Great White Shark Cage Diving

Posted: 2 March 2012 by Jenny Meyer Category: Attractions, Hermanus, Things to do, Tours, Transport Tags: , , , , ,

 Great White Shark Cage Diving

While the gentle mammals of the ocean can be viewed splashing and playing in the water while your feet are firmly on the ground, it takes a bit more to experience the great hunters of the ocean. Great White Shark cage diving near Hermanus is the place to be.    Gansbaai – translated into “Goose Bay” – is the Great White Shark Cage Diving capital of the world. Situated less than an hour’s drive from Hermanus, this little town is a great break from the hustle and bustle of the city and offers more than just a chance to come face-to-face with a Great White Shark.

Shark Cage Viewing

Although the Great White Sharks can be seen all year round, the ‘prime shark season’ is said to be between May and October. This is when the “Shark Alley” between Dyer Island and Geyser rock is teaming with Great Whites who feed off the Jackass Penguins and Cape Fur Seals that breed on Dyer Island. While the boats that go out lure the sharks in with specially formulated “chum” they never feed the sharks or use anything but strictly legal ingredients as an attraction to the endangered species. Great Whites are surface feeders and will thus be visible even if you just stay on the boat. If you’re not content staying above water and taking pictures, however, you may get into the cage and go face-to-face with the great beasts. Wetsuits and other diving equipment are provided by the charters and no scuba diving certification is needed. Most skippers inform you when a shark is near which is when you take a deep breath, dunk under water and view the majestic creatures right before your face.

Shark Cage Diving tourists Kleinbaai Harbour near Gansbaai Boarding the Shark Cage Diving Boat Boarding the Shark Cage Diving Boat

While exhilarating, the trip is out at sea and may get very cold and very wet even if you stay aboard the boat. Also don’t forget to pack your own motion sickness tablets as the skipper cannot supply you with any. Because the sea is a volatile part of nature, you should also book a trip in advance and give yourself the leeway of a trip cancelled due to bad weather to avoid disappointment. The good news is that a shark is seen almost all of the time and some companies even offer you a refund if you don’t get to see a single shark on the trip.

Great White Shark in the water next to the cage A Great White Shark arrives


diver in the shark cage Diver in the shark cage

The sharks are so revered and loved by the inhabitants of Gansbaai that an annual festival is hosted in their honour. In October, just after Hermanus’ own Whale Festival, Gansbaai gives itself over to great festivity to celebrate the awe-inspiring predators of the ocean. The festival is great fun, filled with stalls, food, entertainment and other great moments that the whole family can enjoy. This is also a prime time to brush up on your knowledge about the Great White and help the people dedicated to keeping this beautiful creature alive and unharmed by those who wish to poach it for their own gain.

We saw great white sharks Great white shark cage divers

For more information about the festival or the many companies that offer shark cage diving, phone Storm at Eastbury Cottage on +27(0) 28 3121258 or email her at  She will be happy to assist you with making a reservation and also give you advice on what to wear and what to take along with you.


Wanting to book accommodation for your Great White Shark Cage Diving experience? Look no further than Eastbury Cottage for conveniently situated accommodation in Hermanus, with just 45 minutes’ drive to Gansbaai.  The Shark Cage Diving tour operator will fetch and deliver you to the door at Eastbury Cottage’s self-catering Garden Cottage, our 4 sleeper Loft, Courtyard or Rose Room.

Contact us here.

In the jaws of a great white sharkHaving fun – peeping out of the throat of a Great White Shark

Author: Danica Kreusch

Editor: Jenny Bowes Meyer

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