South Africa

Shark Cage Diving in South Africa

Fancy a meeting the most feared animal on Earth? See majestic great white sharks up close during a cage dive or watch from a boat as these powerful creatures launch themselves into the air while on the hunt for food (seals in most cases).

With over 500 species there is no exact figure of sharks in our oceans. The Great White Shark is the most common and oldest species of sharks and can be found in the water surrounding South Africa and Australia. The earliest ancestors of great white sharks were around 400 million years ago.

Great White Sharks Interesting Facts

  • Great White Sharks live and hunt on the coast of every continent in the world the except Antarctica.
  • Great White Sharks have a life expectancy of 70 years.
  • When full Great White Sharks can go a whole three months without having to eat another meal.
  • Great White Sharks have six senses (Sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing, and electroreception) and can detect the scent of blood in the water from up to three miles away.
  • Great White Sharks have 5 rows of teeth with 46 teeth in each row.
  • Female Great White Sharks are pregnant for 11 months before giving birth to 2-12 babies.

What is Shark Cage Diving

Great whites congregate seasonally around five “hubs” or territories, including California’s coast down to Mexico’s Baja California, South Africa’s southern shores, and Australia’s southern coast.

For White Shark Diving South Africa, Divers are locked inside a metal cage used to prevent sharks from making contact. Shark cage diving enables divers monitor sharks for scientific, commercial or recreational purposes, and sometimes interact with them. This became a tourist activity in the early 2000s and today shark tourism is popular around the world.

Cape Town is the most popular international Shark Cage Dive Location In South Africa.

Shark Cage Diving Experience in South Africa

First, you meet at the tour operators’ office for breakfast and a briefing. After you will travel together to the dock where you take a boat ride (about 10-20 minutes).

The crew have to bait and chum. The baits and chum are natural marine products! It is strictly avoided to use anything that is not natural to the sharks and the environment.  It can take several minutes or several hours for the first shark to appear.

Once the sharks approach the boat, the cage will go into the water and the diving will begin.

A typical diving trip takes 1 – 4 hours. Depending on the company and number of people who booked, boats take about 10 people but only 5-6 can go inside one cage at the same time. 

Where to go Shark Cage Diving in South Africa

Shark Cage Diving In Western Cape

Gansbaai South Africa Shark Diving: Gansbaai is which can be loosely translated to ‘Goose Bay’. A scenic two-and-a-half hour drive from Cape Town. Most operators offer a shuttle service at an additional fee.

Shark Cage Diving In Simons Town: Sometimes spelled Simonstown, it’s a 45-minute hop around the peninsula from Cape Town’s city centre. Most shark cage diving operators offer a shuttle service from anywhere in the greater Cape Town area.

Shark Cage Diving In Hermanus: The once-humble fishing village of Hermanus has developed into a world-famous tourist destination. Located just 90 minutes from Cape Town, Hermanus is mostly famous for whale watching but Shark Cage Diving tours are also available. The town offers many water activities like kayaking, horse riding at the beach, with an abundance of wineries.


Shark Cage Diving In KZN

The warmer waters of KZN is the best place to spot Blacktip, Dusky and Spinner sharks, and occasionally see the Tiger. Most cave diving adventures are on Aliwal Shoal Reef.

Alternatively, head to Umhlanga for in-cage and out of cage shark diving experiences in the shark infested water of South Africas KZN coastline. 

Best time to go Shark Cage Diving in South Africa

Tours are available year round but it’s important to remember that they are weather dependent. In the event of a weather cancellation, most operators offer vouchers to reschedule the tour for another day.

Cost of Shark Cage Diving in South Africa

Depending on the tour operator, Shark cage diving and viewing costs range between R2000 to R3000 for adults and R1500 for children under 12.

If you purchase a Cape Town City Pass, you get free entry to over 70 Cape Town attractions, including Great White Shark Tours

Are Sharks Vanishing in Cape Town?

The Shark Spotting Programme was established to warn swimmers when the three-ton predators approached beaches, reported an average of 205 sightings of the fish off the beaches of False Bay. In 2018 that fell to 50 and this year (2019) not one has been seen. None have been seen at Seal Island, a one-time feeding ground off the coast.

The shark cage diving eco-tourism operators, who would normally witness multiple individual sharks visiting their vessels and up to 30 seal predations daily, have not had a single white shark sighting at Seal Island in 2019.

Despite the disappearance of great white sharks from False Bay in Cape Town. You can still go shark spotting at very popular Cape Town beaches of:

  • Fish Hoek
  • Clovelly
  • Kalk Bay
  • Muizenberg
  • Monwabisi; and
  • Caves at Kogel Bay

Get Insurance before traveling to South Africa

Use travel insurance while visiting Africa so you are covered for theft and medical expenses. There are a lot of adventurous activities to do in SA, and it’s best to have peace of mind while diving, hiking and trying some of the best food in the world.

Find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.

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