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Great White Sharks at Seal Island in False Bay, departing Simons Town with African Shark Eco-Charters

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Since there have been some shark questions, I'll post this part of my trip report that deals only with Great White Sharks in mid to late July. No pictures yet.

Where to Stay
-Sea Spray-With five or more shark visits, African Shark Eco-Charters provides a complimentary self-catering accommodation. Sea Spray is operated by Chris and Richard, who live on the second level of this hillside home. The lodging is beautiful and has 3 large bedrooms, each with its own balcony and spectacular harbor view; a larger common balcony with a grill; a big modern kitchen and dining area; a lounge area with TV; free Internet, washing machine with soap provided, drying rack and heating element, iron, and a shared bathroom with shower.

Outside is well-tended garden of native plants, complete with a few small fountains.

The place is impeccably clean and impressively decorated in local motif. Sea Spray is in Simonskloof, above the main street in Simons Town, about a 15 minute walk up meandering stairs that are marked as a scenic walkway.

Self catering means you BYO soap, shampoo, and any food that you wish to prepare in the well equipped kitchen or anything you want to store in the fridge. BYO napkins and tissues, but toilet paper and a bath towel are provided.

Chris did an outstanding job of making us feel at home and making various arrangements for us by phone. (There was not a phone for guest use.) He posted detailed weather reports with winds and waves and kept us informed of shark trip departure times because he was in direct contact with Eco-Charters. This was especially helpful in the morning when weather delays and conditions could change minute by minute.

As a favor, Richard could time his departure for work to coincide with the shark trips, and give us a lift to the dock, about 5 minutes away by car. If this convenient offer of a ride by Richard were not available for some reason, a Rikki taxi could easily bring you to the dock for a reasonable fare or you could walk to the dock by descending the scenic walkway stairs. It would be a bit dark, but completely safe, if you had a flashlight and were sure footed. I have photos of Sea Spray that I’ll put on Kodak Share later.

The Sea Spray setup is ideal for the shark trips and would be a lovely place to stay even if sharks were not part of your itinerary.

-Next to the Dock- A couple of days I stayed across the street from the water, which was a 3-minute walk from the shark boat dock, at Central Hotel (actually a B&B, but since it was built in 1824 and is on the historical register, rules required the name to remain as hotel.) This 3-star accommodation with a private bath was a tremendous bargain at 400 Rand a night and its charm was tremendous as well.

The native Simons Town family who owns it has decorated in an appealing feminine style and they offer warm hospitality and a delicious cooked breakfast for non-shark viewing days or an ample packed breakfast for the early departure shark trip days. There is a lovely common balcony that has the best harbor views on the main street. The place seemed to attract a youthful clientele, whose hustle and bustle could be heard on the creaking stairs at various hours. I have some photos on Kodak share that I’ll post later.

On the water side of the street, even closer to the dock, is the modern Quayside Hotel, set amongst the shops and restaurants of Simons Town’s waterfront. That place looked very comfortable and convenient but with less charm and character than the historic Central Hotel.

-In Cape Town- If you were coming from accommodations in Cape Town, an early morning 45-minute road transfer was part of the shark package. When asking around on the boat, most people came from Cape Town for the day.

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