Gansbaai is a fishing town and popular tourist destination for shark cage diving with the Great White shark and as an added bonus – whale watching in season (May- December). But of course the main attraction is the Great White shark since the industry began in 1995. Gansbaai is located about 2 hours from Cape Town.
Dyer Island/ Geyser Rock/Shark Alley
Dyer Island is a nature reserve and a bird nesting site that is allowed to be accessed by the public. It is home to about 27 species of bird including the African Penguin.
Geyser Rock is a smaller island nearby and is home to a colony of around 60,000 Cape Fun Seals. The shallow channel between the two islands is known as the famous “Shark Alley”.
Gansbaai is the busiest of the three locations in South Africa and most companies run an average of 2-3 trips a day. Winter is the high season for the great white shark when the boats work around the island – usually from mid march thru August and summer the low season (mostly due to colder water temperatures and murkier water) with the boats working inshore from about September to March.
In terms of the dive- most boats work on a breath hold method for the cage diving as viability is often limited and the bubbles spook the sharks off to a distance. The interaction time as they swim by the cage is only a few seconds and the Great Whites do approach much closer with this method. . The crew on the boat sees the shark approaching and they will direct the divers in the proper direction to see the shark approaching from underwater.
Don’t Feel Like Getting In The Cage?
Not as adventurous as the people you are traveling with? Don’t want to get wet and cold ? The best thing about Great White sharks is that they are surface feeders so one still has an amazing experience from the viewing deck of the boat. You won’t miss anything and still get to spend time with these amazing sharks up close and personal.
Please note: The price is the same for diving and surface viewing.