Great White Shark Cage Diving – Video Post

160 kilometers from Cape Town, South Africa lies a very special body of water. Gansbaai is the name, it’s at the bottom of Africa where the rough Atlantic meets the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. There is no place on the planet with a larger population of Great White Sharks, this is the perfect place for some great white shark cage diving. The warmer water from the Indian ocean mixes with, making the perfect breeding ground for one of the most feared animals on earth.

Shark Cage Diving for Great White Sharks in Cape Town South Africa-14

For me, both the lure and the deterrent of getting in the waters of Gansbaai is the fear of sharks. Coming into Cape Town this was an activity I was on the fence about. I wanted to do it to feel the rush and to see these amazing animals in their natural environment, but I was also a bit freaked out at the same time, I am not going to lie. I had a lot of what if’s running through my mind, but I ultimately decided to jump in.

Shark Cage Diving for Great White Sharks in Cape Town South Africa-10

Before getting wet there was a lot to do. I wanted to see the sharks at their most active and so I opted for the early morning trip. The van came to fetch me from our Camp’s Bay Hotel at a painful 3:45 am. After picking up the rest of my dive mates we made the 2-hour drive to Gansbaai. After a light breakfast, it was time to get fitted for our gear, which would hopefully not be the last thing we ever wore. With our extra thick wetsuit in hand, we walk down to the pier for our ride out to the Great Whites.

Shark Cage Diving for Great White Sharks in Cape Town South Africa-15

After a nervous 20 minute ride out to the shark hotspot, it was go-time. The deckhands began chumming the water with fish leftovers and other shark snacks. Pieces of fish were tied to ropes and tossed out to lure nearby sharks. Within a few minutes, we were surrounded by sharks. The cage that will protect us from the great whites was dropped in the water. A short safety briefing follows with simple instruction of ‘keep all hands and feet inside the bars at all times”. We are told the sharks are unpredictable and completely wild. They are naturally in the area and not here because the boats are feeding them. With that, it was time to get wet.

Shark Cage Diving for Great White Sharks in Cape Town South Africa-7

The call came to get in the cage and I was elected as first one in, ’great’, I’m thinking “Here we go, no turning back now.” A rush of cold water fills my wetsuit, and I settle in. By the time the four other divers enter the cage my body heat, and adrenal has warmed the water inside the suit and I don’t fell the chill. Within a minute of the lid being locked down the first shark approaches the cage.

 

It’s the crew’s job to bring the shark to us. They do it by tossing the rope we the fish pieces out in front of the cage a few meters and when a shark starts at it they will pull the rope to try and get the shark to breach, or jump out of the water. There is no hook on the line, just a small piece of tuna used to bring the shark close. At the peak of our dive, we had 11 sharks surrounding the boat and cage. Some were more aggressive than others, some were interested in us, while others had their eyes set on the fish at the end of the line. The crew was successful in getting a few of the more feisty sharks out of the water attacking the bait.

Shark Cage Diving for Great White Sharks in Cape Town South Africa-13

Once I settled in it was great to see these powerful animals up close. As scary as it may sound the truth is that they are surprisingly few shark attacks every year. So far this year there were only 5 deadly shark attacks in the entire world, compared to 791 deaths by faulty toasters. Yes, toasters, be careful. This was one of the many interesting facts hung on the dive shop walls to help ease our minds before getting in the water. Either way, I am glad I jumped in, plus a shark is a way better way to go out than a toaster.

Shark Cage Diving for Great White Sharks in Cape Town South Africa-5

There are several companies that offer cage shark diving in Cape Town, as it is a huge and booming tourist attraction. Most companies you book with don’t usually even own the boats, they just take the booking and place you on boats. The company I booked with GoSharkDiving.com advertised all over their website that they had a constant air supply, this was advertised all over their website & videos. The only reason I choose this company was because they had a constant air supply, as our tour leader on our safari told us MAKE SURE you have an air supply.

If you noticed in the video I had to hold my breath and was only able to stay down in the cage as long as I could. It takes time to get down in the cage and get comfortable, the wetsuit is designed to help you float and want to bring you up to the top. This only gives you a few seconds down in the cage, you miss parts of the shark because he only spends a few seconds by the cage meanwhile you are either getting air or trying to get down.

My cage diving experience wasn’t what I was hoping for and would not book with GoSharkDiving.com again. I contacted them with my issue, they informed me they were sorry and say that the boat I ended up on didn’t have an air supply and that they would refund my money via PayPal, 5 emails later and 2 months I haven’t seen my money.

Have you gone cage shark diving?


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10 thoughts on “Great White Shark Cage Diving – Video Post”

  1. Yes! Went with African Shark Eco-Charters. They were AMAZING! Only two people in the cage at a time and had scuba so we were able to stay down for a long period of time. I think we were down about 20 minutes! Such an unbelievable experience. Definitely have a new appreciation for Great Whites and certainly advocate for them now. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. We went shark diving in Gansbaai last month and it was amazing! Our boat didn’t have air either, but honestly I didn’t think it was necessary. The water was so murky that you could only see about a meter and a half away. The staff on deck would yell when a shark was coming close and you’d just duck down and watch it swim past, then disappear. I’ve done a great white dive in Australia that had air and crystal clear water and that was definitely nicer.

    • Our biggest complaint is the company advertised air ALL OVER their website. Just really not right when you sell a product and don’t deliver….Glad you had a great time!

  3. Wow, my heart is racing just by looking at your pictures and seeing the video. The sharks looked like they came pretty close to your cage. I would of probably had a panic attack. Going inside a shark cage is on my bucket list, although I’m not sure I can go through with it. I would love to share our story on our next linkup #WeekendWanderlust.

    • The shark is crazy close indeed. You would be fine, you’d end up loving it I’m sure. Work up the courage and tick it off your bucket list CARMEN! Would love for you share our story

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