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species and seasons


Shark Cage Diving - Best seasons to dive with Great White Sharks - Apex Shark Expeditions
cage diving
Shark Cage Diving - Best season to witness a breach on a decoy - Apex Shark Expeditions
breach on decoy
Shark Cage Diving - Best seasons to witness natural shark predation - Apex Shark Expeditions
natural predation
Shark Cage Diving - Best seasons to witness schools of Common Dolphin - Apex Shark Expeditions
common dolphin
Shark Cage Diving - Best seasons to witness Brydes Whales - Apex Shark Expeditions
brydes whale
Shark Cage Diving - Best seasons to see Southern Right Whales - Apex Shark Expeditions
southern right whale
Shark Cage Diving - Best seasons to witness Cape Fur Seals - Apex Shark Expeditions
cape fur seal
Shark Cage Diving - Best seasons to dive with Mako Sharks - Apex Shark Expeditions
mako shark
Shark Cage Diving - Best seasons to dive with Blue Sharks - Apex Shark Expeditions
blue shark
Shark Cage Diving - Best seasons to dive with Seven Gill Cow Sharks - Apex Shark Expeditions
seven gill cow shark


When making a booking for shark cage diving it is important that you have realistic expectations. If you want to see a specific behaviour, we'll happily advise you on the best times to book for the best chance of seeing that behaviour.

You're encouraged to have a look at our seasonal guidelines (above) that we've developed over the last 18 years. Please remember that this is a guideline only and that sightings on any trip can never be guaranteed - we're sure you'll appreciate that working with sharks is as wild as it comes!

There is a huge variety of other marine wildlife in False Bay and many of these animals are only seen at certain times of the year. There are also good months for seeing multiple species together, but these may be out of peak months for special behaviour. As an example, July is a fantastic month to see the Great Whites hunting seals. It is however, not the best month for seeing dolphins or Southern Right Whales. If you choose mid to late August there is a good chance to see both natural predation Southern Right Whales.

Great White Sharks are highly seasonal creatures. Their movements are mostly dictated by what they feed on and we tend to see different behaviour at Seal Island during different months.

The Great Whites congregate around Seal Island in large numbers each South African Winter to feed on Cape Fur Seals. 

Our season is February to end September.

At the start and the end of the season, sightings during a Great White Shark trip can go either way. Some years the sharks arrive a little earlier or leave a little later. 

From February to early May the sharks are interested in coming up to the boat and this makes for excellent Great White Shark cage diving. They are not normally in full hunting mode and scavenging is the most common feeding event seen. You’re less likely to see the breaching behaviour at the start of the season, but a close up sighting of a Great White will not leave you disappointed.

During this time of year large shoals of baitfish attract schools of common dolphin and Brydes Whales and encountering these is always a treat! 

From mid-May to mid-June natural predation events (sharks hunting seals) will not have peaked yet, but there is still some chance to see a breach. An increasing number of sharks will frequent Seal Island so sightings around the boat and cage diving can be excellent. 

As mid-June approaches, historically the frequency of natural predation events increases and the chance to see a breach is high. The number of sharks sighted around the boat will increase, making mid-June to mid-July a great time to see all round behaviour (natural predation, breaching and sharks around the boat for close up viewing and cage diving). 

Afternoon trips from mid-May to early August normally produce good shark activity around the boat and there is a good chance of seeing a breach towards the end of each trip.

From mid-July to mid/end of August the natural predation activity reaches its peak and we can see multiple events in the mornings. Shark activity around the boat is not as high during this period as the sharks are in full hunting mode, but the cage diving is certainly still worthwhile.

 As we approach the end of the season in mid to late September, the sharks are still in hunting mode so it’s still good for seeing natural predation. They do, however, seem to lose interest in approaching the boat and this can make cage diving a little difficult. Seeing sharks around the boat is still good here during this time of year, although water visibility is variable.

If you’re content just seeing a Great White from the boat and the diving is not as important, we can still offer you an opportunity for the surface viewing combination of whales, sharks, seals, possibly dolphins and a good mix of marine birds including African Penguins. Southern Right Whales begin appearing in False Bay from the middle of August and there is a good possibility that we will have a bonus whale sighting during the trip. 

In the late season, around end September, the warm water currents bring migratory fish and other species of shark to False Bay. These make up the majority of the Great White Shark’s summer diet and as such the sharks leave Seal Island and move closer to shore as they move with this biomass. 

In the summer months of October to January while surface viewing is still fantastic and offers great close up views of the sharks, we are not able to work close to shore as is permitted in the Gansbaai area. This makes cage diving in the summer months difficult. We will therefore happily book you an expedition with our preferred operator in Gansbaai, if Great White Shark cage diving is your main priority. 

December through January is generally considered low season in Gansbaai but there is still a high chance of sightings. The quality of the shark sightings does depend on your luck on the day.

We generally find these open ocean sharks in the warm waters of the Agulhas Current. During the months of November to March the current generally moves closer to the Cape Point area making this the high season for diving with these sharks.

March can be an excellent month for combining Great Whites, Mako and Blues, and an inshore dive with Seven Gill Cow Sharks, endemic Cat Sharks and Shy Sharks.

The masters of the kelp forests, Cow Sharks, are present all year round at Pyramid Rock and although the success of the dive does depend on the conditions, it is very rare not to see them.

This is a world class shark dive, only a 10 minute boat ride from Simon’s Town, this dive is easily combined with a Great White Shark cage dive in the morning, allowing you to make the most of your day with us.

For more information on our trips, click here.

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sightings disclaimer

Our Eco-System Approach.

What are your chances of seeing sharks and other wildlife?

Great White Sharks are wild animals and free to roam wherever they please. Each shark has its own personality - some choose to interact and some don't. We do our absolute best to find sharks on each trip, but we cannot force the sharks to appear at our boat. False Bay, however, does offer fantastic opportunities to see Great Whites, especially in the high season. Outside of this time, your chances can vary from year to year.

Shark Cage Diving - Seal Island - Sightings Disclaimer - Apex Shark Expeditions

Please refer to our blog and our sightings table to help you make an informed decision about your planned travel dates with us.

Apex Shark Expeditions prides itself on having an "entire ecosystem" approach to our expeditions, not focusing on any one species. We want you to enjoy False Bay and all it has to offer, not just the sharks. If you wish to read up on what is truly special about our area have a look at the various scientific papers we have written, check out our scientific research papers.

Our guests are encouraged to approach each of our expeditions with enthusiasm and curiosity. We're confident in our knowledge and ability to show you as much of what False Bay has to offer as possible.

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