Pioneers of the Shark Cage Diving Industry
In South Africa, the governmental DEAT Marine and Coastal Management department has given exemptions to twelve commercial cage diving tourism companies to attract and work with Great White Sharks. These allocations have been mainly concentrated in Gansbaai with eight exempted companies offering White Shark viewing and diving, Mossel Bay has one company and False Bay three.
To help you choose from so many companies, we would like to point out some of the advantages Marine Dynamics has to offer:
- Boat: Slashfin is a multi-million rand custom designed aluminium boat purpose built for viewing and cage diving with Great White Sharks. It is the first aluminium boat of its kind in the industry, specifically aimed at low maintenance, stability, speed, space and superior safety and comfort. Slashfin can easily accommodate 40 passengers besides the crew. Attention to fine detail and comfort distinguishes it from its peers in the industry: designated toilets for men and women; a canvass dressing cubicle for extra privacy; an attractive food drawer where light lunches, snacks and drinks are permanently on display; a double staircase for easy access to the top deck, etc. All diving equipment is provided and clients are guaranteed of clean, dry wetsuits and towels with the excursions. The engineer-designed, galvanised steel Shark cage can comfortably accommodate up to seven divers. The spacious top deck offers great, unobstructed viewing and a photographic platform to observe the Sharks from the surface above the action. Slashfin is the most comfortable and luxurious shark cage diving boat in the country and set to redefine the industry!
- Hosting and welcoming facilities: The Great White House (GPS located) in Kleinbaai, will be your welcoming host for the duration of your excursion, with secure parking, accommodation, restaurant, coffee shop, gift shop, conference and education centre, relaxing garden, luxury bathrooms with hot showers, free internet access and free digital camera download facilities available for our guests. This centre is a Wi-Fi hotspot and offers truly unparalleled services in the area, and you will feel comfortable from the moment you step through our doors.
- Video: Your trip will be recorded by our professional wildlife videographer, Clarence, who has over 8 years experience filming white sharks. Footage from your trip will be played after your excursion while you enjoy your complimentary refreshments. If you choose to purchase the footage, we send to you a ONLINE version, which cannot be lost, scratched or ruined like DVDs. This makes it easy for you to share your experience with everyone online! IF YOU BOOK ONLINE YOU GET THE VIDEO FOR FREE!
- Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises live by the 'Discover and Protect' slogan, and we strive to provide you with the utmost conservation oriented and respect ethos offered on the market. Both are BEE Level 1 companies and certified by Fair Trade in Tourism. Our main concern is directed at the Sharks and the health of the local ecosystem that attracts White Sharks into the area. We will show you the true Great White Sharks, not those depicted in many movies and images. White Sharks are amazing, captivating and wonderful animals, perfectly adapted to the ocean and represent the ultimate predator in the marine world. They deserve our deepest respect and admiration.
- Experienced and specialised crew: The crew on Slashfin presents a combined experience working with White Sharks for more than ten years, captained by an experienced and knowledgeable skipper who knows the sea and its inhabitants in this area by heart. The crew boasts vast experience in working with professional film and photo crews from international television and award winning magazine companies, and can guide you through your experience better than anyone else. A shark biologist and trained guides will be present on the boat to guide you through the educational discovery of these mysterious ocean predators.
- Education: In the morning, before your trip to sea and while you are having your breakfast, we offer an in-depth audio-visual briefing introducing you to the local eco-system and to your excursion in our comfortable conference room equipped with a DVD player and two big screen TV’s. This will help you to become familiar with the boat, the crew, the concept of chumming and what you can expect to see during your excursion. It will also give you some guidance as to the safety issues related to boats and Shark cages. In the afternoon following your excursion, we have an optional presentation presented by one of our three Marine biologists. This presentation will give you an insight into general Shark biology and conservation, and present some of the research work conducted on White Sharks in South Africa.
- Conservation involvement: Wilfred Chivell, owner of Dyer Island Cruises and Marine Dynamics, is certainly the most knowledgeable person about the ecosystem and varied wildlife found on and around Dyer Island. His care and dedication to the health of this sensitive eco-system has lead to the launch of different conservation projects for the area: The 'Faces of Need - Artificial Penguin Nest Project', aimed at creating 2000 artificial nests on Dyer Island; the 'Bird Rescue Initiative' has over the years made him the prime transporter of injured and oiled marine birds from the island to shore, from where they are transported to SANCCOB; the 'Marine Litter Project' aimed at educating the public and local communities about the devastating results of pollution on wildlife while also initiating clean-up operations of the coast. (See DICT)
- Safety: We provide self-inflatable lifejackets to all our guests, and we have made the wearing of these jackets compulsory while the boat is moving. This has been designed for your own safety and for the comfort of all of our guests. We also have a lid covering the otherwise open and exposed top of the cage, which prevents any accidental intrusion by a Shark. Our vessel carries a medical kit and oxygen, and a life raft for 60 people. We observe all safety regulations set forward by SAMSA, the South African Maritime Safety Authority and DEAT, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
- Employment opportunities for local community upliftment: We are providing training and job opportunities for people from the local communities to become involved in the booming tourism industry. As one of only two BEE level 1 companies in the Gansbaai area, we employ a majority of previously disadvantaged people from the local community, and we encourage them to further their education, training and horizon to get a better grasp of life and the world. Although this has become a business necessity in South Africa, we view this venture as a way to secure the future for South Africa, a country where tourism has the potential and certainly will become a major source of income and employment. This aim can only be achieved through education and involvement.
- Combination of expertise: The two sister companies Marine Dynamics (Shark Cage Diving Operator in South Africa) and Dyer Island Cruises (Whale watching and eco-tours around Dyer Island to view Dolphins, Seals and Marine Birds) offer unparalleled expert knowledge about the entire eco-system.
- Close collaboration with universities and NGO’s: Marine Dynamics and Dyer Island Cruises have close ties with many universities and NGO’s that contribute towards research and conservation.