Many countries around the world offer tourists the thrill of experiencing shark cage diving but South Africa is hands down one of the most famous, with Cape Town and Gansbaai being the two best known places for this activity in the country.
Cape Town has many shark diving centres. But don’t take any chances and pre-book your dive because this is a tourist hub and securing an appointment can be tricky.
Booking your dive from Cape Town will be convenient as well because you can keep half a day aside for sightseeing trips.
One word of caution though – diving from Cape Town can be more expensive than in Gansbaai. Check before booking your dive centre as many of them take you to Gansbaai only instead of Cape Town.
Gansbaai is a two-hour drive from Cape Town and much closer to the popular whale-watching site at Hermanus.
Gansbaai is a shark cage diving paradise with plenty of options. It is much more economical to go shark cage diving here than in Cape Town.
If you are driving from Garden Route, you can stop here or in Hermanus for the dive. There is nothing else to do here so staying overnight is not recommended.
Is shark cage diving safe?
Shark cage diving is completely safe. All you have to do is remember the instructions of the guide before diving and abide by these at all costs.
For instance, you are not supposed to touch the shark or stick your hands and feet out of the cage to entice them or catch their attention. Great whites are very curious by nature and will bite to check what is sticking out of the cage.
If you are too scared to stay in the cage, you can opt to view the sharks from the deck of the boat. The deck view gives a clearer and longer view than looking out for the shark in the water. However, it is far less thrilling.
Must you know how to swim?
No, you do not need to know how to swim for shark cage diving. Only one-third of the cage is submerged under water, so you can always stand and breathe normally above water with ease.
When the great white appears, you will be asked to hold your breath and look down into the water for the greatest sighting of your life.
Always keep in mind however, that these are wild marine life so the chances of a great viewing largely depends on your luck.
Amit and Anindita are Indian Travel bloggers who blog at Travel Like We Do. They talk about affordable travel in India and abroad. They are still travelling and capturing their moments.