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Cape Town

Has anyone been to Cape Town to see Great White Sharks?

I am wondering if this is worth doing? I want to do it sometime next year, not sure what exact date, for a week. What was your experience?

4 Answers

answered by
Matt from Santa Monica

I traveled to Cape Town to visit my sister while she was working down there. We had a rental car and booked a cage dive out of Gansbaai. It was one of the memorable days of my life. Went with a company called White Shark Projects who does 'conservation' dives, meaning they dont feed the sharks-- they just bait them to bring them to the boat. It was about US$160 if I remember correctly and you spent 10-15 minutes total in the water (which was enough, it's cold, but I would liked a little more time). You can pay a lot more with other companies to charter a boat to your self/group. At any time there were about 3 sharks around the boat. There were about 20 people on our trip. It was a rough 40 minute boat ride and people got sea sick, but I dont think anyone regretted the trip. The dive felt totally safe and gear and crew were first class.  We had to leave cape town around 7am to get to gansbaai for check in, totally manageable. 

If you like adventure, I'd say get out there and go white shark dive! It's a major bucket list item. 

*If you're planning to drive the garden route down the coast, plan the stop in Gansbaai into your drive, it's on the way.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cape Town (attraction)
  2. Gansbaai (attraction)
  3. White Shark Projects (attraction)
2 thanks

answered first by
Brew from Manhattan Beach

If you have a week to spend in and around Cape Town, then I'd say its probably worth it.  I've been on several great white shark dives in South Africa, both in Mossel Bay and Gansbaai.  Gansbaii is definitely the most popular and has a huge concentration of sharks.  If you go to Gansbaai to shark dive, it also gives you the opportunity to see some of the coast and/or countryside driving there from Cape Town.  Nearby is Hermanus which is famous for its whale watching (the Southern Right Whales come so close to land you can whale watch from shore).

But you definitely want time in and around Cape Town, Stellenbosch for wine tasting, etc.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cape Town (attraction)
  2. Mossel Bay (attraction)
  3. Gansbaai (attraction)
  4. Hermanus (city)
  5. Stellenbosch (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Nicholas from Cape Town, Western Cape

Hi Jacky,

It is not something on my bucket list but False Bay in Cape Town apparently has one of the highest concentrations of Great White Sharks on Earth. There is an island off the False Bay Coast - Seal Island - around which the sharks roam as seals are a major food source for them. If you have seen any documentaries about Great White's you would likely have seen some footage shot there. The Rand Dollar exchange is greatly in your favour too. Cape Town has plenty besides sharks - routinely voted in the top 10 must see cities on Earth. National Geographic Readers voted the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town as the best place on earth for a picnic a few years back. Plenty to do and see and definitely worth a visit. Best time to visit from November to April/ May.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. False Bay (attraction)
  2. Cape Town (attraction)
  3. Seal Island (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Liam from London

Hi Jacky, great choice! I lived in Cape Town for 8 years and my heart still lives there. The most beautiful city in the world for me. I would suggest many things but to answer your initial question Van Dyks Bay is the launching point for the best great white shark dives in the Western Cape. As exhilarating as it is, I would suggest so much more while you are there. Try taking a trip up to Knysna to get the gull experience of the garden route which spans the eastern coast of South Africa. You can visit Tsitsikamma National Park or go further up to see the Wild Coast which spans to Coffee Bay.

These are the basics but if you start doing a bit of digging you will find a treasure trove of adventure in South Africa.

Oh, one more, given your sense for adventure, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve offers a 1 week guided walk through the park with 2 rangers and a small group of 7 people. You sleep in the wild for a week, no fences, no game drive vehicles, only 2 rangers with 2 rifles. The stories I have heard are absolutely unbelievable. Just a thought.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Van Dyks Bay (attraction)
  2. Western Cape (attraction)
  3. Knysna (city)
  4. Tsitsikamma National Park (city)
  5. Coffee Bay (city)
  6. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve (attraction)

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