The Great White Shark is arguably the world’s largest predatory fish and is one of the primary predators of marine mammals. Despite humans are not their preferred prey, the Great White is ranked first in having the most unprovoked shark attacks on humans.
The Great White Shark can be found all along the coastline of South Africa. However there are specific areas such as the fishing town of Gansbaai, where they are specially congregated. This is due to the 60.000-strong Cape Fur Seal colony that inhabits the nearby islands, which is the Great White Shark primary source of nutrition. The waters off the coast of Gansbaai are indeed named Shark Alley and are known for their extraordinary Great White Shark populations.
Gansbaai is located just 2 hours from Cape Town and Great White Shark cage diving trips are offered throughout the year. The Great White is a surface feeder and thus all the activity takes place on or very close to the surface. Due to this, the feeding frenzy viewing from the boat is excellent. The months of May through October are considered to be the best time for Great White Shark diving, although they are seen throughout the year. Other wildlife species such as African Penguins, Cape Cormorants, whales and dolphins are also likely to be sighted.
The saying that we should always experience things at least once in a lifetime rings true. I’ve recently tried myself the Great White Shark diving and I have to say it was a breathtaking experience to observe these magnificent animals in its natural habitat. We were very lucky as we could watch more than 7 white sharks of different sizes, some of them bumping the cage. Also the visibility in the water was good and the weather couldn’t be better.
There a quite a few shark diving companies in Gansbaai. I really enjoyed White Shark Ventures because our guide was great and gave us a good insight in shark land.