Update of current shark sightings
Posted on Friday, 9 November 2018
For many people the opportunity to go shark cage diving is high on one’s bucket list. The three Great white shark hot spots along our South African coastline, namely Seal Island, False Bay (Simon’s Town); Gansbaai and Mossel Bay have in the past 2 decades offered this experience to many thousands of people each year.
In the past two years we have experienced abnormal changes to both the historical shark season in each location as well as the predictability of seeing Great white sharks. Great white sharks, always known as being a rare species, are now becoming even harder to see. Our locations in South Africa are joining the long list of wildlife locations around the world that are seeing dramatic changes over short periods of time.
Although we do not know where this is headed, there are still positives and a fantastic shark diving experience in Cape Town can still be had, al be it with other exciting species of shark.
Many potential shark divers are contacting us asking about the probability of seeing sharks.
The good news is that at Seal Island in False Bay (45 minutes from Cape Town where we operate half day trips with 12 guests max), we are now seeing the dinosaur like Sevengill sharks year round. These large pre-historic sharks are extremely interactive and we are seeing multiple sharks per trip with moderate to good water visibility conditions. The fact that they are so interactive means divers and surface viewing alike are able to get very good quality views and interactions. Another big plus in False Bay is that aside from seeing sharks there is also a variety of other marine wildlife and sightings in September and October included Common Dolphins, Southern Right whales and Brydes whales. This is in addition to Africa’s largest island bound seal colony, the 64,000 strong Cape fur seal colony on Seal Island, around which we operate when looking for the sharks.
Gansbaai (2 hours from Cape Town) which historically had year round Great white shark sightings is currently seeing Great white sharks on 30% of trips. These sharks are unfortunately not interactive and sightings are generally what we call “Drive-By’s” (one or two passes at the boat). In the absence of Great white sharks in Gansbaai, Bronze-whaler or Copper sharks are now being seen on a regular basis to the boat. The vessels take 30+ guests and the water visibility is poor due to working in the inshore areas.
So, although Great white sharks are proving difficult to see , both areas are offering a fantastic shark cage diving experience with other shark species.
Mossel Bay has also experienced unpredictability in the last year but over September and October sightings of Great white sharks have been regular.
We know for many of you going shark cage diving is high on your list of priorities when visiting Cape Town. Our booking office is able to book all 3 locations and we are very happy to advise you on the most suitable shark cage diving location for you, as well as what we feel is the best location for quality shark sightings. We are confident that you will have a memorable shark and marine wildlife experience.