Shark Cage Diving Gansbaai
Gansbaai is the capital of Great White Sharks in the world with a population estimated of around 1,500 sharks. The sharks move constantly up and down the coastline and some travel very far up to Mozambique and Madagascar. In 2012 a research vessel from USA came to South Africa and tagged 38 Great White Sharks with high tech satellite tags. Their practice brought negative feedback especially how they brought the sharks to the ship to tag them and the tags used. On the positive side, over the past year we have monitored the sharks’ movements and it has been fascinating to see where the sharks travel. Some travel extreme distances but it is clearly evident that the majority of the time most of the Great White Sharks swim in the waters around Gansbaai.
The reason why so many Great White Sharks are around Gansbaai is due to the abundance of energy rich food. Gansbaai has Shark Alley to thank for that. Shark Alley is a small channel of water (approx 400m wide) passing between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island. Geyser rock is home to 60,000 a huge colony of Cape fur seals and the majority of the seals choose to stay on the lee of the Island away from the open sea in the sheltered waters between the Islands. This is a large scale breeding ground for seals and an ideal habitat for the colony with up to 12,000 seal pups born each year in the summer months.
- Great White Shark Cage Diving = R1450 (R1350 Special price if you have booked accommodation already with us)
- Video of the Day (Optional) = R450
- Underwater digital camera rental = R350
- Shuttle from Cape Town = R350 return same day
- Shuttle from Cape Town = R250 each way per day
- 08:00 - Meet at Shark Diving crew house in Kleinbaai
- 08:00 - 08:30 - Breakfast & Safety Briefing
- 09:00 - Launch from Kleinbaai harbour to Shark alley (Winter) or the beach (Summer)
- 09:20 - Arrive on site and start chumming the water
- 09:30 - Lower cage into the water and start diving / viewing the sharks
- 11:30 - Return to harbour and up to the crew house
- 11:45 - Watch video of the day and enjoy tea/coffee.(Optional)
Included / Excluded
- Drinks & Snacks on the boat
- All gear
- Transport to Gansbaai
- Video of the day (Optional Extra)
Summary of the trip
Upon arrival at the crew house, breakfast will be served and you will receive the briefing about the day. Following the safety briefing we will walk down to the boat in the harbour. The boat will launch and from here it is a 20 minute cruise to Dyer Island / Shark Alley (In the winter) or by the beach on the far side (in the Summer). The crew will find a suitable spot to work with the sharks depending on the winds and current and anchor. We will then start chumming the water for the sharks and then we must just wait for the first shark to arrive! The chum slick is made of fish based products such as Tuna and anchovy oil. The sharks will only be able to catch a scent of the chum slick if they are swimming down current. The Great White Shark's sense of smell is incredible and they can pick up one drop of blood in the volume of water to fill an Olympic swimming pool. This may seem easy then to attract the sharks but we need to make sure the chum is flowing towards the areas that we think they may be swimming. If a Great White Shark passes the boat upstream then it will not smell the chum scent.
Attracting the sharks could take anything from 2 minutes to 2 hours or in the worst case not at all. The Great White Shark is a wild animal and we are dealing with wild nature but for most of the year we have a 99% success rate with shark viewings. Once the shark is around the boat, divers will kit up and then jump in the cage or view from the upper deck. No experience is necessary to go in the cage and you can decide to go in the cage when out at sea so there is no pressure. The boat based viewing is exceptional and if you do not want to go in the cage you will still have a memorable day with these beautiful and awesome animals!
All divers will take turns in the cage (6 at a time) and it will only take 4 cage rotations for everyone to dive due to the smaller number of clients on the boat. This means that you should have ample opportunity to go back into the cage and spend lots of time with the Great White Sharks face to face in their domain should the shark activity be good that day.
There is a Videographer on the boat filming the experience and the crew is very experienced and knowledgeable about the sharks and area.
Following this ultimate experience with the sharks we will ride back to the harbour (only 15 minutes away) and enjoy lunch at the crew house whilst watching the Video of the Day. You will have the opportunity to buy this on DVD.
The Great White Shark industry is over 15 years old now and started with just 2 research boats at the Island in the winter months monitoring the movements of the sharks. With this research it did not take long to work out that these waters had high numbers of Great White Sharks. Before the industry started there was no common knowledge about the sharks except for fishing tales. There is a story of a father and son that went to the Island and the father dragged the son through Shark alley on a boogie board. Thinking about doing that now would send chills down anyone’s spine! But no one in those days knew what was going on at the Island especially how many Great White sharks there were lurking around.
In the last 10 years the Great White Shark Cage Diving industry has exploded. There are now 8 Shark Diving operators in Gansbaai alone with another 3 in False Bay and 1 in Mossel Bay. Eco tourism is now a huge business in South Africa and just about anyone visiting South Africa and especially Cape Town has seeing a Great White Shark on their ‘to do’ list. With no experience necessary to see these awesome apex predators of the ocean just about anyone can go on the tour. We have had young children to 90+ year olds on the boats. The best thing about this trip is that you do not even have to get wet to see the Great White sharks. As they are surface feeders, the boat-based viewing is exceptional. Many people prefer to stay on the safety of the boat and watch the sharks circling the boat and passing the cage. If you are brave enough and can hold your breath for 10 seconds or more then you will love the experience of being in the water only inches from these awe inspiring animals. You will never forget the first moment you set your eyes on a Great White Shark and the feelings you have. You will be amazed that by the time you get back onto land you will have a completely different perspective of the Great White shark and sharks in general. We will show you that they are not mindless killers but very intelligent, cautious and selective hunters.