An exhilarating three-day Great White Shark Diving & Whale Watching Tour to Gansbaai, starting and ending in Cape Town. Explore South Africa's top shark and whale watching region, going shark cage diving with a marine biologist and experienced crew on a spacious, custom-built shark diving boat.
Embark on two shark cage diving boat trips from the Kleinbaai harbour of Gansbaai to Dyer Island - one of the best great white shark diving destinations in the world. There is nothing quite as thrilling as encountering a great white in its own underwater territory, coming face-to-face with these powerful marine predators from the safety of a secure shark diving cage. Also enjoy a whale watching boat tour from Gansbaai to Pearly Beach, Dyer Island and Geyser Rock. Gansbaai is home to the Marine Big Five (whales, dolphins, seals, sharks and penguins) all of which are often sighted on this trip.
Spend two nights at a comfortable guesthouse in Gansbaai, relaxing after your unforgettable experience with the abundance of marine animals found around Dyer Island.
Our shark cage diving adventure sets off early this morning, collecting passengers from central locations in Cape Town city. Leaving the scenic city behind we drive to Gansbaai, about two and a half hours away. Located in the Overberg Region, Gansbaai is the top great white shark cage diving destination in South Africa.
On this picturesque drive we traverse the Hottentots-Holland Mountains, passing pretty lakes and farmlands in the lush countryside of the Western Cape Province. We travel along the rugged coast to Hermanus, which offers some of the best land-based whale watching in the world. From this famous whale hotspot we continue to the fishing town of Gansbaai, where our Great White Shark Adventure takes place. We make our way to the Kleinbaai harbour area of Gansbaai - arguably the 'Great White Capital of the World'.
Arriving at our well-equipped headquarters a continental breakfast is served with tea or coffee. Before the boat trip an in-depth briefing about great white sharks, the dive and safety procedures is held at the centre. Then we take to the sea in our custom-built catamaran and embark on the 25 minute journey to Dyer Island, where we drop anchor. The exact anchoring point and thus the duration of the boat trip, depends on shark activity on the day.
The specially designed stainless steel cage is lowered into the water, about a metre below the surface, where it stays firmly secured to the boat. It's time to put on your designated wetsuit, booties, hoodie, weight belt and mask, and prepare for your dive. This is where the adrenalin rush kicks in!
The crew helps you into the cage where your head stays above water until you decide to go underwater to watch the sharks swimming past. When a shark is spotted approaching, the crew on the boat raises the alarm and you dive down under the water's surface to see the graceful predator up close, deciding exactly how long you want to keep your head underwater. Great white sharks are regularly spotted off Dyer Island year-round with a success rate of about 99% on this trip.
We spend about two hours out at sea, fortified with drinks and snacks (bread rolls, chips, cold drinks and hot chocolate). The sturdy cage holds eight people comfortably allowing everyone to spend as much time as possible viewing the sharks underwater. When not submerged in the water, you can watch the sharks from the spacious upper and lower decks, offering unrivalled views and unobstructed photographic opportunities. After your thrilling encounter with the great white sharks we take a quick trip through Shark Alley, weather permitting. Shark Alley is renowned for the abundance of sharks drawn to the channel to prey on the Cape Fur Seals of Geyser Rock - a breeding colony of about 60000 seals.
Back on shore hot soup and bread is served beside the cosy fireplace and heaters, during the debriefing and great white shark conservation roundup. Afterwards you are free to relax and explore Kleinbaai and the rest of Gansbaai. Our chalet accommodation is at the headquarters, or nearby, so you can enjoy dinner (own expense) at the a la carte restaurant or in town.
After a hearty breakfast at the guesthouse we walk down to the natural harbour of Kleinbaai and board the catamaran for our second shark cage diving trip. In addition to great whites, two or more of the Marine Big Five (sharks, dolphins, whales, seals and penguins) are usually spotted on the trip, along with several bird species.
Taking to the sea again we head towards Dyer Island for more close-up great white shark encounters. After our morning adventure with the majestic sharks we return to the centre for hot soup and bread and a debriefing.
The whale watching trip takes place on day two or three, following a similar program to the shark diving trip. Southern right whales are spotted between August and November (sometimes even earlier and later) and Bryde’s whales can be seen in summer. Bottlenose and humpback dolphins are commonly sighted, as are African penguins. We are guaranteed to see an abundance of Cape Fur Seals at Geyser Rock (adjacent to Dyer Island).
The two and a half hour whale tour begins with an in-depth briefing from the marine biologist and guides who will accompany you on the boat. Then we head to the Kleinbaai harbour and set off for Pearly Beach where the whale watching begins. After watching the whales we join the shark diving boats to view the great whites. Next we go to Dyer Island to see African Penguins and the Cape Fur Seals at Geyser Rock. Dolphins are commonly sighted along the way and the onboard marine biologist is there to tell you all about the marine life and ecosystem as we go. The crew and biologist also talk about the research and conservation work being done here.
This tour is conducted in a custom-built shark cage diving boat designed for safety, stability, comfort and speed. This 46 foot (14m) long catamaran features a spacious upper deck for surface sightings of the sharks and other marine animals, and two platforms for the bait and decoy handlers to ensure the best possible shark viewing. This lightweight aluminium vessel is powered by four big four-stroke 300 hp outboard engines and is equipped with the most advanced electronic navigation equipment. The unique boat features a central food area, storage facilities for personal items and both male and female toilets.
The state-of-the-art shark diving cage is 4.5m long and 2.5m deep, comfortably accommodating eight divers at a time. The professionally engineered cage is made of stainless steel, consisting of 25mm² tubing covered in 6mm security mesh with 160mm spacing. The cage remains securely fixed to the boat and is covered with two lids, providing a safe, comfortable and spacious viewing environment.
With over 150 wetsuits on hand, a clean and dry wetsuit is guaranteed on this trip. Clients are also provided with a high quality mask, hoodie, weight belt and booties for the dive, as well as a clean, dry towel.
We recommend taking the following items on your trip: warm weatherproof clothing, anti-seasickness tablets, sunscreen, hat, camera and binoculars.