The deep blue waters of False Bay are intoxicating. You scan the depths and watch the waves as you head out into False Bay for shark cage diving in Cape Town. In every sharky location, a diverse abundance of wildlife surrounds, Southern Right whales exhaling through their blowholes, comedic African Penguins and thousand-strong pods of Common Dolphins patrolling for schools of fish. Yet the species you yearn to see most are always solitary; evolutionary masterpieces perfectly adapted to their habitat. Without warning – a movement catches your eye, the faintest shimmer, the merest glint of white teeth and an agile, powerful body. Could it really be? You have waited so long to see one. The incredible shark species found in these waters include the Bronze Whaler shark, the seven gill shark, Blue and Mako shark, together with the occasional sighting of a Great white shark. No matter the species – your perspective will have been changed forever, way beyond your wildest imagination.
We see a variety of shark species throughout the year according to the seasons, weather, water temperature and other factors. Trips are confirmed dependent on weather and not species dependent.
White Pointer II is the name of our 32 ft. catamaran. This boat was specifically built for the purpose of working, viewing and diving with sharks in the waters of the Western Cape. She complies with all safety requirements and shark permit conditions. She carries all the necessary safety equipment and is certified on an annual basis by SAMSA, the authority responsible for maritime safety in South Africa. We are committed to achieving and maintaining a high standard of health and safety both on land and at sea. We will always strive to set the standards of a safe boat-based operation, going beyond our legal obligations to manage any potential risks effectively and provide a safe environment for all involved.
- She takes a maximum of 12 guests on board, the smallest trips in the industry
- Built with photography in mind, the vessel allows guests 360-degree walk-around opportunities, as well as a fly-bridge for alternate angles
- The upper viewing deck comfortably accommodates 6 guests
- She is powered by two 300 HP, 4-stroke Suzuki engines. These match a quiet, stable ride with speed and fuel efficiency thereby saving on our carbon footprint
- She boasts a fully enclosed wrap-around cabin. The curved windscreens offer superb visibility from inside the cabin and the cushioned seats offer comfort
- Flush toilet
- Dry storage lockers
Hygiene and Safety
- Our boat surfaces and frequently touched areas are sanitized before you board the vessel, as well as during and after every excursion
- Hand sanitizer is conveniently positioned aboard
- All items utilized by you on board will be appropriately sanitized and cleaned during excursions
- Handling of any necessary equipment on board will be carried out by the skipper and crew and not by our guests
- The crew are registered tour guides trained in first-aid, fire-fighting and are subjected to stringent monthly safety drills
- Safety equipment includes life jackets, first-aid kit, radio and cellular phones
Shark Cage Diving – the Safe Way
Our shark cage is constructed with galvanized steel and certified by a registered engineer. Further to this the South African cage-diving industry is regulated by a code of conduct and regulations from the Marine and Coastal Management DFFE – Department of Forest and Fisheries. Our equipment meets all the required safety standards and the experience of our crew ensures that you’re in good hands.
No experience is required to shark cage dive. We use the breath-hold technique as visibility can be limited and eyeball time with the animals underwater usually only lasts a few seconds at a time. Our experienced and professional crew will give you direction to ensure maximum shark viewing whilst cage diving. A hookah scuba system is available upon request. Please indicate when making your booking.
If you don’t want to get wet, the boat-based viewing is excellent as many of the sharks swim at the surface. Our surface viewing deck offers 360-degrees view. and our enclosed cabin offers cover and protection from the elements. As the boat-based viewing is equal if not better than the cage dive, divers and non-divers pay the same price for the shark trip.
- Wetsuits, masks and snorkels are disinfected, rinsed in fresh water and dried before every use.
- Each guest will receive equipment that has been thoroughly disinfected and rinsed
- Upon removal of wetsuits, booties, gloves, masks and snorkels, all items are immediately put into a disinfectant solution
- Each piece of equipment is only used once per day
- Guests are not allowed to share any equipment or towels that belong to Apex Shark Expeditions.
- All shark cage diving is done under the supervision of an experienced crew who have first aid & oxygen management, scuba & commercial skippers’ qualifications and expert knowledge of the behaviour of sharks around the cage
- The cage is designed to float, leaving a freeboard of about 30cm (about one foot). The cage is solidly attached to the side of the boat by two thick ropes that prevent the cage from drifting away and equipped with several independent flotation devices which keep it buoyant
- Our cage has been designed to ensure there are no sharp edges on which a shark can injure itself in the event one should touch the cage accidentally
- The shark cage we use is a surface cage. It is not a submersible shark cage. Our crews are close to the cage at all times and will ensure any guest in distress is quickly and safely removed from the cage.
- You may end your shark cage dive at any time as we operate surface cages only. Your head is never more than half a meter below the surface and you can decide when and how long you want to stay underwater
- Specially designed doors ensure ease of access for divers. Getting into the cage is as simple as stepping off the boat
- Our cage comfortably accommodates a GoPro camera and is equipped with steel hand and foot bars inside offering grip and stability when filming
When making a booking for shark cage diving in Cape Town, South Africa, it is important to have you have realistic expectations.
If you want to see a specific shark, we’ll happily advise you on the best times to book for the best chance of seeing that shark species.
By being flexible, you have the best chance of great shark interactions rather than just a fleeting glimpse, if we only offered just one species. All of the species we focus on are large, powerful and active predators sure to give you an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- Bronze Whaler Shark
Seen all year round by our shark cage diving boats, the Bronze Whaler shark is a large and powerful predator. Reaching 3.3 meters (11 feet) long and weighing about 305 kilograms (672 lbs.) this is a fast-moving shark.
They are known to be somewhat aggressive to humans when they sense food or prey close by. And though they usually remain solitary, these sharks will often form groups to hunt prey more effectively.
They eat cephalopods like squid, cuttlefish, and octopus, also bony fish like catfish, salmon, tuna, sardines, and anchovies, then cartilaginous fish like dogfish sharks, stingrays, skates, electric rays, and sawfish.
They don’t typically hunt marine mammals, but they will feed on the carcass of dolphin when found. The South African population follows the famous Sardine Run every winter. This prey gathers in their millions and as a result, they attract a variety of predators including many species of shark.
In such cases where prey is abundant, these sharks will form groups and herd the sardines into a tight ball (bait-ball). They then take turns swimming through these balls with their mouths open to feed.
Though the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Bronze whaler as Near Threatened worldwide, their conservation status still varies depending on the specific locality in question.
- Seven gill Cow Shark
Seven gill sharks are mostly seen in our winter months, and are the ancient undertakers of the sea. Growing to at least 10 feet these massive sharks with their disproportionately large heads filled with heavily serrated hex comb-cutting teeth are the dinosaurs of the deep. There are few places on earth where they occur in shallow water with reasonable visibility. False Bay is one such location, and this is one of the great shark species we see on many of our expeditions into False Bay.
- Great White Shark
The Great white shark sightings have been highly variable since 2017. That said, due to our flexible options of booking all three Great white hotspots, we can advise on the best location that will give you the best great white shark encounter possible. Historically mid- June to end of July is the best time period for Great white sharks.
- Blue and Mako Shark
The Open Ocean is a realm that is visited by few. It is in this inky blue world of free ranging nomads where two great shark species, the Mako and Blue sharks, ply their trade. The scenery is breath-taking as you pass Cape Point and The Cape of Good Hope and before long, you see your first albatross as you head out into the open ocean. Curious, sometimes bold, and incredibly beautiful, Mako and Blue sharks are the apex predators of the open ocean.
- Common Dolphin
Common dolphin pods are usually seen from March to July and can be seen feeding on bait fish. We occasionally see Bottlenose and Dusky dolphins.
- Southern Right Whale
From August to November up to 3,500 Southern Right whales mate and give birth along the South African coast. Humpback whales may also occasionally be seen.
- Brydes Whale
These whales are endemic and can be seen all year round although they are shy and usually keep their distance.
- African Penguin
Boulders Beach is home to 3,500 African Penguins and we pass by this colony on our voyage to Cape Point. We often encounter hunting parties of penguins out on feeding sorties. There are a few African Penguins that live on Seal Island. It is rather odd to see these creatures living amongst so many seals. Perhaps they lost their way.
- Cape Fur Seal
Seal Island is home to 64 000 seals, shark activity and sea conditions allowing, you will have close views of this, the largest island- based seal colony in Africa as well as various sea birds (Cape cormorant, Bank cormorant, and Black Backed kelp gull).
Remember this is a guideline only and that sightings on any trip can never be guaranteed – we’re sure you’ll appreciate that working with sharks is as wild as it gets!
The day before confirmation and shark species will depend on weather conditions. All trips are confirmed weather dependent and are not shark species-dependent.
At Apex Shark Expeditions, we strive to offer the best and most professional shark cage diving and ecotourism experience in the world from the moment you make contact to long after your experience. We offer an unforgettable experience rather than just another trip!
40% of all Apex Shark Expeditions guests are repeat guests. Why? It is our personal, intimate and incredible educational experience our professional shark cage diving company and guides deliver.
As we operate with the smallest group size of any shark diving operation in the world, 12 guests only, this enables us to provide that one on one personal service to you, our guest.
The Best Shark Cage Diving in South Africa!
You have the power to make a difference when selecting your shark diving operator. Apex Shark Expeditions fights the fight for the Conservation of the shark.
If no sharks are seen, a voucher for a FREE return trip is issued
COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE
We have won the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award nine years in a row. Don’t take our word for it! Check our reviews to see why we have consistently been rated the number one shark cage diving company in Cape Town.
The award is the result of consistently great reviews from the people that matter the most — our guests.