open
<
1/6
  • In Gansbaai, the largest white shark ever caught was at Danger Point and measured up to 5.9m. The exact world record white shark is a contested issue, but chances are it is between 6-7m.

  • If you see a white shark in the water don’t panic. Chances are high that the shark has already detected you and isn’t interested. White shark attacks are normally associated with poor visibility, so avoid murky conditions.

  • White sharks have a unique system called a “counter current heat exchange”, which keeps their body  tempreture +/- 7C above the surrounding water temperature. 

  • All sharks have an incredibly unique system on the tip of their nose called the “ampillae of Lorenzini”. These are small pores filled with a gel that transmits the electrical currents in the water to the shark’s brain so that it can assess its environment.

  • White sharks give birth to live young (not eggs), and they give birth to 6-8 pups at one time. Pups are usually between 1.0-1.5m in length and are born with teeth.

  • Body language has been a well documented form of shark communication and has identified body arching, jaw gaping, and other postures as specific social tactics.

>

FAQ

Book Now

Do I get a refund if we do not see any Sharks?

In the remote chance of no great white shark activity while on a shark cage diving experience, a 50% refund will be granted, or the client will have the option of being issued a voucher for an alternative date.

 

Do I get a discount for only doing surface viewing without going into the cage?

No. Our guests pay for the space on the boat, whether they remain on the boat or decide to go into the Shark cage. We only have one price.

How long will we stay on the ocean?

We generally launch between 08h00 and 10h00 in the morning, depending on the moon phase, which affects the tidal range and limits our ability to launch Slashfin from the small and very shallow harbour of Kleinbaai. The time we spend on the ocean depends mostly on the Sharks . . . sometimes we get Sharks very quickly while the very next day, we might be waiting several hours for the first Shark to appear. Moreover, Sharks present different personalities, and although curious by nature, they are generally very cautious, and while some Sharks will sometimes stay around the boat for hours, most Sharks only remain around the boat for 5 to 15 minutes. All these factors will decide how long we spend at sea . . . and of course, you and the other guests will ultimately decide when we go back to shore, unless the skipper decides to return to shore for safety reasons due to adverse weather conditions. We generally return to shore between 3 and 6 hours after leaving the harbour.

What is chumming?

In order to be able to observe and cage dive with Great White Sharks, we need to attract these Sharks to the boat and the cage. Chumming is the process in which we create a chum slick also known as odour corridor that will guide the Sharks to the boat. Chum usually consists of minced tuna meat, mashed sardines, and/or fish oil, which are mixed with seawater in a drum on board Slashfin. This potent fish smelling mixture is then ladled back into the ocean, and will slowly drift away from the boat, creating the chum slick. Once this process has started, it is all a game of patience and luck until we get a Shark . . . we wait for a Shark to swim across our chum slick drifting down current from the boat ever further away. Once the Shark enters the chum slick, it will smell the dead fish smell and track it back to its source, the boat. The Shark enters a scavenging mode and usually swims in a zigzag pattern up the chum slick, a strategy that prevents missing any drifting pieces of potential carcass. Once the Shark is close to the boat, we use a bait and a decoy lure to attract the Shark to the surface and closer to the boat.

What boat will we spend the day on?

Slashfin is the name of the 46 feet or 14-metre long catamaran vessel that Marine Dynamics is operating for their Shark excursions around Dyer Island. This boat was built in 2010 specifically for the purpose of working, viewing and diving with Great White Sharks in the stormy waters of the Western Cape. The boat carries all the necessary safety equipment and is certified by SAMSA, the authorities responsible for maritime safety in South Africa, on an annual basis. Slashfin is powered by four large four-stroke 300hp outboard engines, and is equipped with the best electronic equipment to navigate the area. The boat carries a seven-person cage, offers a large cabin where you can safely store your personal belongings and a large top deck that offers a bird's eye view over the Sharks and the action in the water. This is the ideal boat to discover Great White Sharks!

What determines where you anchor each day to find sharks?

Many diving magazines and books have wrongly inferred that Shark Alley is the main location to anchor and see Sharks in Gansbaai throughout the year. However, various factors play a part in where we choose to go and ‘look for Sharks’. 

The two main criteria we consider when launching are:
a) Weather conditions, which ultimately affect client comfort and safety on board;
b) Where the sharks have been sighted previously. Shark sightings are seasonal in the area and their presence can fluctuate between an inshore reef system and various spots around Dyer Island.
 
If conditions allow us to safely enter Shark Alley, we will make a journey through there after/before a cage dive to view the seal colony. However, this narrow stretch of water is a very delicate marine environment and certainly not the only - or ‘best’ spot to see White Sharks in the area.
 

Can I bring alcohol on the boat?

No.  According to our code of conduct, alcohol is not allowed on our vessel. Alcohol is probably the best inducer of seasickness and we recommend that you severely limit your alcohol intake the night prior to your excursion. You don't want to spoil the adventure of a lifetime and forfeit the opportunity to witness a Shark breaching or predation due to a hangover or self-induced seasickness, do you?

Will I get seasick?

Hopefully not, but unfortunately, seasickness may be part of the experience. Read our few tips below. You may have spent some time on boats before and believe that everything will be fine, but you probably have never spent time on an anchored boat, and that is where the problem may occur. The dangerous time to get seasick is during the waiting period until we get Sharks, as your mind wanders into boredom once the anticipation wears off. So please read and observe the few tips below to avoid any adverse situation and condition. If you get seasick and cannot bear the feeling, we can organise for a shuttle to collect you from Slashfin and bring you back to shore. This shuttle is, however, run by an independent company, and a surcharge will be added to your bill. This surcharge is independent of the number of people returning to shore – there is a fixed price for the shuttle.

What can I do to avoid seasickness?

There is no general rule to avoid this terrible feeling, but here are some tips which can help to prevent it:

a) Do not consume any alcohol the evening before your excursion, or at least drink with moderation. Alcohol and hangovers are a near guarantee for seasickness.
b) Take an anti-motion sickness tablet the evening before your excursion, and another one in the morning an hour before boarding the boat (these are available at any pharmacy without prescription). You may also want to wear the wristbands during your excursion (these are available from the Great White House where we meet in the morning).
c) Do not think about it! If you have ever been seasick, you will remember it, and some seasickness is psychological. Convince yourself that you will be fine, and forget about seasickness.
d) During the excursion, stay outside of the cabin, remain in the fresh breeze, and avoid the toilet. Keep your eyes on the horizon from the start, and try not to look through your camera's view finders for too long (most compact digital cameras offer a screen - use this option). If the sea is choppy, avoid going on the top deck where the boat's movements are accentuated. Wear comfortable and loose clothing items, or just make yourself as comfortable as possible by unfastening buttons or belts.
 

Do you serve any food and drinks on the boat?

Yes. We offer a light lunch pack and snacks, as well as cold drinks and water that are conveniently on display throughout the trip. All the refreshments are included in our price. We can also organise specific food depending on your dietary requirements or preferences, but this need to be organised and booked in advance and may carry additional costs.