just a swim by as they managed to get the shark bait (tuna head), resulting in them not letting go of the bait. It was a tussle, but in the end the shark was victorious.
Reflecting back, I can definitely say it was an experience where no words can do justice. When visiting or residing in Cape Town, I can definitely encourage one and all to experience a shark cage diving trip and just a viewing trip for those not as bold. Shark Cage Diving is an adventure that you cannot get enough of. With all this said, I can honestly say that I cannot wait to experience my next shark cage diving adventure!”
Here is some info about our trips for you to read.
Simon’s Town is just 40min from Cape Town and the base from where our boat departs early in the morning. A short 20 minute will take you into False Bay, famous for the great white “Flying Sharks”, a term used for their highly athletic breaching and hunting behavior.
NO QUALIFICATIONS for shark cage diving are necessary! The cage floats just under the surface of the water, and it is situated alongside the boat. Only two enter the cage at a time, all scuba equipment stays on board and only the scuba hose enters the cage, allowing you to enjoy a great dive without cumbersome, heavy tanks and gear.
The average dive time is 20 minutes depending on the shark activity. Once everyone has had a go, then a second dive is allowed for those interested in diving again. The crew is highly trained and safety is of utmost importance.
The Great White is a very curious animal and will often circle and come up to the cage, as if to get a “personal” look at the diver, while you are having a personal look at it.
Transfers: Optional: Return transfers from designated pickup points in Cape Town
Duration:Approx 5.5 hours. The trip departs from Simon’s town at 7am sharp and returns at 12h30.
How many guests on the boat? 12. We don’t want you just to be a number, which is why, unlike many other operators we choose to take out only small groups, making it a more personal experience, as well as then being able to spend enough time sharing our love and knowledge of the great white shark with you.
How many divers in the cage? 2 maximum. Not 5-8 like a lot of other operators.
Do you offer scuba? Yes All diving equipment is supplied. No diving experience is necessary.
Does using scuba affect the sharks coming to the boat? No. In our experience working in False Bay since 1996, we have found that the bubbles or scuba noise have no effect on the great white sharks.
Do you use shark liver to attract sharks? No
Do: Come along even if just surface-viewing.
What to do: Our guides try to chat with all the guests but its very hard if you are not open to talk “shark”. So, please ask questions! Engage with the guides. They love to share their knowledge and its much easier if you are open, talkative and show interest in the sharks.
Shark Cage Diving Itinerary
05.45 – 06.00: Pick up in Cape Town (Optional)
06.45: Meet at the Simons Town Pier for briefing (overview of day). Do not be late.
07.00: Departure to Seal Island. Do not be late. The boat will not wait for you.
Tour around island, do an inspection lap. Choosing the best spot to anchor up with regard to wind and swell direction and start diving.The cage is lowered into the water to free up the working area on the deck. A bait line is put in the water as well as the carpet seal decoy. Every precaution is taken not to injure the shark. We do not feed sharks, nor touch sharks. We are NOT an adrenalin outfit. You will still have excellent views of the Great White Shark should you chose not to dive.
12.30. Return to Simons Town.
13.00 Transfer Back in Cape Town (Optional)
IMPORTANT- Please Note: We have a very high success rate, but we are working with wild animals. Please be aware of this, so you do not arrive with unrealistic expectations. Shark sightings and activity are never guaranteed and even during peak season there may be days when the sightings are lower than expected. No refunds will be made for non-sightings. We will however offer you a voucher for another trip.