Shark Diving in Gansbaai
When traveling, we love to try exciting new stuff. When planning our trip to South Africa, it seemed this was the perfect country to check something off of our bucket list; shark diving. After a bit of research, we decided that Gansbaai was going to be the place for us. This little town is just a 2 hour drive from Capetown. It is known for its variety of diving and whale spotting trips. Due to the relatively short drive (for African standards) from Capetown, it’s a perfect day trip. Keep in mind, you are likely to leave port around 7 AM in the morning.
If you want to go diving with sharks, you don’t need any experience at all. All equipment is provided for and you get instructions when on the boat. The boat trip to the diving spot can take up to 3 hours. Be sure you packed something warm and get a good bite to eat before leaving. It might be good to bring some motion sickness medication, because the ocean can be quite rough. If you are lucky, you will spot some whales on your way.
When you have reached the diving spot, the crew puts a giant cage that is connected to the boat in the water. It is large enough to hold about 4 people at once. After being divided into groups, everybody gets their gear; a wet suit, snorkel and glasses. They give you some final instructions and then the first group goes in. Big heads up; the ocean water that far out is freezing, even when wearing a wet suit or during summertime!
Once you are all in the cage, the crew will tie up bait to long lines and try to lure sharks to the cage. On the inside of the cage, there are bars where you can put your feet and hold on to when staying under water. While everyone is waiting for a shark, suddenly a crew member will shout to go down and look left. Just a few second later, a giant white shark appeared out of nowhere.
Hold on tight because the shark will hit the cage when chasing the bait. Up close with this animal, it is stunning to see how big it is, how big the teeth are and how surreal the feeling is to want to put your hand out and touch it… don’t! If you are lucky, several sharks will be attracted by the bait. If this does not happen and no sharks show up, you will get a voucher for a free trip to try again.
- Ask someone on the boat to take pictures with your camera when you are in the water
- Take motion sickness medication
- Don’t waste your time underwater trying to take pictures
When to go: May – September
Costs: Depending on the organization between €75 – €100