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 Adventure Travel Activities   CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Great White Sharks: Breaching and Cage Diving

Ocean Adventure Experience

There is no species of shark that strikes as much fear and awe in us all as the Great White Shark -- and the oceans off South Africa's Cape shores are amongst the best in the world for spotting these amazing predators.

Ground zero for shark experiences in the Cape are:

Across the two venues, adventure travellers have a choice of operators that offer the adrenaline highs of a great shark cage diving experience.

Seal Island, False Bay: Great White Shark Breaching and Cage Diving

... but not to be confused with Duiker Island's seal colony in Hout Bay! If you’re visiting Cape Town during the winter months – May through September – then Seal Island in False Bay is the setting for unusual and spectacular shark behavior. During these winter months, migratory fish species leave the waters of False Bay and Great White sharks feed instead on Cape fur seals. Seal Island is home to a large colony of many thousands of these seals.

It’s the sharks’ technique for catching the seals that is so unique and characteristic of this place. Here, the Great Whites often attack their prey with such explosive force that their entire body is propelled out the water. This breaching behavior is seldom seen anywhere else in the world and provides a spectacular sight.

Meet “Air Jaws”, False Bay’s Flying Great White Sharks!

Air Jaws - sharks breaching in False Bay

Acknowledgements: African Shark Eco-Charters, Simon's Town.

A deep drop off on one side of the island allows the sharks to build up the tremendous momentum for their attack. The seals are incredibly agile and the first attack is often unsuccessful, resulting in a cat and mouse chase of epic proportions.

Simon’s Town on the Cape Peninsula, just a forty five minute transfer from Cape Town city center, is departure point for the 20 minute boat trip out to Seal Island. Trips provide surface viewing of the breaching behavior as well as shark cage dives. No diving experience is required. The cage floats just below the surface and hoses provide air to the divers, just two at a time in the cage, allowing a great view without cumbersome gear. The Great White Shark is very curious, often circling and approaching the cage. This is definitely an adrenalin rush!

Shark Alley - Dyer Island, near Gansbaai (Gans Bay)

Dyer Island, the largest in a group of islands, is located 8km (5 miles) from the Gansbaai shore. The water around the island is considered to have the densest population of Great White Sharks in the world, perhaps because of the thousands of African Penguins that call the island home or because of the tens of thousands of Cape Fur Seals that live and breed on the nearby Geyser Rock Island.

The area is a smorgasbord for a Great White Shark since both the penguins and the seals make delectable meals. Sharks prefer a meal high in fat. The channel that exists between these two islands has been dubbed ‘Shark Alley’ and is reported to be one of the best places to view sharks.
Where: Gansbaai, 165km (102 miles) from Cape Town
When: All year round but better in the winter months – trips are weather dependent

Read more about White Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai, South Africa.

Additional Information

Operators' vessels are required to be licenced with SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) and to be equipped with the necessary safety equipment.

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Shark Cage Diving with the Great White in Gansbaai

[2:32 min] [Attribution: Gansbaai Explore]

Experience the thrill and adrenaline of Shark Cage Diving. For more information and videos check out

Contact Information for Great White Shark Adventure Activities

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