The best time of the year to cage dive with great white sharks is from April to September. Four to five great white sharks are usually encountered in a day with as many as 18 sharks having been encountered on some outings. Great white sharks prefer a diet of game fish and from May to October the latter are in abundance. Great whites are also known to feed on seals and carrion.
October to December, being the pupping season for some 35,000 seals on Geyser Island, results in an ample food supply of drowned pups in the surrounding coastal waters. Although great whites may be sighted during the low season, the abundance of food in the area makes luring to a boat more difficult.
The water temperature ranges between 55° and 65° F and divers take turns in the cage, each staying approximately 15-20 minutes. A diver can expect to make two to three dives per day if good weather, sea conditions, shark activity and visibility prevails. Visibility is between 4m to 6m on average, but may exceed 15m on a clear day. Sharks may brush the cage, but to date an attack on the cage has not been reported.
Getting into the cage with the sharks around, is truly the most breath-taking experience you will ever live to remember. When feeding actively around the boat, the sharks may occasionally brush their tail against the cage, but NEVER attack the cage. They are very curious though and often come close-up to the cage, taking a closer look at the diver. A personal, eye-to-eye encounter with this awesome animal, is guaranteed to get the adrenaline going!
Once ready to take the dive, the diver would step onto the diving platform of the boat and slide through the opening at the top of the cage. The lid at the top is now securely closed. Once in position, the diver’s head is only approx. half a metre below the surface. A freeboard of approx. 30cm allows the diver to rise to the surface and communicate with the Dive Master on the boat, while the hatch remains securely closed.
Great White Shark Cage Diving takes place on a rotational basis, with two divers down at a time. Time spent in the cage depends on weather/water conditions, shark activity and eagerness of each diver, but could be up-to half an hour at a time. We rarely have more than 6 divers on board at a time, ensuring maximum diving time. As we spend an average of 5 hrs at sea, it is possible to do more than one dive per day, on a good diving day.
A phenomenon made famous in South Africa is the awe-inspiring breach. Launching themselves from the sea at great speeds, great white sharks can easily clear the water in an attempt to attack and kill elusive pinniped prey - seals.
Popular Diving Sites in South Africa:
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