Cape Town Shark Dive?

Aug 2nd, 2008, 02:00 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 16
Cape Town Shark Dive?

Anyone done the Great White Cage Dives? If so would like to know about the experience. What copmany you used? etc
monkeymel is offline  
Aug 4th, 2008, 10:04 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 53
We went last month and used White Shark Diving Co. I can give you a quick run down of at least my experience.

We picked this company because they gave us a money back guarantee if the trip was canceled for bad weather. We went in their Winter and a lot of other companies will only allow you to go on another date or forfeit your deposit. We were able to go only one day so this was important to us.

They picked us up in the morning and drove us to Kleinbaai which is right off of Dyer Island where "Shark Alley" is located. The drive took about 2 hours from Cape Town. When we arrived we had breakfast and then headed to the boat. The boat trip took about 15 minutes until we were where the anchor site was. There were other boats around and there was already a lot of shark activity. We threw on our wet suits and headed to the cage.

I will readily admit the water was really cold and I was very flustered in the cage. The attendants seemed more in tuned with the sharks then noticing I didn't remember their briefing on what to do in the cage. Soon enough though I got the hang of what I was supposed to do - Sit up until they start yelling directions of where to look, hold your breath, go down and see the sharks swim by you.

Honestly, I could have been fine with just staying up top. It was definitely neat to see the sharks from their level, but as a diver, I had a hard time just poking my head under water and not being able to stay there. They said the bubbles from a dive tank scare the sharks away and they would only let you dive after everyone got their fill.

I soon left the cage because I was really cold and then just watched the sharks from the observation deck. They were pretty magnificent and it was cool to see them go after the chum. But I got really sea sick so I recommend being cautious to that if you are prone. 3 of the 5 of us got sick with one person loosing it over the side of the boat.

The weather changed suddenly and the waves got a lot bigger so we headed back a little early (I was happy for that! I think the predetermined time of 3 hours out there was a little much for me even if I wasn't queasy). We got back and they fed us some delicious soup and tried to sell us the dvd of our experience. The dvd was actually pretty nice but out of my budget. Then we boarded the van and headed back to Cape Town.

Overall, do I think it was worth it? Eh...hard to say. I love the ocean and the chance to see a Great White was pretty awesome. But I think it was really expensive and I probably found diving alongside 6 nurse sharks in the Grenadines more thrilling. But my boyfriend loved it and found it a highlight of the trip. And I do support anything that will help the sharks and protect them. So it really is a personal preference.

Hope this gives you a little insight. Good luck with your trip!
poosaysmeh is offline  
Aug 8th, 2008, 04:36 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I just returned a few days ago. I stayed on the boat but watched a week's worth of divers go in. I used African Shark Eco-Charters that go to Seal Island in False Bay from Simonstown. I chose them because they were the least intrusive to the sharks' natural behavior and at False Bay you may be able to seek natural shark predations on the seals from Seal Island. I saw this most days in the week that I was there.

Everyone who did the dive felt it was worthwhile. The 7-foot tall cage is attached to the side of the boat and never leaves. Divers can pop up whenever they wish because the top of the cage is not under water. They are provided oxygen breathing devices so they can remain underwater.

They will do the 45-minute round trip transfer from Cape Town.

If diving is your sole interest, then one of the Gansbaai operators is a good choice too.

What time of year are you going?
atravelynn is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 05:55 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 16
We will be going next summer in early July on our honeymoon. We are not looking at staying on a ship but going out for a day which I think you can do out of Cape Town correct? I have seen and read a lot about Seal Island which is where the sharks literally jump out of the water. Did you experience that? The tour you were on sounds great beause the cage remains attached and you can pop your head out of the water. We are not certified divers and I was not sure if certification is required.
monkeymel is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 06:17 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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July is excellent timing for the predations at Seal Island in False Bay and for sharks interested in the boat and cage. A nice combo. Unless you book something special, all the trips, whether Shark Alley or Seal Island are for the morning or the day and not overnight cruises.

The attached cage is what most places use, I believe. No diving knowledge is needed. Some cage divers had never even snorkeled before.

I saw some breaching, but you don't necessarily see it every day. It just depends. However, around Seal Island the African Shark Eco-Charter Co. has 2 of 3 boats that are allowed to pull a seal shaped decoy behind the boat in trolling fashion. On most days at least one shark did breach and jump out of the water in response to this decoy. I was pleased that only 2 breaches (sharks willing) are attempted so that the sharks do not use up too much energy that should be conserved for hunting. Sometimes only 1 jumped. Some days none did if they were predating more heavily.

It is routine for the shark company to pick you up and take you back to Cape Town. But if you have a few days in the area, I found Simons Town (where the Seal Island trips leave from) to be great. Maybe my new favorite city! You can walk to the penguins at Boulders Bay there and do baboon walks with Baboon Matters in Simons Town. It's extemely safe any time of day or night, picturesque, a variety of good restaurants, great views, near a train station for scenic rides into other nice places, 30 minutes or so from Cape Nature Reserve.

If you are really interested in a shark trip in July, I would book more than one. Weather, wind, and waves can conspire to cancel it. During my week, no trips from False Bay were cancelled, though 2 were delayed an hour. Several were cancelled in Shark Alley due to weather. There is less protection there.
atravelynn is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 07:45 AM
  #6  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 16
Thanks so much for all of the information. Do you have contact information maybe a website for the company you used?
monkeymel is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 09:25 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440

Shark contact info for African Shark Eco-Charters

websites
http://www.apexpredators.com/
www.ultimate-animals.com

email that I used:
[email protected]


If you are MONKEYMel, then you have to also contact Baboon Matters for a baboon walk. I did 2. It is outstanding and eventually I’ll get around to writing up the specifics on and putting in a link to a variety of baboon photos. While a gorilla visit is $500 and limited to exactly an hour, the baboon troop visit lasts a good 2 hours, with no specific time frame and costs 250 Rand, between $35 and $40. Contact info below. Marlei is one of several people who can help you schedule a walk.

Marlei Martins – Baboon Matters
12 Glen Road, Glencairn, 7976
+27 (0) 21 782-2015
[email protected]
www.baboonmatters.org.za


Here are all the details on the shark dive that I put in a separate post

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35149177
atravelynn is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 12:45 PM
  #8  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 16
Thank you so much. YES I actually love monkeys and dream of seeing the Gorillas one day. I will definately check out both of your recommendations. Are the monkeys free in the wild or are they enclosed. Not sure I want to see them trapped like in a zoo...
Thanks,
monkeymel is offline  
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