Since its premiere in 1998, the Discovery Channel has made waves in a week-long TV programming event dedicated to sharks, now an iconic week in popular culture. This Shark Week expedition in South Africa is designed for Shark Week fans and lovers of Great white sharks who want to visit and explore the historical sites associated with these amazing shark documentaries.
The four famous Great white shark hotspots in South Africa are False Bay, Gansbaai, Mossel Bay and Robberg. Under the expert guidance of Apex Shark Expeditions, co-host and narrator of many of the Air Jaws documentaries and other shows seen on Shark Week, we’ll take you to the locations for a behind the scenes tour. Meet the Great white shark* and the shark whisperers* who have starred in these shows over the last two decades.
* Subject to availability.
Seal Island is a small island located 3.5 miles off the northern beaches of False Bay, near Cape Town, in South Africa. The island is so named because of the great number of Cape fur seals that occupy it. It is home to Cape and Bank Cormorants and a few African penguins. A radar mast was built on the island during World War II by a crew who lived in prefabricated huts for the duration of the construction but this tower gradually succumbed to corrosion and was blown over in a winter storm in 1970. All that remains of it is rusty, twisted metal. Some rock inscriptions made by sealers in the 1930s are still evident.
The dense population of seals at certain times of the year attracts the seal’s main predator, the Great white shark. What makes Seal Island and the adjacent waters famous is it provides rare opportunities for those who wish to witness attacks by Great white sharks on the Cape fur seal and to observe social interactions amongst creatures of both species. The island is well known for the interesting way the sharks grab their prey: a shark launching an attack will come up from underneath and hurl itself out of the water with the seal in its mouth. The last couple of years has seen a decline in Great white shark in this area however when we are not seeing Great White sharks, we are seeing other species of shark including the Sevengill shark.
Mossel Bay is a coastal village and harbour on the world famous Garden Route, some 400km from Cape Town. The origin of the name Mossel Bay (the Bay of Mussels) has to do with the ascendancy of the Dutch shipping merchants in the late 16th and the early 17th Centuries. Seal Island is just 2km off the harbour. It’s a natural island where the seals are protected from culling. The island is only 100m long and 50m wide and there are about 4 000 seals living there currently. The adult seals generally move from this tiny island towards the west coast in search of more food. This location delivers good breaching behaviour as well as cage diving with Great white sharks.
Robberg Peninsula, Plettenburg Bay
Eight kilometres from Plettenberg Bay, a pretty peninsula named the Robberg points like a finger into the ocean. On its western flanks wave’s pound like fists against rugged rust-coloured cliffs while on the eastern side the sea is mostly calm. The nearby sounds of waves, gulls and seals enhance an atmosphere already heavy with magic. Here whales like to play, as do dolphins, seagulls, seals and of course, Great white sharks. We’ll stand atop Robberg and peer down to the Great white sharks as they patrol in search of seals. We may be fortunate to witness a predatory event.
Dyer Island is the largest of a group of islands about 5 miles offshore from Gansbaai and less than that from Danger Point peninsula. It is named after Samson Dyer, an emigrant from the USA to the Cape Colony in 1806, who lived on the island collecting guano which he sold to mainlanders as fertilizer. The island is home to a declining colony of African Penguins (ca. 5000 individuals in 2015).
Geyser Rock is a smaller island nearby, and is home to around 60,000 Cape fur seals.
The shallow channel between the two islands is famously known as “Shark Alley”. Many a shark documentary has been shot in this location with the likes of Andre Hartman and another well know personality, Mike Rutzen. Mike has spent more time free diving with Great white sharks than possibly any other person and is one of the few people in the world that understands and responds to Great white shark behaviour and body language. Both Andre and Mike still live in the small town of Kleinbaai close to Shark Alley This location is usually good for cage diving with Great white sharks.
False Bay In Simon’s Town
Located on the mountainside of Simon’s Town, the Grosvenor Guest House offers guests 4 Star accommodations with stunning views across the bay and harbour. A short walk into town gives you access to our shark centre and launch site.
Each guest will have their own on-suite room. Facilities include Wi-Fi, Satellite TV, a safe, laundry services and a well equipped kitchen.
Mossel Bay on the Garden Route
Mossel Bay’s Point Village Hotel is located a few meters from the Indian Ocean, at the end of Mossel Bay’s peninsula, and 1 km from Mossel Bay harbour and town centre. The spacious rooms offer partial bay views.
All accommodation options include a flat-screen TV. Standard rooms have a small kitchenette, and the self-catering apartments have a fully equipped kitchen.
Gansbaai in the Overberg Region
Situated above the Gansbaai Harbour, the 4 star Saxon Lodge offer guests uninterrupted views of Walker Bay and the Hottentots Hollands Mountains and the opportunity to observe a working harbour in action as trawler boats leave and return with their catch.
The rooms are luxury on-suite with an on-site pub and restaurant, splash pool, communal lounge and Wi-Fi.
Accommodation options are subject to availability.
Both The Grosvenor and Saxon Lodge are home to Shark Week crew when they have been filming on location.
Live Shark Week just as the film crew do.
Cost upon request
Wildlife Sightings Cannot Be Guaranteed.
We Will However, Give You Realistic Expectations before Making A Booking.