Video: Shark Cage Diving in South Africa

Posted on November 23, 2011 by

This was one of the reasons that drew me to South Africa: the chance to get close to one of the world’s most intimidating animal, the Great White Shark. Gaansbai, just two hours away from Cape Town, is considered the white shark capital of the world – home to densest population of great white shark in the world. Here, I got the opportunity to get into a cage and enter the shark’s world.

Earlier that morning, our resident marine biologist, Matt, gave us a crash course on sharks. While movies have made sharks appear to be mindless man-eating machines, they are really not as lethal as you would imagine. Sharks may kill between 5 to 15 people a year but we human beings kill over 100million sharks a year. Statistically, we are more likely to get killed by a falling coconut than sharks. Sadly, the number of Great White Sharks is dwindling rapidly, with only about 3,500 white sharks in the ocean today.

Swimming With Sharks

Zipping over the choppy waters towards Shark Alley, we made our way into the open sea from Kleinbaai. The 18 degrees Celsius water felt terribly cold, while choppy waters made the conditions both dramatic and intense. As I dipped my snorkel mask beneath the surface, I immediately caught a glimpse of the 4m-long shark. I could only hear my palpitating heartbeat and bubbling from my rapid breathing. The Great White Shark that swam before me was large, not quite as enormous as I’d imagined, but its presence was definitely intimidating. In the 20 minutes that I was in the cage, I hardly had time to come up for air as I watched one shark after another, circling our cage and sniffing us out as if we were potential lunch. By the end of the day, we saw over seven sharks – with one in particular swimming right at me, the tip of its nose almost touching my fingers and its tail flipping inches from us.

Here’s a video I shot underwater, hope it’ll help bring you along with me, to this exhilarating encounter with the Great White Sharks:

We didn’t have to wait long before a shark made an appearance.

The shark is attracted to our bait (a wooden figure).

Underwater, I see a Great White Shark swimming towards us…

Its agility and speed is astonishing. Within seconds, it’s gone… but it soon returns for more…

A fellow shark cage diver looking happy to have come this close to sharks.

Note: To make sure we do not interfere or disturb the sharks’ natural habitat, Marine Dynamics assures that on its shark cage diving trips, sharks are not harassed, abused or fed. Boatmen use chumming method (fish oil) to catch the sharks’ attention but they do not disturb the animals’ natural behavior.

 


Disclaimer: This shark cage diving experience was made possible by South Africa Tourism, Cape Town Routes Unlimited and Marine Dynamics, but all opinions expressed above are my own. Read more about my South Africa adventures here or follow my updates on facebook.

About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offgrid destinations and adventure travel, she scours through the world in search for a slice of undiscovered paradise. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sealions in the Galapagos and built a school in Tanzania.

17 Responses to “Video: Shark Cage Diving in South Africa”

  1. Traveling Ted November 24, 2011 11:37 pm #

    Cool video an activity. This post also gave me inspiration for a new post. I am going to do one on the killer coconut.

  2. Green Global Travel November 25, 2011 2:54 am #

    Great video! Swimming with sharks is definitely on my travel bucket list.

  3. Nancy & Shawn Power November 25, 2011 3:30 am #

    Nellie,

    Reading your post, we felt like we were right there with you. Thanks for that. Oh, and let's not forget the video… loved it!

    Nancy & Shawn

  4. Visiting Wanderer November 28, 2011 8:44 am #

    That was really cool! Thanks for posting the video

  5. The World Wanderer December 27, 2011 4:02 am #

    Wow! I've always wanted to do this, and your video made me want to even more. I'll be in South Africa this summer, so I'll be sure to look it up. Thanks!

  6. LAbackpackerChick February 11, 2012 3:38 pm #

    Incredible! I like that this company doesn’t feed the sharks. Great video

    The only thing on my big 3-0 birthday bucketlist is this! Not sure if I can justify a plane ticket to South Africa though…we’ll see :-)

  7. techincal writer August 6, 2012 4:31 pm #

    O h God, weren't you scared?? am so afraid of the sharks, they really touch creatures

  8. thealexlop August 15, 2012 11:13 pm #

    Nelly…..you just lived my fantasy here. I've watched maybe a hundred clips like this but this one was by far the best. You did such a great job capturing the shark move and you can clearly tell that ain't no guppy. Can't wait to do something similar. I'm going to watch it again now!

    • Nellie August 20, 2012 10:20 am #

      Aww Alex, thanks for making my day! I took this video last year actually, and that was my first time swimming with the white sharks. This year we took some underwater clips with our GoPro and they look pretty cool, we\’ll try to edit them soon!

  9. Randall Jennings April 21, 2013 11:43 pm #

    Now there's quite the adrenaline rush. I just have to wonder sometimes how that flimsy-looking cage is supposed to keep out something the size of a truck.

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