Shark Breaching and Cage Diving

Cage diving with Great White Sharks is an adrenaline-packed adventure and a popular activity for visitors to South Africa. Imagine just a wire cage between you and one of the ocean’s most dominant predators!

After a very early morning pick-up from your hotel in Cape Town, head out on a boat to a string of islands that are home to more than 40,000 Cape Fur Seals, the Great White Shark’s favorite prey. Your guides use a chum specially designed to attract the sharks and soon you will see them feeding at the surface, alongside the boat. Wearing your wetsuit and protected by galvanized steel mesh, the cage is then lowered and you will be able to witness these incredible hunters from underwater. All diving equipment is supplied and only snorkeling experience is required if you want to go down in the cage. You do not have to get into the cage to view the sharks – surface viewing from the boat still provides an excellent view of these enormous predators. Depending on the season you may also see seals and whales.

From Cape Town, you can cage dive at both False Bay (seasonal) and Gansbaai. The advantage of Gansbaai is that cage diving is available year-round while there is no cage diving in False Bay between mid-September and the end of January. The disadvantage of Gansbaai is that it is quite a bit further from Cape Town than False Bay (2.5 hours versus 40 minutes), making for a very early morning! To cut this drive time, stay a few nights at one of our favorite lodges in the area – Grootbos, Birkenhead House, or Mosaic

If you’ve timed your trip for an excursion to False Bay, you may also have the opportunity to see shark breaching. Breaching is when Great White Sharks hunt seals and launch themselves clean out of the water in pursuit of their prey.  False Bay is one of the very few places in the world where shark breaching takes place due to the ideal topographical structure around Seal Island, allowing for a stealth attack and flying out of the water after their prey. It is spectacular to witness but occurs only during a short season, between June and the end of August/early September.