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Dive in the great white capital of the world
An adventure of a lifetime that supports shark conservation, too
Last updated: Tuesday, 17 December 2023
White Shark Diving Company (WSDC) has a 95% success rate on getting eyes on sharks, as well as a newly refurbished vessel, a brand new cage and a luxury shuttle with aircon and wifi. Plus, the reviews are stellar. It’s the company of choice to see the ocean’s apex predators in Gansbaai, plus they often run specials (check their homepage for more).
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In this cage experience, you can stay under water for a long time thanks to the hookah system (only available on exclusive hookah trips). Image: WSDC
DIVE WITH A GREAT WHITE OR COPPER SHARK
Imagine being in the water when a massive shape begins to take form in the blue beyond the protective cage and starts swimming towards you. Suddenly it's there, skimming past, under and around you. It’s thrilling to experience any shark – great white or copper – in its own habitat.
Copper sharks congregate in large numbers around the boat. Image: WSDC
Winter is the most likely time to see great whites in Gansbaai, while bronze whalers (or copper sharks) have a presence all year round. Coppers grow up to 3.5 metres in length, are highly curious and where you find one, there are likely to be more. They sometimes gather in groups of up to 40 around the boat. You may also spot the more elusive sevengill cow shark.
TOUR WITH A TOURISM AWARD WINNER
“We saw a lot of sharks and even a seal joined us … experience of a lifetime,” said one reviewer on TripAdvisor. “I would liken this to one of the best adventure experiences of my life,” said another reviewer. Both gave these stellar reviews.
WSDC has received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for six years running and has held the Traveler's Choice Award for the last two years (the award is based on consistently high customer ratings), because it provides its customers with an exclusive and personalised diving experience.
The elusive sevengill cow shark is another of the species you can spot. Image: WSDC
YOU’RE 95% CERTAIN TO SEE SHARKS
Gansbaai is about two hours from Cape Town (you can arrange to be picked up from the city). The small coastal village is where you’re most likely to see a shark, thanks to the proximity of Dyer Island and the 50 000 to 60 000 seals – shark food – that live on it.
Few things are as memorable as being in the water with a shark. Image: WSDC
Gansbaai is known as the great white capital of the world, but nature is constantly shifting and changing – great whites are now usually only visible during winter (June to August), while other sharks are around all year.
The White Shark is a state-of-the-art catamaran. Image: WSDC
The company's boat, White Shark, was refurbished during the pandemic shut-down. She’s a 12-metre, custom-designed, sea-cabin cruiser catamaran built to the exact specifications required in the shark-cage diving industry, ensuring passenger safety and well-being at all times.
WATCH SHARKS FROM THE DECK
It’s an incredible and otherworldly experience to witness these remarkable predators in their natural environment, but you don’t have to get into the water if you’re nervous. You can see the action from the deck, as the sharks are curious and come in to investigate, attracted by the chum. If you do choose to get in, staying underwater is easy, thanks to an unlimited supply of air via a hookah air system.
Seeing the sharks underwater is easier than ever now that a hookah air supply system has been installed.
CONTRIBUTE TO MARINE BIOLOGY RESEARCH
WSDC is a founding member of the Great White Shark Protection Foundation and was instrumental in the creation and implementation of safety regulations to protect sharks. It is also actively involved in initiatives, such as the Sharksafe Barrier, to protect the dwindling number of sharks and other marine species on South Africa’s coastlines. Sharksafe Barrier is a sustainable alternative to detrimental shark nets and drumlines that harm thousands of sharks, dolphins, turtles and other marine species every year.
WSDC contributes to research by taking ID photographs of the sharks seen. Image: WSDC
WSDC also contributes to research spearheaded by the University of Stellenbosch’s shark research group that focuses on ID photographs, dorsal fin identification and genetic analysis. These studies are crucial to understanding more about these mysterious sea creatures and the role they play in the marine ecosystem.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH AFRICA
In 2015 WSDC founded a non-profit organisation, Shark & Marine Research Institute. It focuses on the research of sharks and other species, and has a volunteer programme for budding scientists, biologists and marine-enthusiasts to join as research assistants.
As a volunteer, you get to study and be involved in ground-breaking research on great white shark behaviour, as well as the diversity and abundance of sharks and rays and marine debris accumulation. It also means you’ll be spending time in one of the world’s most fascinating and dynamic ecosystems. WSDC is also involved in community outreach initiatives, to grow people’s knowledge of and love for the ocean they live with.
SHARK CAGE DIVE TOUR PACKAGES 2023
Standard shark-cage diving and viewing is R2 200, but look out for seasonal specials on the website. Now’s the time to do this trip. It’s winter, plus there’s a grand special. If you mention CapeTownMagazine, you’ll get R400 off. Private charter promotion is up to 50% off (ask for a price/quote).
White Shark Diving Company
Tours & Packages
Shark Cage Diving and Viewing excursion (watch out for specials on the website)
Children 12 years and younger (viewing onboard)
rates on request
Return transfer from Cape Town or close surroundings
Return transfer from Hermanus
Private Charter - up to 50% off available on request
rates on request
3-Day Dive Package
(Multiple shark cage diving activities, transport and accommodation)
Shark Cage Hookah Dive
Visit the website to create your custom adventure tour
A WSDC tour comprises:
Optional transport to and from Gansbaai (at an additional cost)
Light pre-trip breakfast in Gansbaai
Extensive safety briefing
Fun facts and interesting tit-bits about great white sharks
The scenic boat ride on White Shark
On-board light snacks and refreshments
All diving equipment and guidance needed
Post-trip lunch and hot beverages upon return
A record of your adventure is available for purchase on a custom USB card.
Sunscreen (preferably waterproof)
Bathing costume and towel
Hat or cap
To qualify for a discount, mention CapeTownMagazine.com when booking.
Age restrictions: Children aged 5 to 12 are allowed on board for shark viewing depending on the weather conditions. Exceptions can be made for younger children to enter the cage, depending on the child's size, strength and swimming ability. A meet and greet can be arranged with the boat skipper provided the weather conditions are suitable.
WSDC Volunteer Programme: For more information about WSDC’s Volunteer Programme, call or WhatsApp +27 (0)63 680 3063 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit SMRI’s website.
WHEN + WHERE TO GO
White Shark Diving Co. is open: Monday to Sundays, 8am - 10.30pm
Find it: 9 Kus Drive | Kleinbaai | Gansbaai | Western Cape
Contact WSDC on: 082 559 6858, email@example.com, Instagram: @whitesharkco
MORE OCEAN TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Interested in contributing to the research? Here’s how you can do it.
Find out more about the apex predators of the ocean.
Volunteer with White Shark Cage Diving Co and dive with sharks.