The day of our shark dive we left Cape Town and drove just over 2 hours to reach Marine Dynamics in Kleinbaai. Option for pick-up from Cape Town is available but since we had a rental car we decided to just drive ourselves.
Once everyone arrived, the crew served us lunch followed by a concise safety and informational briefing about the shark dive. Lucky for us, Marine Dynamics is one of the only companies in South Africa with a Marine Biologist always on board who was available for any questions we had about the sharks during our trip. Making our way towards Slashfin, our adventure vessel for the day, we hurriedly climbed aboard and found our seats on the upper deck. After stowing all our belongings inside the seats to avoid things getting tossed around, the boat began its journey into the open sea. A short and smooth 20 min ride later we were at our cage diving site. Immediately the 8 person cage was dropped and tied up off the side of Slashfin. The cage is designed so that the adventure seekers inside can keep their heads out of the water and only submerge completely into the chilly water when they want to watch the sharks creep dangerously close.
The expert bait handlers scent the water with a combination of fish oils and smells to attract the sharks, nothing like the guts and gore you probably imagined. They also use a seal decoy and bait to entice the sharks without ever feeding them.
The crew advised us to get fitted into our wetsuits so that we would be ready for when the sharks appeared. To my complete surprise, I barely got one leg into the wetsuit before a Great White Shark was spotted already circling around the cage! I’m quite certain I’ve never put on a wetsuit, booties, hood and mask faster in my life. Scrambling down the ladder from the top deck I rushed over to the cage to guarantee I would be one of the first inside. GoPro in hand I climbed into the cage and got myself into position ready to see this apex predator up close.
Settling into my front row seat to watch eight rows of razor sharp teeth come within inches of my face, I comfortably rested my feet along one of the inside bars while my hands tightly gripped another close to the top. “To your right, go down, go down” I took a breath and pushed myself under the water just in time to come face to face with one of the most fascinating creatures in the world. This continued on for about 30 min until we switched out with another group in the cage.
Being that close to a great white shark was one of the most thrilling and adrenalin rush inducing activities I have ever done.
While not in the cage we took tons of incredible photos from the two decks of Slashfin. On board there are plenty of snacks and drinks for the adventurers along with a piping hot cup of hot chocolate handed to you after your time in the cage. Lucky for me, I got to go into the cage twice although that still wasn’t enough time with these intriguing predators of the ocean.
Great white shark cage diving truly is an experience unlike any other and should be on everyone’s bucket list. Even if you don’t have the desire to jump into the cage to be face to face with the sharks, the views from Sharkfin are just as memorable. A visit to Cape Town in South Africa just wouldn’t be complete without a sighting of a Great White Shark!Check one off the bucket list! Head on over to Marine Dynamics and book your ultimate shark diving experience!
Tips Before Your Trip:
When to Go:
The best time for shark diving is between the months of April and August/September. Head on over to Marine Dynamics to book your trip now!
Children (under 12) R1,000.00
Located approximately 2 hrs southeast of Cape Town Marine Dynamics can be reached by car. If you do not have a rental car you can arrange for a shark shuttle bus transfer for an extra cost.
What to Bring:
- Make sure to pack your underwater cameras and your everyday camera with a zoom lens! We used a GoPro Hero 3+ with an underwater housing and floaty handgrip, as well as, the Nikon CoolPix AW110 for underwater photography and video. For surface photography we used the Canon 6D with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. Additionally, we shot some of these images with the Sony A7ii with a 28-70mm kit lens.
- Pack your bathing suit and an extra change of clothes.
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
- If you are prone to seasickness, have some Dramamine handy for rough seas.