Great White Shark cage diving in Gansbaai | Overberg | Western Cape | South Africa | Booking shark viewing with Marebella Guesthouse
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Great White Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai | Western Cape | South Africa
Booking your trip through Marebella will mean that you are more flexible with regards to the weather. We are able to confirm your trip with the operator once we are sure of the weather conditions on the day. Marebella is in De Kelders, which is 3km from Gansbaai and about 6km from Kleinbaai, from where the shark diving operators launch their boats.
Shark Cage Diving with White Shark Projects: Observing and diving with the magnificent Great White Sharks under the correct conditions and guidance is a wonderful experience. Even "anti-shark" people return from an expedition or diving trip with love, and certainly respect, for the great white. Exceptional professional and personalised service coupled with extensive industry knowledge make White Shark Projects the ideal choice for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will captivate your imagination and make you return for more.
The boat, Shark Team is an 11-metre, 4-ton catamaran with all the latest electronic and safety equipment. The boat was custom-built for shark diving, so there is plenty of space for everyone to view the sharks in comfort. While she can take 30 passengers, we have limited our licence to a maximum of 20 passengers plus crew to ensure client comfort. The company complies with strict regulations laid down by Marine Coastal Management and local governing authorities. They carry comprehensive public insurance and passenger liability. All safety equipment, first aid and life raft are on board as well as toilet facilities. White Shark Projects co-ordinates service delivery, conservation, education and research around one of the ocean's greatest predatory forces. They aim to work in harmony with our natural and social environment. The expectations of clients are met by excellent customer service, good value, and operational efficiency. Crew and staff are distinguished by their functional and technical expertise combined with hands-on experience - ensuring our clients effective and professional service.
Social responsibility: White Shark Projects is a responsible tourism operation that sets a benchmark in its commitment to community development and upliftment. We are deeply involved in the social, economic and environmental needs of our surrounding communities.
Recording and research: White Shark Projects has an excellent film department and is the preferred choice of BBC and the National Geographic and Discovery channels. The conservation and educational departments are enhanced by a student education programme and white shark expeditions. White Shark Projects works in partnership with the Great White Shark Protection Foundation of South Africa and is certified by Fair Trade in Tourism.
Due to tides and collection schedules, the confirmation of meeting and launch times take place at 16h00 on the day prior to your tour. On the morning of the dive, breakfast is provided at the White Shark Lodge and the skipper will give a short lecture on the Great White Shark. He explains what to expect and how they work with the sharks in the area. You will spend about 4 hours at sea, depending on how often the sharks visit the boat. The cage takes 4 people at a time. Each person spends about 20 minutes in the cage. All scuba equipment, including 7mm wetsuits, is provided - you don´t need a scuba licence to cage dive. Our lunch boxes are packed with bread rolls (with a variety of fillings), sweets, crisps and assorted juices and soft drinks. On your return to dry land, you're invited to enjoy afternoon tea with tea, coffee, biscuits or scones at the Lodge. They have a professional videographer on all the trips and you can purchase a DVD of your trip.
The best season for viewing: Shark diving trips take place throughout the year. The prime viewing time is in our winter months when the sharks have a particularly active feeding pattern. The following guide is based on our observations over the past 8 years. Allow for an overlap between seasons. Water temperatures vary between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius during winter, and between 10 and 16 degrees Celsius during the intermediate season.
We recommend that you bring: suntan lotion, a cap and sunglasses; sea-sickness tablets (take two hours before launch); a warm jacket; a swimming costume and comfortable shoes.
Shark Cage Diving with Great White Shark Tours: Marebella supports Brian McFarlane's Great White Shark Tours as we value their highly experienced and professionally run shark diving trips. They are highly recommended and with our good relationship we are able to arrange your seat on the boat at prices at least the same and sometimes better than you would pay anywhere else. Viewing Season for the Great Whites in 'Shark Alley' is all year round. The best time to view sharks is from June to September. The high season corresponds to the South African winter and trips are weather dependent, so you may want to allow for a few additional days in the area incase you need to wait for good weather.
The trip begins from Kleinbaai harbour, which is two km along the coast from the village of Gansbaai. Here you board the boat Apex Predator for the five mile voyage to Dyer Island. After dropping anchor, they begin attracting Great Whites with a specially-formulated “Chum” mixture, made from completely legal ingredients, which has taken Brian years to perfect, and is a highly-guarded trade secret. Sharks are seen on 99.9% of their trips!
Once the Great Whites arrive, you will have the opportunity to photograph these awe-inspiring animals at the surface, right alongside the boat. If you have got the guts … this is when you enter the cage!
It is recommended that you book well in advance and allow at least two days diving in case of adverse weather conditions. Passengers are exposed to the open sea while traveling to and from the islands. At the islands the boat is anchored off the lee sides and protected bays. The boat usually leaves the docks at ten in the morning, and returns at three in the afternoon.
It is recommended that you book well in advance and allow at least two days diving in case of adverse weather conditions. Passengers are exposed to the open sea while traveling to and from the islands. At the islands the boat is anchored off the lee sides and protected bays. The boat usually leaves the docks at 10 in the morning, and returns at three in the afternoon.
The Boat, Apex Predator, Brian's new (2007) hi-tech custom-built catamaran is the envy of every boating enthusiast. Fitted with a spacious cabin and sheltered seating, dive platform, toilet and wash basin. It is sleek, fast and comfortable. Apex Predator is inspected by the Department of Transport annually. The boat and the entire operation have been diligently scrutinised by the controlling bodies of the South African government and have been awarded one of only eight licenses available in this part of Africa to take you down to see these giants.
Only snorkeling experience is required if you want to go down in the cage. Sometimes the water will be extremely rough or far too murky to use the cage, viewing from the boat is still an awesome experience, with excellent photo opportunities. The cage is of the floating-variety and is custom-made with 12mm galvanised steel mesh. The sharks cannot get inside, and they don't try. The air is fed from the boat, so you don't have to worry about a tank strapped to your back. All diving equipment is supplied. All of our wetsuits are new and leak-free... just like their boat. The cage floats right next to the boat, so you can climb out at any time if you get scared and want to call your Mummy.
Passenger Requirements & Equipment: Cage diving does not require a scuba certification. Minimal snorkeling experience is all you need to go down in the cage. Everyone is welcome for surface viewing of the White Sharks as they are surface feeders and can be observed closely from the boat. All diving equipment is supplied free of charge, including towels. Warm clothing, a cap, sun block, camera & film are essential items for the trip. A light lunch, cool drinks, fruit & other snacks will be provided on board.
Shark Cage Diving with Marine Dynamics: Marine Dynamics are particularly sensitive to the needs of serious underwater photographers and film makers, their crew is familiar with special requirements and always prepared to help get that special shot or footage. They supply diving equipment however, serious photographers and filmmakers usually bring their own drysuits. Marine Dynamics was chosen by: National Geographic, Discovery Channel, BBC, Granada Films, Amos Nachoum, Tom Campbell, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Steve Irwin, Charles Maxwell, Doug Perrine, Erich Ritter, David Doubilet, Peter Benchley, Klaus Jost, Rob Torelli, Jeff Rottman, Thomas Behrend, Nigel Marvin, Rodney Fox, Kurt Amsler, Jeff Kurr (Shark Productions), Stuart & Michelle Westmorland (Time Magazine), Peter Cook, ZDF Films, Peter Schoons, Steve Lichtag, Jim Watt & Oktupus.
Marine Dynamics staff will meet you in the Marine Room at the Great White House in Kleinbaai before your trip. Every trip is preceded by a brief introductory talk about the route and what to look to out for. Passengers are fitted with comfortable inflatable life-jackets. Safety is of the utmost importance. They usually launch around 9:00 am in the morning (note that launching times may vary due to tide and weather conditions), arriving at the anchoring spot in 20 to 25 minutes. The anchor is lowered, the cage goes into the water and a scent trial is made. Final preparations for the diving are made, and the rest of the day is spent watching, diving and enjoying the day.
After spending time with the sharks, you make your way to Dyer Island - depending on the tide and sea conditions. At Dyer Island they can approach close enough to view African penguins, Cape cormorants and many other species. They also often spot giant petrels, Cape gannets, whitechinned petrels and storm petrels. Neighbouring Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, home to 60,000 Cape Fur Seals. The stretch of water between the two islands is Shark Alley. They visit Shark Alley to view the seals. The colony is thriving and there is always lots of activity, especially around November time when the tiny pups are born. After about 3 to 4 hours, depending on the day, you head back to land. Should you wish to return to shore earlier, a transfer can be arranged.
Included in the price: snacks and soft drinks, required diving equipment such as wetsuits, weight belts and masks, waterproof/windproof jackets and towels. You should bring: warm clothing as it is cooler at sea than on land, sunscreen & cap/hat. Please use anti-seasick medication well in advance if you are prone to motion sickness.
Great white shark viewing is better at certain times of the year. When dealing with wild animals every day is different and even in low season it is possible to have amazing shark sightings. Boat trips are dependent on weather conditions and it is advisable to have more than one day set aside for shark viewing. Serious shark enthusiasts and photographers/videographers should book for a few boat trips. Best sightings are May to September. The chances of seeing sharks are 90% or more. During winter stormy weather is a fact of life, and this can prevent them from going out to sea. December to March is considered the "low" season. Sightings can vary daily from very good to below average. With wildlife there are no guarantees.
The cage is made out of a 25 mm galvanised mild steel frame and covered with 10 mm galvanised mild steel security mesh. It has no sharp edges on which a shark can injure itself. The cage is secured to the side of the boat. Buoys keep the top of the cage above the water surface. The cage can accommodate 5 divers at a time. The sharks do not try and attack the cages or try to bite the divers inside the cage. They do sometimes bite the cages in an exploratory manner, and sometimes also have a good look at the divers inside the cage. It is not in the nature of the shark to attack the cage or the diver inside.
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