Great White Shark Diving | Gansbaai
Close to Hermanus, South Africa
Personal Report by Susan Walsh
The shark diving was incredible! We are definitely using the best tour operator for this excursion. White Shark Ventures
Most of the other boats were smaller and much older. This is a good size boat, fairly stable and new. The guide we had was excellent. His name was Robert Cole and he has been diving for 7-years. It is important to be on of the first boat groups in the water. There was only one ahead of us so we had a good amount of time to see sharks ourselves, but eventually 4 other boats came out and anchored relatively close to us.
It was about a 15 minute boat ride. We were only 15 minutes at the site when the first shark approached the bait. We all suited up and got into the cage 5 people at a time. They gave us nice, full length wetsuits with hoods. He said the water was about 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit). They provide you with the suit, booties, and mask. We did not use scuba gear. The cage has rungs that you hold onto and place your feet until he tells you to hold your breath and go down just below the surface as he sees a shark approach. He teases the shark with the bait, and they swim quite close and even knocking the cage occasionally. You can only stay down a few seconds and the come back up. He calls out each time he thinks you should go down so that you can see the shark or sharks (we saw three at one time).
It is very non-threatening, however, I truly say that you can see them much better from the boat. They have a very large open top deck from where you can view all the action from a much better vantage point. We saw 7 sharks total, the largest was 4 meters (13 feet) and we also saw a baby shark that was about 1.5 meters (5 feet). They swam past probably 50+ times and several breached a number of times. Of course, when you are under the water, you miss the breach but the motion really rocks the cage.
It was quite spectacular. Eventually, we ran out of bait. At the end of the trip, they take you to Dyer Island where there are thousands, yes, thousands of fur seals. They are so thick that you can barely see the rocks.
They provided drinks and snacks on the boat.
As it is a small craft, it does have a fair amount of movement so for those not steady on their feet they need to stay seated as much as possible. Also, if anyone is prone to seasickness they should take medication as it does rock to and fro.
They have benches on the top so that you can sit and watch the sharks. There is also a small inside area that seats about 6 people. There is a nice bathroom and storage area.
We had a great time. I think that you will too, but if you go in the water please be aware that is is cold even with the wetsuits and it is physically demanding.
Website: White Shark Ventures