Find out when and where you can see great white sharks in South Africa, if it is safe, what is the best cage dive company near Cape Town and much more!
If you’re the type of person who likes adventures, you can’t miss great white shark cage diving in Cape Town, South Africa. Being face to face with one of these giants is certainly an unique experience!
This is one of the very few places in the world where it is possible to do this type of dive inside a metal cage that is attached to the boat. It is not a coincidence that this is considered one of the best things to do in Cape Town.
In this article you will find out how and where the tour takes place, when is the best time to see great white sharks in South Africa, how much does the dive cost, what to take with you and why it is so important to choose the right company for the tour.
Frequently asked questions about Great White Shark Cage Diving in South Africa
The best season to spot great white sharks is between May and October, which are the coldest months in South Africa.
At this time, apparitions are more frequent, although there are also chances of being seen in other months of the year.
The White Shark Cage Diving happens in Gansbaai city, which is about two hours from Cape Town and very close to Hermanus, a quiet seaside city where you can see whales and dolphins in the sea from its shore.
In general, yes, but as long as the tour is operated by a serious company.
To offer this tour, the company must meet a number of requirements, such as: the cage model, the distance between the bars, environmental education class for tourists, shall not feed the animals, among others.
For this tour near Cape Town we recommend the White Shark Projects, which is one of the only two shark cage diving operators certified by Fair Trade Tourism as a Responsible Tourism company in South Africa.
White Shark Cage Diving boat in Cape Town
Photo: Gallery – White Shark Projects
You do not need to know how to swim or to be a diver as there is no use of snorkel or any type of equipment besides the mask. All you need to do is to hold the lid of the cage when inside of it, take a deep breath and put your head under the water as soon as the team shouts that the sharks are approaching.
How does the great white shark cage dive work?
In the early morning hours, the company picks up tourists from their hotels, both in Hermanus and Cape Town, and drive everyone to their lodge.
Many tourists also choose to rent a car and go straight to the meeting point informed by the company, where breakfast will be served.
Right after a complete explanation of the tour, everyone gets on the boat and the equipment and wetsuits are distributed.
Some snacks, fruits and cold drinks will also be available on the boat.
The trip to the dive site takes about 20 minutes and it may be a bumpy boat ride.
For safety reasons, the dive is done in cages attached to the boat where 4 to 5 people are accommodated at a time and each group stays for about 20 minutes in the cage, which goes down only when the sharks are approaching.
Why choose White Shark Projects?
Besides meeting the country’s strict requirements to operate the tour, the company supports the creation of sustainable jobs, recruiting employees from the region, and also encourages ecological awareness in local schools, contributing positively to the preservation of species and the growth of the local community.
How much does it cost to cage dive in South Africa?
At White Shark Projects the cost of the dive is R2,320.00 for people over 14 and R1,350.00 for children. But we have excellent news for you 🤗!
We’ve got an exclusive discount for the Live More, Travel More readers, and with our affiliate link the cost goes down to R2,088.00 and R1,215.00.
Some people prefer to rent a car and go straight to the location, but if you want to hire their transfer service, an additional fee of R500 per person is charged.
How long does it take to go shark cage diving in Gasnbaai?
The total travel time to the company’s lodge is around 2 hours from Cape Town and about 45 minutes from Hermanus. The time at sea can vary between 3 to 5 hours.
The total duration of the tour can be around 8 to 10 hours, starting in the early morning and returning at the beginning of the afternoon, so consider it as a full-day activity.
Exclusive tips for your great white shark cage dive in Cape Town
- As the tour is done according to the weather conditions, try to schedule it to the first days of the trip, so in case it is canceled you will have time to reschedule it.
- As there are no changing rooms on the boat (only bathrooms) and the clothes must be changed right there, it is easier if you enter the boat with your swimsuit on.
- Bring with you a neoprene t-shirt in case you have one. The water there is very cold and it is worth it having an extra layer of protection besides the wetsuits that they will provide.
- In addition to wear comfortable shoes, remember to also bring with you: a towel, nausea medicine (it is always good to take the one you are used to), a warm coat, and a biodegradable sunscreen.
- If the diving mask gets foggy, just spit on the lens, rub it with your finger and rinse it lightly (this note is true!).
Curiosities about white sharks and this type of attraction
1) Did you know that the largest great white shark population in the world is concentrated in the Dyer Island region, close to Gansbaai?
That’s why you have much more chances to have a successful great white shark cage diving during your trip to Cape Town.
2) Orcas are one of the only predators of white sharks, except for sperm whales and the human species, of course 🙄.
I found this out because something rare happened on my 2 visits to Cape Town: orcas were in the area and the sharks weren’t showing up.
But what I found really cool is that White Shark Projects was super honest and canceled tour free of charge, while I saw other people going on the tour with other companies without seeing any sharks.
3) Diving with a great white sharks is not always a good idea, unfortunately we have many irresponsible companies operating in the market.
In Mexico, for example, there are some very bad references, and this is due to greedy entrepreneurs who aim much more for profit than the welfare of animals and the safety of tourists.
So, search as much as you can about the company you will hire.
4) If made correctly, great white shark dives can be very positive for the following points:
- This is an observation tourism and the animals are in their natural habitat, there is no physical contact with them;
- The sharks are attracted with a carcass and fish oil, which will not feed them, so their eating habits will not be changed.
- The environmental education that should be offered on the tours demystifies the image that sharks are evil and aggressive, as we see in many Hollywood movies.
- Upon learning more about white sharks, it is proven that people start to protect them to ensure their preservation. Today we have less than 5,000 worldwide, so we need more and more people to support them.
- This can be an important source of income for some small communities.
- By working in tourism, many people start to see that sharks are worth much more alive than dead. It is so much better that people are dedicated to preserving them than involved in overfishing, or shark fin trading, for example.
Remember that there is no way for a company to guarantee that you will see a shark during the tour because they are free! If any company guarantees it, be suspicious.
If you decide to take this tour, be sure to enjoy it a lot and return here to tell us about your experience!