Great white shark breaching , cage diving in Gansbaai South Africa

© Chris Fallows, Apex Expeditions

Encounter a giant of the deep Shark cage dive

The essence of the experience

The full day adventure begins at the quaint coastal village of Gaansbaai, in the Overberg district, off the coast of the Western Cape, two hours away from Cape Town. Savour the clean simplicity of the Great White House, where a decadent breakfast awaits divers, before heading off for a spine-tingling, adrenalin-filled, action-packed day. As safety is paramount, divers are given a brief introductory talk by a dedicated marine biologist, outlining welfare protocols, possible encounter scenarios, the general behaviour required from divers and expected behaviour from great whites. Next, head off to be fitted with a custom life-jacket, wet suit and waterproof jacket, which fully equip you for the journey ahead.

Sail out to the notorious Shark Alley, home to the largest population of great white sharks found in the world. The alley is a narrow channel of water that runs between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, boasting well over 50 000 Cape fur seals that entice the great whites to scan the depths and the surface in eager anticipation of easy prey. This adventure is ideal for thrill-seekers, shark aficionados and nature enthusiasts. For those who wish to remain on board, the great whites remain in clear view from the viewing deck, barely under the surface of the foamy sapphire water, often drumming their large noses against the boat’s exterior and even breaching during the summer season. The snout of the great white is its greatest feature, covered in sensory cells that can detect odours and blood from kilometres away. Divers are lowered into the water in large, secure steel cages, barely a metre (three feet) under the water. Look deep into the black eyes of the apex predator that reigns over the Western Cape coast, fully aware that its presence demands the utmost respect and reverence. Marvel at the heart-pounding experience of being face-to-face with a mighty great white shark, protected only by the steel rungs of a submerged cage.