Friendly Cape Town Tours

Shark Cage Diving

Friendly Cape Town Tours

Shark Cage Diving

You already know what the excitement is all about, and if you’ve already got your heart set on this, you won’t need any more convincing! But here are the facts

There are two options

Marine Dynamics

Operates from Gansbaai, a 2 to 2½ hour drive east of Cape Town

Gansbaai trips are less expensive than Simon’s Town trips. Their trips operate throughout the year, though their peak season is in winter. Marine Dynamics is the pick of the bunch out of all the Gansbaai operators, for their high level of organization and professionalism.

Slashfin is a 46 feet catamaran custom built for shark cage diving and powered by 4 X 300 HP 4-stroke outboard engines. It can accommodate up to 40 passengers, and up to 8 at a time can get into the cage attached to it. A qualified marine biologist is on board every trip.

Marine Dynamics is a Fair Trade in Tourism accredited company with the highest standards in safety and ethics, supporting shark conservation and research, as well as local community projects. This is not lip service, they do some incredible stuff!

Price: R2 100 (South African Rand) per adult, R1 200 per child (under 12). Kids under 5 free.
R550 pp for return shuttle service from Cape Town.

For more information:

Apex Shark Expeditions
Operates from Simon’s Town, a one-hour drive south of Cape Town.

Simon’s Town trips are more expensive than Gansbaai trips. Due to smaller numbers, they are usually booked up for several weeks in peak season (winter).

They run a variety of trips offering sightings of different marine life throughout the year but the white shark diving trips only operate from February to September. They start slowly from February and March, but in April and May, there is a better chance of seeing shark breaching behaviour.

The winter months of June, July and August is the peak season for great white shark activity at Seal Island in False Bay, including the possibility of seeing natural predation of seals and shark breaching, which is what makes Seal Island world-famous, as featured in TV documentaries.

Natural predation can usually still be seen in September.

No shark cage diving trips are run from October to January.

White Pointer II is a 36-foot catamaran with 2 X 250 HP, 4-stroke Honda engines. The cage can fit 5 people.

For the higher cost, the advantages are: Closer to Cape Town, the possibility of seeing natural predation of seals and shark breaching, and smaller numbers on board (up to 12 passengers). The company is owned by world-renowned shark photographer Chris Fallows who accompanies some but not all trips.

Price: R2 400 (South African Rand) per person. R3 400 in June, July & August. (No children under 10.)
R500 pp for return shuttle service from Cape Town.

For more information:

General Information
    • Sightings are never guaranteed, but it is unusual not to see any sharks even in the low season, and even more exceptional in the high season.
    • If Marine Dynamics is fully booked on the day/s you are interested, we can check availability with some alternative operators in Gansbaai. The same applies to Apex Shark Expeditions in Simon’s Town. The viewing experience will be similar, but the way things are done could differ slightly and the broader issues of education and conservation may not be addressed with the same vigour. All operators are regulated by the same government safety standards.
    • Transport: You can hire me to take you there and back, but it’s cheaper to book the operator’s own shuttle service, unless you are 5 or more people, in which case a group transfer with me can be worthwhile. Marine Dynamics shuttle: Can pick you up from your Cape Town hotel at a time to be confirmed the afternoon before, depending on tide & weather, usually between 05:00 and 08:00.
      Apex Shark Expeditions: Can pick you up from your Cape Town hotel at about 05:00 to 05:30 for the morning trip, or 10:15 to 10:45 for the afternoon trip, to be confirmed the day before.
    • On arrival, you’ll need to register, and you can then have breakfast before an information and safety briefing explaining the practical aspects of the trip. You will be issued with a safety jacket, and will then take a short walk to the harbour for the launch.
    • Wear swimming gear under your clothes, to keep on under the wetsuit, to make changing on the boat quick and easy. Clean, dry wetsuits and towels are provided on the boat, as well as beverages and refreshments. A toilet is available on the boat. A video is made and you can purchase a link to download it from the internet.
    • No scuba or diving experience is required. The top of the cage (with a lid) is substantially above the water surface, so you can keep your head out and breathe normally, but go down to view the sharks as they approach! Good sightings can often be enjoyed from the elevated viewing deck of the boat, and some people choose not to go into the cage at all.
    • To confirm a reservation, you will need to provide your credit card number as security. The transaction will only go through on the day of the trip, because it is weather dependent, but should YOU cancel, you will be charged full payment as a cancellation fee.
    • Please remember that because shark cage diving takes place out in the ocean, at the mercy of the elements, it is weather dependent, and if weather and sea conditions are not safe, trips are cancelled and you are given the option to reschedule, subject to availability, or if you can’t then you won’t be charged. There are some days when it is SAFE but not necessarily COMFORTABLE to go out. So if you are prone to seasickness, it is advisable to take medication for that. The water is cold, so take even more warm clothes than you think you need, to put on afterwards. The cold (and sometimes rough) water is usually the biggest challenge to your comfort zone, so be prepared!

You are welcome to visit the websites mentioned above and feel free to make contact, but if you are booking other tours with me, it makes sense to contact me first, so I can make the arrangements and ensure that timing and movements are coordinated.

To contact me, please click here.