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Seven gill

cow shark

Dive with prehistoric predators

Kelp Forest Diving at its Best

The Seven Gill Cow Shark, or Spotted Cow Shark, is a prehistoric predator and can be found roaming kelp forests. It is a social feeder and can be observed in large groups of up to 18 individuals. The size of the sharks ranges from 1 to 3 metres, with the females generally larger than the males. Distinctive features include their seven gill slits and the absence of the front dorsal fin.

The dive takes place at Pyramid Rock in False Bay.The site is one of the few places in the world where your chances of encountering this rarely seen shark are high and we may encounter a variety of other small shark species as well. A thick kelp forest lines the channel making this the shark’s ideal habitat.

QUICK info

  • Cage:

    No cage required.

  • Dive certification:

    Minimum of Open Water One.

  • Dive Depth:

    6 to 12 metres (20 – 40 feet).

  • Water temperature:

    12 to 20 Degrees Celsius. 

  • Water visibility:

    3 to 10 metres.

  • Dive time:

    30 to 60 minutes.    

  • Dive gear:

    Available for hire.    

  • Transfers:

    Door to door transfers available upon request.    

The Boat

The vessel you will be diving off is a zodiac rib boat, which is standard for South African diving operators. There are no facilities on board except for a small cubby hole for keys and sunglasses.
We advise you to leave all your personal belongings behind.


Please note:

Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.

We will however, give you realistic expectations before making a booking

Bookings are essential as space is limited.

All payment is to be made in South African Rand. We require credit card details to secure a booking.


Seven gill

cow shark

Dive with prehistoric predators

A trip overview

As these dives are specialised, we partner with a certified operator. Exact itinerary timings will be confirmed the day before the trip.


45 minutes from Cape Town at the Apex Shark Expeditions shop or on the Simon’s Town pier. Here you will sign an indemnity form and collect your dive gear.

The launch site

Millers Point is a 15 minute boat ride from the Simon’s Town pier. The boat is a rubber duck with minimal facilities. 

The dive

The dive takes place in a channel approximately 12 metres deep. Divers descend to the sandy bottom and watch as the Cow Sharks approach. The sharks swim slowly up and down the channel. They are very confident and can pass at arm’s length from the divers which makes it a great opportunity for underwater photographers. By the end of the dive you may recognise the individual sharks by distinctive bites, scrapes or coloration.


All dives are weather permitting and subject to good sea conditions.

Seven gill

cow shark

Dive with prehistoric predators

When to see what

The Seven Gill Cow Sharks can be seen all year round. The best time to see them, however, is usually from November to May. The success of the dive is weather dependant and there are times when they are not at their usual location, but the success rate is 85%.


Seven gill

cow shark

Dive with prehistoric predators


Seven Gill Cow Shark and Seal dive

Maximise your vacation time with a back to back Seven Gill Cow Shark and Seal dive. This is an amazing experience for marine wildlife enthusiasts. You can also add a land based Cape Point tour to round off your trip.