The Big Five may be one of South Africa’s main attractions, but the ocean is filled with some mega-predators of its own to ‘wow’ the crowds. Not least of these is the Great White Shark – the stuff of which old thriller movies are made!
While entering the ocean in the presence of these fearsome creatures (never mind actually luring them closer) may seem like insanity, shark cage diving as well as whale watching has become a major tourist attraction along the Garden Route.
Gansbaai and Mossel Bay are hot spots for the ultimate shark cage diving and whale watching experience, due to the cooler ocean temperatures and high seal population in these waters.
While shark cage diving may seem like a dangerous activity, statistically it is safer than horse riding or even driving a car. Sharks have nothing but a cursory interest in human beings and only approach the submerged cage out of curiosity.
You should set aside a whole day for this marine adventure, including travel time, lunch and some time to relax before returning to your accommodation. Usually, the order of events includes breakfast and a thorough safety briefing before setting out.
A custom-designed boat will carry you out to one of the best spots, where the sharks are invited to join you by chumming, which involves dangling tuna or other desirables beneath the surface. Once the sharks start circling, participants take turns climbing into the partially submerged cage to view them from up close under the water. Once the sharks lose interest, you will return to the shore to watch a DVD of the day’s proceedings.
You may also choose to remain on board and watch the sharks from above. Either way, these intimate encounters with one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures provides for a fascinating day trip.
Visit these links below for great booking websites:
Traveller’s tip: Make sure to book this excursion well in advance!