Great White Shark Surface Viewing & Cage Diving Trips Overview
Great White Shark Surface Viewing & Cage Diving Trips
Experience the thrill of a close encounter with a Great White Shark either from the boat or an underwater cage. Travellers have the unique opportunity to photograph these majestic animals feeding at the surface, right alongside the vessel.
Activity information: Great White Shark Surface Viewing & Cage Diving Trips
- The trip typically begins at 10h00 in the morning from Kleinbaai, which is 2 km along the coast from the village of Gansbaai.
- After a continental breakfast, payments and a safety briefing, you board our shark-chaser, Apex Predator for the 5-mile voyage to Dyer Island.
- After dropping anchor, we all begin attracting Great Whites with a specially-formulated 'Chum' mixture, made from completely right ingredients. Sharks have seen 99.9% of our trips.
- Once the Great Whites arrive, you will have the opportunity to photograph these majestic animals feeding at the surface, right alongside the boat. This is when you enter the cage!
- It is recommended that you book well in advance and allow at least two days diving in the case of adverse weather conditions. Passengers are exposed to the open sea while travelling to and from the islands. At the islands, the boat is anchored off the lee sides and protected bays.
- Vinyl side curtains give additional protection from the wind and water spray.
- The boat normally leaves the harbour at 10h00 in the morning and returns between 3 and 4 in the afternoon.
The Boat: Great White Shark Surface Viewing & Cage Diving Trips
- Apex Predator is a (2007) hi-tech custom-built catamaran is the envy of every boating enthusiast. Fitted with a spacious cabin and sheltered seating, dive platform, toilet and wash basin. It is sleek, fast and comfortable. We can take as many as 40 passengers per day, but you will never feel crowded.
- Apex Predator is inspected by the Department of Transport annually. Our boat and entire operation have been diligently scrutinised by the controlling bodies of the South African government and have been awarded one of only eight licenses available in this part of Africa to take you down to see these giants.
The Cage: Great White Shark Surface Viewing & Cage Diving Trips
- No experience is required if you want to go down in the cage.
- Sometimes the water will be extremely rough or far too murky to use the pen; viewing from the boat is still an awesome experience, with excellent photo opportunities.
- The cage is of the floating-variety and is custom-made with 12mm galvanised steel mesh. The sharks cannot get inside, and they don't try.
- The cage is attached to the boat at all times.
- All diving equipment is supplied. All of our wetsuits are new and leak-free…just like our boat.
- The new 7mm wetsuits are easy to get into.
- The cage floats right next to the boat and is easy to access so that you can climb out at any time.
Viewing Season: Great White Shark Surface Viewing & Cage Diving Trips
The Great Whites are in 'Shark Alley' all year round, but the best viewing months for clear water are from March to September.
Dyer Island is 5 miles (8 km) offshore, near the village of Gansbaai at the southern tip of Africa is only 2 hours from Cape Town. Nearby, Geyser Rock supports a colony of 40,000 Cape Fur Seals....these guys are the reason the Great Whites stay here.
Shark Alley is the channel between the two islands, and is protected from the worst of the Southern Atlantic's weather...this is where we park the Apex Predator. The islands and Shark Alley itself are teeming with life. Cape Fur Seals, Jackass Penguins, and a wide variety of sea birds are commonly seen from the boat. From July to November, Southern Right Whales are spotted almost every day as well! Dolphins are sometimes sighted.
Passenger Requirements & Equipment
- Cage diving with us does not require a scuba certification. Minimal experience is needed to go down in the cage.
- Everyone is welcome for surface viewing of the White Sharks as they are surface feeders and can be observed carefully from the boat.
- All diving equipment is supplied free of charge, including towels and protective jackets for the cold and water spray. Warm clothing, a cap, sun block, camera & film are essential items for the trip.
- A light lunch, refreshing drink, fruit & other snacks will be provided on board.
- A DVD of the day's activities is also available at an extra cost.
The Great White Sharks in South Africa
Great White Sharks are the world's largest predatory fish, reaching over 6 metres in length. Armed with a lethal mouthful of serrated, razor-sharp daggers and powerful enough to launch their 1-ton bodies clear of the water, they are the ocean's top predator and are the most feared denizen of the sea to both sailors and sea creatures alike.
Their diet includes other sharks and marine mammals, including dolphins and Cape Fur Seals. At Shark Alley, the seals are in a constant state of fear for their lives. Normally, the Great White is a migratory predator, but with so many tasty seals hanging around.....why leave? On occasion, natural predation can be seen from our boat when an unfortunate seal is seized.
When you come upon one of these magnificent creatures of the sea, you cannot help having a high amount of respect, and you will consider yourself to be among a very lucky and tiny group of witnesses. There's not many people in this ‘special’ club. The Great White Shark has many excellent features, and it is truly an amazing animal. The scientific name for the Great White is Carcharodon carcharias.
The male Great White reaches maturity at around 13 years of age and the female at 20 years. The average size of The Great White is between 12 to 16 feet long. The growth rate is about 25-30 cm per year and can grow up to 21 feet. The Great White Shark has litters of 7-9 pups. The females may only reproduce twice in her whole life. Clearly, this is a most majestic animal.