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Diving with Great whites in Gansbaai

Listed under Extreme Challenge in Western Cape, South Africa.

  • Photo of Diving with Great whites in Gansbaai
  • Photo of Diving with Great whites in Gansbaai
  • Photo of Diving with Great whites in Gansbaai
  • Photo of Diving with Great whites in Gansbaai
Photo of Diving with Great whites in Gansbaai
Photo by Photography: Michael Rutzen
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I have spent many years free diving with great white sharks and have had countless requests from divers to take them with me. Although my expertise allows me some freedom to interact with them I am not driven by money and will not take paying clients to freedive with great white sharks. Rather I create images that are broadcast worldwide and speak a thousand words. But I do host an exclusive PADI Great White Shark Specialty course for shark enthusiasts eager to learn about great white shark biology, ecology, behaviour and conservation. For qualified divers we will take you cage diving with great whites and scuba diving with the Cape fur seals in the infamously named ‘Shark Alley’! Once you complete the course you are invited to sign up for Shark Diving Unlimited’s Advanced Cage Dive. I shall escort you in the cage as it is submerged below the surface. Experience the exposure of freediving and the thrill of sharks passing over your head whilst remaining safe in the cage. For those who are less adventurous but none the less fascinated by these magnificent predators we run daily great white shark cage diving and surface viewing tours. For this you do not need to be a qualified diver as the cage remains secured at the surface and clients use a simple and relaxing breath holding technique to observe the sharks. If you prefer to stay dry you won’t miss out on the action as the sharks come to the surface and often jump clear out the water in a heart stopping dramatic breach!

Shark Diving Unlimited.

Written by  Michael Rutzen.

Other expert and press reviews

“Meet and greet in Shark Alley”

By: Shane Hudson for The Sydney Morning Herald First Published: 29th March, 2009 I take a deep breath and go under. The water is so cold my head spins. Although visibility is good, the water is darker than expected and it takes a moment for my eyes to … Read more...

Written by press. Continue reading on

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

This is THE place in the world to do this once-in-a-lifetime activity and has attracted many famous movie stars, royalty, music stars and nature film and TV crews. It is extremely safe and an exhilarating experience to be really so close up to these large creatures. The best visibility is during the South African winters (May to August) with the sea sometimes allowing you up to 10 to 20 metres of clear water to view them slowly glide by. The sighting “hit-rate” is about 99% all year long, with some trips having been known to witness up to 15 different individual great white sharks in only a few hours out at sea.

Shar Cage Diving in South Africa

For proud residents and discerning visitors, up-close viewing of great white sharks is one of the Western Cape’s ultimate offerings. Where else can you experience face-to-face encounters with this dramatic yet vulnerable species?

White Shark Projects (WSP) are based in Shark Alley, Kleinbaai – a unique marine environment off the southern Cape coast. Their boat, Shark Team, a 36-foot, 4-ton catamaran with all the latest equipment. She was custom-built for shark spotting, so viewing opportunities are excellent. Remember, sharks are surface feeders, so sightings from the deck are just as exciting as cage viewing.

But those who’ve gone into the cage are adamant: ‘Grasp the opportunity,’ they say. ‘These chances don’t come often in life.’ Now you’re sharing the great white’s habitat – cool fresh seas, the real thing. The Dive Master relays vital information, telling you when to go underwater and where to look. Expect some really close encounters!

White Shark Projects is committed to education and conservation. They consistently report white shark data to Marine Coastal Management and researchers internationally.

White Shark Projects: Tel +27-21-4054537

Cage Diving with Great White Sharks

At first glance, cage diving with great whites may seem to be simply a chance to face real terror at very close quarters - a feat only suited to real adrenaline junkies. But those in the know will agree that if you can tear your eyes away from the rows of flesh-ripping teeth and vast, red-rimmed jaws, you will begin to appreciate the intelligence and powerful beauty of the world's most finely-honed predator. This is the perfect option for shark lovers with no diving experience, as the divers use a surface-based air supply and no equipment knowledge or free swimming is required. Gansbaai is one of the top spots for cage diving, being directly alongside the stretch of water named Shark Alley, where the most dense population of great whites in the world is to be found. In the winter, their huge, shady forms are already visible at a distance before the chum is dropped into the water to tempt them closer, so this is the best time to go, but visitors are guaranteed a sighting here at any time of year.

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