South Africa is an amazing country with so many activities to try! The natural beauty of the country is some of the best I have ever seen in the world, and that certainly includes the amazing wildlife. Above all, I wanted to immerse myself in it, whether that was going on safaris, visiting the African penguins, or in this case, going shark diving!
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About halfway through my trip to Cape Town, South Africa, I went on a tour with the lovely ML Sultan Travel & Tours company which you can read more about here. As a result, while on that tour, I was introduced to the idea of shark cage diving. This was another experience that the company offered and I was intrigued. ML Sultan sells the tour but it is operated by White Shark Projects which is located about 2.5 hours outside of Cape Town in Gansbaai. All in all, I knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I had to take. I was excited to start!
White Shark Projects offers an optional round-trip transfer service to Cape Town for an additional charge of about $30 USD, which is super reasonable, considering the distance. The day before departure, I received a message letting me know that the pickup time was 4am. Wow! I knew it would be early but didn’t realize this early! I calmed down by reminding myself that this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something truly interesting. Who needs sleep?
The following morning, I was picked up in a comfortable passenger van, which now I have realized are very common in the area. Whether it’s normal people commuting to work, or visitors doing activities like this shark dive, you’ll see these types of vans all over South Africa.
Breakfast and Briefing
Subsequently, after the early morning drive, we arrived at the headquarters of White Shark Projects. The facility was well-designed, modern, and I was impressed. They had a gift shop, complimentary breakfast, showers, lounge, and very friendly and welcoming staff.
The complimentary breakfast was simple, yet tasty, and a good way to get the day started. While eating, I had a chance to mingle with the other attendees. Before long, we were briefed about the diving that was to follow, and then it was off to board the boat.
It was time to get the party started! It only took 15 to 20 minutes to reach the opportune shark diving spot. They informed us in the briefing that nature is often unpredictable and thus we weren’t guaranteed to see Great White Sharks, or anything at all for that matter. Lucky for us, the shark gods were on our side and they arrived almost immediately!
I was sure to get a wetsuit on as quickly as I could to be ready to get in the water. The staff separated us into two groups of seven people. This was because that was how many people could fit in the cage at one time. I worked hard to get in the first group! Once inside, the staff would tell us when to dive to see the sharks.
It was incredible to see these majestic creatures just a foot or two away! Even though they were eating, you could tell they were very relaxed. It didn’t feel dangerous at all, as I expected. To be clear, these were not Great White Sharks but another variety found in the area. That being said, I really didn’t mind as they were really impressive regardless.
There were a few rounds of diving with the two groups. They made sure that everyone got their fill of the action before departing after a couple hours. The seas were a bit rough that day. If I were you, I’d take some medicine for sea sickness before coming. Unfortunately, nearly every attendee got a little bit seasick during the excursion.
Luckily for us, when we got back to the headquarters, the staff had vegetable soup waiting for us that soothed my stomach and brought me back to a state of normalcy.
In the end, this was an incredible experience. I was so delighted that I booked the White Shark Projects experience through ML Sultan Travel & Tours. Everyone involved was a true professional and the whole experience went off without a hitch. If you’re interested in doing something special and exhilarating while in South Africa, definitely check out this experience!
Shark Cage Dive by ML Sultan Travel & Tours
Cape Town, South Africa