Seal Island, False Bay
Seal Island is a small island located 3.5 miles off the northern beaches of False Bay, near Cape Town, in South Africa. The island is so named because of the great number of Cape fur seals that occupy it. It is home to Cape and Bank Cormorants and a few African penguins. A radar mast was built on the island during World War II by a crew who lived in prefabricated huts for the duration of the construction but this tower gradually succumbed to corrosion and was blown over in a winter storm in 1970. All that remains of it is rusty, twisted metal. Some rock inscriptions made by sealers in the 1930s are still evident. The dense population of seals at certain times of the year attracts the seal's main predator, the Great White shark. What makes Seal Island and the adjacent waters famous is it provides rare opportunities for those who wish to witness attacks by great whites on the Cape Fur Seal and to observe social interactions amongst creatures of both species. The island is well known for the interesting way the sharks grab their prey: a shark launching an attack will come up from underneath and hurl itself out of the water with the seal in its mouth. The last couple of years has seen a decline in Great Whites in this area however when we are not seeing Great Whites, we are seeing other species of shark including the Cow Shark.
Mossel Bay is a coastal village and harbour on the world famous Garden Route, some 400km from Cape Town. The origin of the name Mossel Bay (the Bay of Mussels) has to do with the ascendancy of the Dutch shipping merchants in the late 16th and the early 17th Centuries. Seal Island is just 2km off the harbour. It's a natural island where the seals are protected from culling. The island is only 100m long and 50m wide and there are about 4 000 seals living there currently. The adult seals generally move from this tiny island towards the west coast in search of more food. This location delivers good breaching behaviour as well as cage diving.
Robberg Peninsula, Plettenburg Bay
Eight kilometres from Plettenberg Bay, a pretty peninsula named the Robberg points like a finger into the ocean. On its western flanks, waves pound like fists against rugged rust-coloured cliffs while on the eastern side the sea is mostly calm. The nearby sounds of waves, gulls and seals enhance an atmosphere already heavy with magic. Here whales like to play, as do dolphins, seagulls, seals and of course, Great White sharks. We'll stand atop Robberg and peer down to the Great white sharks as they patrols in search of seals. We may be fortunate to witness a predatory event.
Shark Alley, Gansbaai
Dyer Island, Geyser Rock and Shark Alley
Dyer Island is the largest of a group of islands about 5 miles offshore from Gansbaai and less than that from Danger Point peninsula. It is named after Samson Dyer, an emigrant from the USA to the Cape Colony in 1806, who lived on the island collecting guano which he sold to mainlanders as fertilizer. The island is home to a declining colony of African Penguins (ca. 5000 individuals in 2015).
Geyser Rock is a smaller island nearby, and is home to around 60,000 Cape Fur Seals.
The shallow channel between the two islands is famously known as "Shark Alley". Many a documentary has been shot in this location with the likes of Andre Hartman and another well know personality, Mike Rutzen. Mike has spent more time free diving with Great White sharks than possibly any other person [and is one of the few people in the world that understand and respond to shark behaviour and body language.[Both Andre and Mike still live in the small town of Kleinbaai close to Shark Alley, This location is usually good for cage diving.