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Shark Cagediving: False Bay (Cape Town)

Cagediving - Dive with the Majestic Sharks of False Bay, South Africa

Apex Shark Expeditions, founded by Chris Fallows, was created to advance the understanding of sharks. Dyer Island, where most of South Africa's great white shark research and viewing was concentrated, was becoming congested. Specially designed shark viewing cagesThis made controlled scientific work difficult, so Chris set out to find an alternative venue where they could escape commercialization and conduct their research.

During their search for a new dive site, they remembered the legend of Submarine, a notorious white shark in excess of 6 meters (20 feet), known to roam the waters of False Bay, located barely thirty minutes from Cape Town. They made a trip to one of her favorite haunts, a seal colony in False Bay.

On that first trip they witnessed a shark attacking a seal less than 10 meters from their boat. A great new area for shark research and viewing had been discovered. In the four years following their discovery, they've learned much about the sharks and ecosystem of the area. They are eager to share their knowledge with you.

Dates: The best months to see great whites are April through September.

Price: $375+ per day, depending on time of year and number of days

Shark diving at False Bay, Cape TownDescription: 1 to 10 day diving and photographic excursions are available. Expeditions generally start in Simon's Town, where your day begins with a briefing on boat safety and emergency procedures. Just as the sun starts to color the sky, we leave the harbor and cruise to any of the various shark sites around False Bay. The trip to a dive site usually takes about 25 minutes, but this may vary due to weather and other environmental conditions. Since Apex Shark Expeditions is one of only two licensed operators in False Bay, you're almost guaranteed a good show.

Itinerary: If you want to dive, we'll run you through dive procedures and the basics of shark behavior. (A divemaster constantly keeps watch over the cage. Your safety is our primary concern.) Those who are not diving can enjoy the view and take photos from the boat. There is so much to see. In late winter, False Bay is a haven for southern right whales and we have sightings almost on every trip. Seals abound and their playful nature makes them a treat to watch. Birds, such as cormorants, gannets, gulls and penguins are seen everyday. While you're diving or photographing the amazing scenery, we'll be tagging and collecting data. (You're welcome to help!)

Shark Diving: False Bay, Cape TownOne Day + Trips: On one day trips, we collect you from your hotel pretty early and transport you to Simons Town, where you are briefed before going to sea.

Ten Day Trips: Our Great White Shark expeditions at sea generally start at dawn so we reach the island just as the sun is rising, the best time to observe predator prey interactions. Once an appropriate anchoring spot is secured we begin to collect environmental and hopefully shark data. Lunch is available at around noon. Weather and shark activity dependant, we may stay till dusk, although we are usually home by 2:00pm. Weather statistics predict that on average, 7 out of 10 days meet the minimum conditions for going to sea. However, it is at the discretion on the skipper of the boat to decide if conditions are suitable for sea work. As an alternative, time will be spent exploring Cape Town's many world-famous landmarks and the well-known Cape winelands. There is also an excellent golf course 5 minutes away from your accommodations. Our ten-day adventures include lodging in Simon's Town, some meals, airport transfers, tours, dive equipment and more.

Vessel: Our 36 ft catamaran has a reputation for stability and comfortable cruising, even in unpleasant sea conditions. We are in constant radio and cellular communication with the mainland and using Global Positioning System (GPS) we can take you to the best shark sites with pin-point accuracy. There is ample standing/sitting room available and with good vantage points for all-round vision.

Shark Diving in specially designed shark viewing cagesThe Dives: You will be diving with Great White Sharks in a square mesh galvanized steel cage, approved by the White Shark cage diving code of conduct. The cage is 1.5 meters in diameter and 2.1 meters high and has several viewing ports that allows for viewing, photography and filming. The cage is securely attached to the boat and has an emergency air supply. Entering and exiting from the cage is easy and will be explained to you before the dive. A dive master will assist you at all times. With a maximum of twelve divers on the boat at any time, you can pretty much dive till you've had enough.

Dive Success: On our one day shark diving expeditions you can expect a 95% success rate of seeing Great White Sharks between April and September. During the warmer summer months, the sharks are more dispersed as they hunt for fish, therefore much more difficult to find. However, with 7 years of experience we still manage an 80 % success rate from October to March.

Shark Guarantee: Although we go to the best places at the best times of year, we cannot guarantee you will see sharks. If we are unable to go to sea due to weather conditions, etc., a great tour of the Cape will be substituted.

Your trip will benefit the Great White Shark: The money you pay to come on our expeditions helps to pay for our research. Over the last 9 years, we have tagged and released some 1350 fish and sharks, many from commercial fishing operations that would have died without our intervention. We have close ties to the Sea Fisheries Research Institute, South African Museum's Shark Research Center and Oceanographic Research Institute.

FAQ

Do I need to be certified?
All cage diving is on snorkel so a dive certification is not required. If you dive with prescription lenses in your mask or want your own personal/favorite mask, bring it along, otherwise we supply everything from the mask to the weight belt. All expedition members also have to fill out an indemnity form.

What if I don't want to dive?
You can join us and observe the sharks and marine life from our boat.

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