South Africa is one of the main destinations for shark cage-diving.
Although one doesn’t need to be a certified diver to try such an experience. In fact the upper cage is at the surface level, therefore a snorkel will suffice. Usually, the early morning is the best time to track the Great White.
Where to do it
Arguably, the South African capital of shark cage-diving is Gansbaai, a 3 hour drive from Cape Town and just 40 minutes from Hermanus.
You can dive also in the False Bay, between Cape Town and Cape Peninsula, or in Mossel Bay, where the Garden Route starts. However, do not expect the same visibility that you will find, most of the times, in Gansbaai. You will be wearing a semi-dry wetsuit, as the water temperature seldom exceeds values between 13° and 16°.
How safe is shark cage-diving?
Very. At least in South Africa. Where this activity has become very popular, giving birth to an outright industry. As a consequence, safety has become a must and taking a chance is no option. Certainly, thinking to find yourself face-to-face with the Great White is spine-chilling. Nearly everyone would think to movies like “Jaws” of Steven Spielberg and the various sequels, that scared swimmers and divers for generations. But in nature things do work differently than in movies.
For a start, the cage is steel-made and with bars 25 cm thick. On top, it’s closed by a “roof”, also steel-made with the identical thickness. This will prevent any possible breaching.
When to go
One can try shark-cage diving all year-round. Always bearing in mind this is a marine activity, strictly weather dependent.
Average rates are R 1.750 per adult, R 1.000 for children under 12, while for kids under 5 it is free. Take this rates though as merely indicative. Prices may also differ according to different suppliers and locations.0