Shark Cage Diving

Seal Island

Shark Cage Diving

  • Description
  • Quick Info
  • Itinerary
  • Our Boat and Cage
  • Best Time of Year
  • What’s Included
  • What to Bring
  • Shark Trip Prices

Shark Diving

Great white shark cage diving in South Africa is a mix of adrenalin, thrills, fun and education that will change your life– forever! With our qualified guides, you will learn so much about sharks, including the difference between a male and female shark, how to identify a specific shark by its unique dorsal fin and other markings, their hunting and social behaviour, and quickly learn to identify the individual sharks by their very different personalities.  Yes, sharks have personalities just like you and I, and an eyeball to eyeball encounter with a shark is incredibly special. It feels as though you and the shark have a personal connection, as if it is looking deep into your soul. It is hard to explain, but you’ll understand when it happens to you – and you will relive the moment forever!

Sharks, dolphins, whales, seals and penguins, as well as several bird species are in abundance in False Bay– and we cannot wait to share it with you.

Welcome aboard!

  • Location
    Simon’s Town – 45 minutes from Cape Town centre
  • Meeting
    The second launch meets from 10h30 onwards
    The meeting times are subject to change based on weather and sightings. The exact time will be confirmed with you the afternoon before your trip
  • Transfers
    Door to door transfers arranged upon request
  • Duration
    Half day trips - 3 to 4 hours at sea
  • Guest Numbers
    12 guests
  • Surface Cage
    4 – 5 guests
  • Diving
    We use breath- hold or snorkel. No experience needed for either method
    Air for certified divers upon request
  • Age Restrictions
    8 years old to board and 10 years to cage dive
  • Water Temperature
    53 - 68 ºF
    Don’t worry! Our wetsuit will keep you toasty warm
  • Water Visibility
    7 – 65 feet
  • Videographer
    No
  • Includes
    Light breakfast, tea/coffee, light lunch, snacks and refreshments
    Dive gear
    Towel
    Educational book
  • You’ll meet our experienced shark cage diving crew at the Apex Shark Expeditions centre. After a light breakfast of home-baked delicious croissants, you’ll board White Pointer 11 where your skipper and captain will brief you on safety and weather for the day.
  • Thereafter we’ll head out to the famous Seal Island in False Bay which is a 25 to 35 minute boat ride based on sea and weather conditions.
  • Upon arrival at Seal Island, the largest island based seal colony in Africa, we will decide on the best spot to weigh anchor and begin attracting sharks to the vessel. The shark cage is then deployed, where it floats tied next to our vessel.
  • Once a shark approaches our boat, bait is kept in the water to keep the shark around long enough for identification, viewing and cage diving purposes. The data that is collected is used for conservation of the Great white shark and contributes to the scientific white papers that can be found on our site.
  • At no point are the sharks purposefully fed or handled and all efforts are made to prevent the sharks from coming into contact with our vessel. We operate to our own very strict code of conduct and we will in no way endanger or hurt an animal.
  • Shark cage diving safety precautions and operational procedures are briefed to the cage divers. It is important to know Great white sharks come very close to the boat, are surface feeders and therefore it is not necessary to dive in order to see them. Those not wishing to dive will still have incredible views of the Great white shark. At times the views from the shark boat far outweigh the views from the shark cage.
  • A tasty light lunch of gourmet sandwiches (including a vegetarian option) and fresh fruit, accompanied by fruit juice, mineral water and a variety of indulgent snacks are available throughout the course of the morning. Relax and enjoy the day as we take care of you.
  • After an unforgettable experience, White Pointer II will arrive back in Simon’s Town Harbour. The duration of the trip is between 3 – 4 hours depending on the weather conditions and shark activity.
  • Tea and coffee are available at our Shark centre in Simon’s Town. Take this opportunity to browse through our unique range of shark-related merchandise. If you would like to freshen up, we can arrange cash showers offsite. Let us know when making your booking.

White Pointer II is the name of our 32 ft. catamaran. This boat was specifically built for the purpose of working, viewing and diving with Great white sharks in the waters of the Western Cape. She complies with all safety requirements and Great white shark permit conditions. She carries all the necessary safety equipment and is certified on an annual basis by SAMSA, the authority responsible for maritime safety in South Africa. We are committed to achieving and maintaining a high standard of health and safety both on land and at sea. We will always strive to set the standards of a safe boat-based operation, going beyond our legal obligations to manage any potential risks effectively and provide a safe environment for all involved.

Hygiene and Safety

  • Our boat surfaces and frequently touched areas are sanitized before you board the vessel, as well as during and after every excursion
  • Hand sanitizer is conveniently positioned aboard
  • All items utilized by you on board will be appropriately sanitized and cleaned by the Skipper during excursions
  • Handling of any necessary equipment on board will be carried out by the skipper and crew and not by our guests
  • The crew are registered tour guides trained in first aid, fire- fighting and are subjected to stringent monthly safety drills
  • Safety equipment includes life jackets, first aid kit, radio and cellular phone

Features

  • She takes a maximum of 12 guests on board, the smallest trips in the industry
  • Built with photography in mind, the vessel allows guests 360 degree walk-around opportunities, as well as a fly bridge for alternate angles
  • The upper viewing deck comfortably accommodates 6 guests
  • She is powered by two 250 HP, 4-stroke Honda engines. These match a quiet, stable ride with speed and fuel efficiency thereby saving on our carbon footprint
  • She boasts a fully enclosed wrap-around cabin. The curved windscreens offer superb visibility from inside the cabin and the cushioned seats offer comfort
  • Flush toilet
  • Dry storage lockers

Shark Cage Diving, the Safe Way

Our shark cage is constructed with galvanized steel and certified by a registered engineer. Further to this the South African cage-diving industry is regulated by a code of conduct and regulations from Marine and Coastal Management DEAT – Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Our equipment meets all the required safety standards and the experience of our crew ensure that you’re in good hands.

No experience is required to shark cage dive. We use the breath-hold technique as visibility can be limited and eyeball time with the animals’ underwater usually only lasts a few seconds at a time.  Our experienced and professional crew will give you direction to ensure maximum shark viewing whilst cage diving. A hookah scuba system is available for certified divers upon request. Please indicate when making your booking.

Boat Based Viewing

If you don’t want to get wet, the boat based viewing is excellent as many of the sharks swim at the surface. Our surface viewing deck offers 360 degrees view and our enclosed cabin offers cover and protection from the elements.  As the boat based viewing is equal if not better than the cage dive viewing, divers and non-divers pay the same price for the shark trip.

Hygiene

  • Wetsuits, masks and snorkels are disinfected, rinsed in fresh water and dried before every use.
  • Each guest will receive equipment that has been thoroughly disinfected and rinsed
  • Upon removal of wetsuits, booties, gloves, masks and snorkels on the Apex vessel, all items are immediately put into a disinfectant solution
  • Each piece of equipment is only used once per day
  • Guests are not allowed to share any equipment or towels that belong to Apex Shark Expeditions.

Safety First

  • All shark cage diving is done under the supervision of an experienced crew who have first aid & oxygen management, scuba & commercial skippers' qualifications and have expert knowledge of the behaviour of sharks around the cage
  • The cage is designed to float, leaving a free board of about 30cm (about one foot). The cage is solidly attached to the side of the boat by two thick ropes that prevent the cage from drifting away and equipped with several independent flotation devices which keep it buoyant
  • Our cage has been designed to ensure there are no sharp edges on which a shark can injure itself in the event one should touch the cage accidentally
  • The shark cage we use is a surface cage. It is not a submersible shark cage. Our crews are close to cage at all times and will ensure any guest in distress is quickly and safely removed from the cage.
  • You may end your shark cage dive at any time as we operate surface cages only. Your head is never more than half a meter below the surface and you can decide when and how long you want to stay underwater
  • Specially designed doors ensure ease of access for divers. Getting into the cage is as simple as stepping off the boat
  • Our cage comfortably accommodates a GoPro camera and is equipped with steel hand and foot bars inside offering grip and stability when filming

Yes. The lid is closed once you are safely in the cage however it is easily opened either by yourself or the crew

We advise donning your bathing suit under your clothes when getting dressed for your trip. A second skin may add extra warmth for the guests who are prone to the cold. Wetsuits and all other dive gear will be provided.

We prefer not to use scuba equipment which produces a lot of noise and bubbles under the water. This often keeps the sharks from coming close. You will have a better chance of seeing the sharks if we can communicate the direction the sharks are coming from, especially when the water visibility is poor. However, if you prefer using scuba equipment and you are a qualified scuba diver, we will provide you with a regulator to dive in the cage once everyone else has had their dive.

This depends on the number of guests on the trip who wish to go into the cage. Your first cage dive will be relatively short, just long enough for you to see a shark. Once everyone has had a chance to see the sharks from the cage, you can then return for a second dive, time allowing. You should get 20 – 30 minutes in the cage

The best time of year for Great White Sharks at Seal Island, False Bay is traditionally mid- June to mid-August. The difference between the morning and the afternoon trips is the Great white shark behaviour.  The morning trip sees heighted levels of predation which includes seeing Great white sharks breach, whilst the afternoon trip is focused on shark cage diving as the sharks are not actively hunting.

On days when Great whites are not seen, an extraordinary species of shark, the Sevengill has become a frequently encountered species in our area. The Sevengill Shark is an ancient, large, highly predatory shark growing upwards of 10 feet in length. It is a rarely seen Apex Predator whose lineage dates back over 150 million years and diving with one is in effect diving with a modern dinosaur.

Note: We see a variety of shark species throughout the year according to the seasons, weather, water temperature and other factors. Trips are confirmed dependant on weather and not species dependant.

  • Guided Great White Shark Cage Diving Tour
    Our qualified shark cage diving guides are especially trained for this very experience you are about to book. They are passionate and eager to share their knowledge with you, of not only the sharks, but all the marine wildlife you will encounter on your shark tour
  • Educational Booklet
    You will receive a beautiful illustrated educational eBook (or hard copy) on the marine life you may encounter on your shark tour from the apex predators in the ocean to the sea birds above.
  • Light Meals
    Lunch consists of fresh fruit, delicious home baked quiches, gourmet sandwiches including chicken with pecan nuts amongst others. We will include a vegetarian option upon request. To quench that adventurous thirst, fruit juice and mineral water are on tap with a variety of snacks that are more on the indulgent side. All food is hygienically prepared and individually packaged using natural recyclable materials that are environmentally friendly.
  • Dive Gear
    We guarantee a clean dry wetsuit for every guest of Apex Shark Expeditions.
    Each guest will receive dive equipment and a wetsuit that has been thoroughly disinfected and rinsed with fresh water and dried before use. Every piece of squeaky clean dive equipment will be used by one guest only per day. They say sharing is caring but we’ll leave that to Barney.
  • Towels
    We do provide clean, dry towels however it is our goal is to reduce the consumption of natural resources in laundry and therefore we ask where possible, to provide your own towel.
    We pride ourselves on offering sustainable eco-friendly marine tourism and adventure with conservation, research and education taking place on every shark cage diving tour we are fortunate to operate.
  • Dress in layers as it can get very chilly at sea.  We advise a warm weather jacket, sneakers or closed shoes, a beanie and a hat/cap.
  • Polarized sunglasses – these really help to block the glare thereby increasing sightings of the sharks from the boat. They also provide protection from harmful UV rays.
  • Swimsuit. If you are prone to the cold. a rash vest will help with extra insulation
  •  Towel
  • Water bottle
  • Lip-ice and Sunscreen SPF 50 – the African sun is beautiful but harsh
  • Camera, of course! GoPro’s are great for stills and video and are easy to handle in the shark cage. Bring an extra SD card. You’re going to need it!
  • For those with poor eyesight, we advise wearing contact lens whilst cage diving with sharks. If you own a prescription mask, please bring it with you.
  • If you are prone to motion sickness, we recommend Sturgeon or Dramamine Take one the night before your trip and another an hour before the meet time.
  • For your own enjoyment of the trip, we recommend that you do not over indulge in alcohol the night before as this may result in being very sea sick the next day.

At Apex Shark Expeditions, we strive to offer the best and most professional shark cage diving and ecotourism experience in the world from the moment you make contact with us to long after your experience with us is done. We offer an unforgettable experience rather than just another trip!

40% of all Apex Shark Expeditions guests are repeat guests. Why? It is our personal, intimate and incredible educational experience our professional shark cage diving company and guides deliver.

As we operate with the smallest group size of any shark diving operation in the world, 12 guests only, this enables us to provide that one on one personal service to you, our guest.

2020 Price per personR 3,600.00 
Return Transfers per person ex Cape TownR 600.00 
2021 Price per AdultR 3,695.00QUICK ENQUIRY
Return Transfers per person ex Cape TownR 650.00 

The Best Shark Cage Diving in South Africa!

You have the power to make a difference when selecting your shark diving operator. Apex Shark Expeditions fights the fight for the Conservation of the Great White Shark.

* Concession prices for South African passport holders.

COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site. It rewards top performing hospitality businesses with a Certificate of Excellence. Now in its seventh year, the award celebrates exceptional hospitality and is given to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on the site.

APEX SHARK EXPEDITIONS HAS WON THIS AWARD SEVEN YEARS IN A ROW.

The award is the result of consistently great reviews from the people that matter the most — our guests.

COVID-19 Protocol

Safety is our # 1 Priority
Apex Shark Expeditions is committed to protecting staff and guests to ensure safety for every person. As such, we are following all government regulations as outlined here
Book with Confidence Terms
If travel restrictions are implemented by your local government or the government of South Africa to due to COVID 19 (Coronavirus) which means you are unable to travel, then the following will apply:
Free cancellation: 14 days prior departure

Wildlife Sightings Cannot Be Guaranteed.

We Will However, Give You Realistic Expectations before Making A Booking.

The First Choice Shark Cage Diving Operator For:

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Next trip departing Seal Island to dive with Sevengill sharks is this Saturday, 20 February.

There is limited space.

Book now to avoid disappointment.