Snapped is a companion piece to the hugely successful, "I turned away and she was gone"
Dive in the great white capital of the world
Open to operate under Lockdown Level 1 restrictions
Outdoors and socially distanced, this incredible nature experience is possible for even less than usual with these seasonal specials (plus ask for the discount for CapeTownMagazine.com readers).
DIVE WITH COPPERS + GREAT WHITES
Imagine being in the sea when a massive shape takes form in the depths of the blue and begins to swim towards you. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or nature lover, seeing a great white shark in its own habitat is one of the most rare and thrilling experiences the world has to offer. You can have this memorable adventure with the White Shark Diving Company (WSDC).
DO ONE OF THE BEST SHARK-DIVE TOURS WITH OUR SELECTED PARTNERS
WSDC operates from Gansbaai, known as the great white shark capital of the world. Dives take place close to Dyer Island, roughly a 15-minute boat ride from the mainland. Don’t worry, you’ll be perfectly safe in a strong shark-diving cage.
DIVE WITH GREAT WHITE SHARKS CLOSE TO CAPE TOWN
Gansbaai is about two hours from Cape Town (divers can arrange to be picked up from the city). Gansbaai bay 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 that live on it. Seals are a great white's favourite food.
“Nowhere in the world is there a comparable natural food source available for the great white sharks,” says Nik Walsh, managing director of WSDC. Between the island and neighbouring Geyser Rock runs a channel that is commonly used by the seals to get to and from their breeding ground. It's this that attracts the sharks. It's been dubbed “shark alley” as it's said to have the world’s largest, year-round great white shark population.
BEING WITH A SHARK IS ENTHRALLING
It’s in Shark Alley that dives take place at the crack of dawn, prime time for shark viewing. White Shark, WSDC’s boat, drops anchor there and lowers its eight-man floating cage into the big blue below, where it waits for the captivating apex predators to approach.
WATCH A GREAT WHITE BREACH
Shark-cage diving excursions take place throughout the year, but the best time to see a great white is during South Africa’s winter months (from June to August) as the slightly warmer ocean, as well as the presence of baby seals, make for perfect shark-viewing conditions.
Breaching is a great white hunting technique in which they propel their bodies out the water to catch their prey unawares; they do this during the winter months only. Both are incredible experiences and tourist groups often combine the two, starting with a shark-breaching trip that showcases how sharks hunt, then cage diving with them for a more intimate encounter. It’s also only in the winter months that WSDC offers shark breaching trips (Ask for CapeTownMagazine.com specials).
YOU'LL FEEL SAFE ON THIS BOAT
The Company's boat, White Shark, is a 12-metre, custom-designed, sea-cabin cruiser catamaran built to the exact specifications required in the shark-cage diving industry, ensuring a passenger's utmost safety and well-being at all times. It's the most recently built vessel in the field, with one of the most modern designs and requirements installed.
WSDC is one of eight shark-cage diving operators in the area and has been running for 22 years; it has a 100% safety record. Each trip is limited to 22 passengers, and only eight divers are allowed in the cage at once, which means that each diver has ample shark-viewing time, as well as quality time on-board, spotting great whites and other sea life from the viewing deck.
For the last five years in a row, WSDC has received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and takes pride in providing its customers with an exclusive and personalised diving experience.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET INTO THE SEA
Although nothing beats the real deal – getting close to a great white shark in the sea – you can still see action from the upper deck of the boat. Great white sharks are surface feeders, so the majority of the action takes place on or close to the water’s edge.
Even seen from above, it’s an otherworldly experience to witness this remarkable predator in its natural environment. You'll have the opportunity to see just how beautiful and elegant the ocean’s most feared hunter really is.
RESEARCH AND RESPONSIBLE TOURISM IS KEY
WSDC is deeply committed to conservation and the protection of great white sharks and is a founding member of the Great White Protection Foundation. It’s actively involved in several conservation and community upliftment initiatives and has been a leading voice in the call for operators to collaborate in protecting the dwindling number of sharks and other marine species off South Africa’s coastlines, which are so crucial to the health of our oceans.
To raise awareness, WSDC runs daily informative trips for guests, presentations for local schools, as well as coastal clean-ups. It is the only registered shark-cage diving company in the country officially accredited by the GreenLine Responsible Tourism Rating Programme.
SUPPORTING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
WSDC also supports and funds conservation of other ocean species and the entire marine ecosystem via various initiatives, such as the Sharksafe Barrier, a sustainable and non-lethal innovative new technology to promote beach-goer safety and an alternative to detrimental shark nets and drumlines that harm thousands of sharks, dolphins, turtles and other marine species every year along South Africa’s coastlines.
It 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.
JOIN THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME IN SOUTH AFRICA
To develop its research and educational enterprises, WSDC founded a non-profit organisation, Shark & Marine Research Institute, in 2015. It focuses on the research of sharks and other elasmobranch species. Its dedicated marine biologist, Mary Rowlinson, runs a volunteer programme for budding scientists, biologists and marine-enthusiasts to join as research assistants.
The programme offers volunteers the unique opportunity to view and study these incredible creatures, as well as be involved in ground-breaking research studying white-shark behaviour, shark and ray diversity and abundance, marine debris accumulation and ocean conservation in one of the world’s most fascinating and dynamic ecosystems. There’s also an opportunity to get involved in community outreach initiatives.
Projects at the Institute are run in collaboration with Stellenbosch University’s world-renowned great white shark expert Dr Sara Andreotti.
SHARK CAGE DIVE TOUR PACKAGES 2020/2021
Standard shark-cage diving and viewing is R1 500, reduced from R2 200 and private charter promotion is up to 50% off (ask for a price/quote). Plus ask for the current prices and CapeTownMagazine.com reader specials.
White Shark Diving Company
Tours & Packages
Shark Cage Diving and Viewing excursion
Children 12 years and younger (viewing onboard)
rates on request
Breaching and Diving combined trips
(June, July and August yearly)
Return Transfer from Cape Town or close surroundings
Return Transfer from Hermanus
Private Charter – up 50% off available on request
|rates on request|
3-Day Dive Package
Shark Cage Hookah Dive
Visit the website to create your custom adventure tour
A Great White Shark Cage Diving 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
- Shark cage dive (and breaching trip, should it be arranged)
- Post-trip lunch and hot beverages upon return
- Optional DVD (R350 per DVD)
Please Bring Along:
- Sunscreen (preferably waterproof)
- Bathing costume and towel
- Hat or cap
- Warm jacket
- Camera (optional)
To qualify for a discount, mention CapeTownMagazine.com when booking.
NOTE: For more information about White Shark Diving Company’s trips and tours, call +27 (0)82 559 6858 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Age Restrictions: Shark cage diving is suitable for children 12 years and above. WSDC does not recommend that children younger than 5 years join the trip.
THE ABC OF GREAT WHITE SHARKS
White Shark Diving Company’ has spectacular rates for shark cage diving. Ask for the CapeTownMagazine.com reader special.
Before you embark on your once-in-a-lifetime experience in Gansbaai, here are some facts about sharks.
Did you know you can also see sharks at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
Are you even Capetonian if you’ve never spent a day with SUP Cape Town?
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