Plunge into the icy waters just off the rocky shore of Simon’s Town, and prepare yourself for a thrilling underwater adventure. Shark Zone’s new and exciting adventure tour is offering you the rare opportunity to dive among magnificent Sevengill Cow Sharks.
We’ve picked five things you should know before you find yourself face-to-face with these prehistoric beasts.
Sevengill Cow Sharks grow to a terrifying 3m in length and can weigh over 100kg’s, so be prepared for an intimidating presence when you’re swimming among them. See if you can distinguishes the females, which are generally larger, from the males.
False Bay is one of the best places in the world to catch a glimpse of these rarely-sighted beauties. The kelp forests not far from the shore are the ideal habitat for these curious creatures. The forests in which they can be found are marine protected, and special care is taken to ensure their natural way of life goes undisturbed.
Their Social Behaviour
Sevengill Sharks are social creatures and they travel in large groups of up to 18 sharks at a time. They are also nicknamed the ‘wolves of the sea’ because they hunt in ‘packs’, which is unusual in the shark-world. False Bay is the only place in the world where such a large concentration of these sharks can be seen, and, because of their curious nature, chumming isn’t necessary.
Their Signature Trait
What makes the Sevengill Cow Shark stand out from the rest? As you could have guessed, the seven gill slits are a prominent feature- most sharks only have five. The absence of the front dorsal fin also gives their bodies an ominous snake-like characteristic.
These sharks are naturally self-confident and incredibly curious, making them the ideal subjects for shallow water dives. Despite their docile nature, their curiosity brings them terrifyingly close to divers. They are known for swimming at speed towards divers, before turning away at the last minute. This can obviously be alarming if you’re not mentally prepared. Don’t panic, and try your best to snap a few photos.
The exciting Cape Town diving tour will take you on two distinct dives so you’ll be sure to see a variety of underwater environments and the creatures that call them home. The Sevengill Cow Sharks are first up, and then you’ll have some time to give your heart rate a rest, while you swim among over 40 Cape Fur seals. Join Shark Zone for a chance to swim with these incredible creatures, and experience some of the best diving in Cape Town.
Image Credit: sharkzone.co.za, Syn, NOAA’s National Ocean Service