Chris and Monique
We are wildlife naturalists and are absolutely passionate about sharks. We are privileged to spend at least 150 days at sea every year working with a variety of shark species. Although we make our living taking people to view Great White sharks and enjoy shark diving in Cape Town, our aim is to provide the most natural encounter with sharks. To ensure that our tours are as ecologically friendly as possible, we specialise in small groups so that our guests can enjoy an intimate and educational encounter. Having worked at or visited all of the well-known Great White shark diving sites in South Africa and around the world we can undoubtedly say that Seal Island is unique in what it has to offer.
In addition to being one of the leading authorities on Great White shark behaviour, Chris is a professional wildlife photographer and many of his breaching Great White Shark images have been seen worldwide in newspapers, magazines and television documentaries. We aim to promote the positive awareness of sharks through these captivating images. Chris has just recently completed his book ‘Great White, The Majesty of Sharks’, which chronicles Chris’ journey from his beginnings as a penniless shark enthusiast to his discovery of the “flying” white shark phenomenon. This book is available in leading book stores worldwide or visit amazon.com to order your copy.
Our extensive work in the field has helped us to understand not only the sharks but this very special environment that they return to each year. Education and awareness plays a vital role in effective shark conservation, and at Apex Shark Expeditions we aim to shift perceptions and create a better understanding of sharks. As such, we have facilitated many well-known shark documentaries over the years. These include the following:
- Discovery Channel: Air Jaws 1&2 and more recently Ultimate Air Jaws as seen on Shark Week 2010 – This documentary is the lead show on Discovery’s Shark Week in 2010
- The BBC: Planet Earth: Great White Shark segment
- National Geographic: JAWS 25 Year Anniversary
- 60 Minutes with Bob Simon
- Inside the Perfect Predator
- And over 40 other documentaries
- Not only do we host film crews but we very often personally feature in the documentaries as presenters or hosts due to our knowledge of the area
Most importantly, we also enjoy a very high rate of repeat and loyal clients who return to Seal Island each year, just like the sharks. We believe that our recipe of small groups, our knowledge and experience at Seal Island and our passion for nature is a winning combination for an experience of a lifetime and thus attracts our guests, who become friends, back each year. For more information on shark tours offered by Apex Shark Expeditions, contact us today.
What Makes Apex Shark Expeditions Special
Our dedicated team - we love what we do, and we bring that passion into our personalised and highly rewarding tours. The fact that the bulk of our field staff have worked for Apex for between 5 and 15 years illustrates this point. We are a team of very passionate shark lovers and our goal is not only to provide the best Great White shark experience for our guests, but also to make the very most of being privileged to work with sharks when we are out at sea.
More on the Apex Shark Diving team…
Chris began tagging sharks in 1989 and started a tag and release programme with local beach net fishermen that saw the release of over 1500 sharks and rays.
Chris’ Great White Shark work started at Dyer Island in 1992 right at the start of Great White shark diving in South Africa. Chris worked at Dyer Island until 1996 and then co-founded African Shark Eco-Charters in False Bay.
Together with a colleague Chris discovered the now famous breaching and natural predation in False Bay in 1996.
In 2000 Chris formed his own business, Apex Shark Expeditions with his wife Monique that specialised in observing natural predation, breaching and cage diving in False Bay.
As a team the emphasis is on personalised expeditions that educate guests and always try to put any wildlife encountered first.
To date Chris has undertaken over 1300 expeditions to Seal Island and with his team catalogued in excess of 5500 predatory events, the largest data base of its kind in the world.
As a naturalist Chris has co-authored four scientific papers on the predatory behaviour of Great Whites and has contributed in various ways to many others. Chris has also published a book ‘Great White and The Majesty of Sharks’ which has to date sold in excess of 25 000 copies.
Chris pioneered Open Ocean diving with Mako and Blue sharks in South Africa in 1999 and has conducted nearly 200 of these expeditions since then. Together with Monique, Chris has also run a specialised tour each year since 2003, for shark and wildlife enthusiasts called ‘Sharks of Southern Africa.’
Chris is a qualified commercial skipper, Divemaster, tour guide, and is level 3 first aid trained.
Monique co-founded Apex Shark Expeditions in 2000 and joins Chris and the team on virtually all expeditions. Monique has seen and dived with over 20 species of sharks and passionately advocates the conservation of these animals through her monthly newsletter Shark Bytes which has in excess of 5000 subscribers. Monique is an Open Water diver, registered tour guide, qualified skipper, and is level 3 first aid trained.
Poenas joined Apex in 2005/6, has undertaken nearly 600 expeditions to Seal Island and over 120 offshore.
He grew up learning about the ocean through his close association with the local seine netters and is an exceptionally skilled naturalist with a love and passion for things great and small. Poenas has a particular passion for observing and recording White shark behaviour at Seal Island and his knowledge and love of False Bay is openly there for all to see.
Poenas is well known to have the “best eyes” in False Bay and is famous for his incredible spotting of the various wildlife that we encounter on trips.
Poenas is a qualified commercial Skipper, level 3 first aid trained and tour guide.
Our newest field recruit joined Apex in March 2010.
Woods has a passion for people and sport and was a budding professional footballer. Woods is also passionate about the outdoors and nature and is quickly falling in love with False Bay and the wildlife that it is home to.
Karyn heads up the marketing for Apex. She is a rescue diver, volunteer for the National Sea Rescue institute and passionate about wildlife and sharks. Karyn has a long involvement in the Dive travel industry and will expertly help and advise on any travel requirements that guests may have. She is level 3 first aid trained.
Renee is the Office Manager in our Simons Town shop. Renee loves nature and wildlife. Her professional, friendly service is welcomed by all our guests.
In addition to our permanent staff we also host enthusiastic wildlife lovers who guide on our vessel each high season. These team members are all experienced in working with sharks, either with a biological background or having undertaken field work elsewhere. They give a great insight into being able to compare shark behaviour from other locations to that seen in False Bay.