South Africa’s Western Cape boasts some of the world’s best Great White Shark cage diving – an exhilarating activity which attracts thousands of adrenalin-hungry tourists each year. There are two main shark cage diving spots in this region of the country: Gansbaai and False Bay, which offer slightly different, but equally memorable experiences.
If your time in the Cape is limited, choosing between the two locations can be a daunting task. To make the decision that much easier, here, we outline the different facets of both.
Situated on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula, False Bay is the largest bay in South Africa. The major attraction in this stretch of water, however, is Seal Island. Located 5km off the coast, the island derives its name from the immense number of Cape Fur Seals that call this small land mass home all year round. Over 60 000 Cape Fur Seals to be precise!
It goes without saying that such a large population of seals is sure to attract their number one predator – Great White Sharks. Scores of these fierce creatures patrol the waters around the island for much of the year, which allows for incredible sightings.
Due to the depth of the water around Seal Island, False Bay is one of the one places in the world where you can witness Great White Shark predation, and more importantly, Great White Shark breaching. Defined, breaching is a hunting technique whereby sharks approach the surface at explosive speeds in pursuit of their prey, launching themselves partially or completely out of the water. While seals are a feature of the island year round, the best time of year to witness this incredible phenomenon is when the water is warmer, between May and September.
Season: February – October
Peak Season: May – September
Distance From Cape Town: 50 min
Price: R1950 – R2750 pp dependant on season (Self Drive)
• Seal Island
Located just 2 hours from Cape Town, Gansbaai is a small fishing village in the Overberg District of the Western Cape. The main attraction of this charming town is the aptly named Shark Alley, a channel of water between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, 8km from the coast.
Home to a colony of 60 000 Cape Fur Seals, Geyser Rock supplies a constant source of food for Great White Sharks, who trawl these waters year-round. Dyer Island, on the other hand, is a protected bird sanctuary which houses a large colony of African Penguins, and a vast array of endangered bird species.
Gansbaai is often referred to as the Great White Shark Capital of the World, and for good reason. With consistently large numbers of Great White Sharks throughout the year, a shark cage diving trip in Gansbaai provides the best possible chance of getting up-close-and-personal with one of the majestic predators.
Season: Year Round
Peak Season: May – October
Distance From Cape Town: 2.5 hours
Price: R1500 pp (Self Drive) & R1900 pp (Transfer)
• Geyser Island
• Shark Alley
• World’s Capital for Great White Sharks
• Largest Population Year-Round
To find out more about Great White Shark cage diving in South Africa, explore the Shark Zone website. Similarly, to book a trip in Gansbaai or False Bay, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 82 894 4979.