Great White Shark Breaching

Great White Shark Breaching

One of the most exciting tours on offer for White shark encounters, is our combination trip which consist of Great White Shark Natural Predation, Great White Shark Breaching and then Cage Diving, all in one trip. Seal Island in False Bay is the only venue in the world that can offer such a combination trip with a high degree of success during our peak season which is from mid-March through to mid-September. This trip is only a short 45 minute drive from centre of Cape Town.

It is the place to be, if you are an enthusiast and are interested to witness the white shark in totality. Allow us to guide you there and to give you an intimate insight of the natural behaviour of Great White sharks in their natural and unspoilt environment and the amazing predator/prey interaction between white sharks and cape fur seals. Seal Island in False Bay is home to the flying white sharks as portrayed in the very popular, "Air Jaws", that was shot on location. If you see these animals at work, hunting for their prey, it will leave you in no doubt why they stand at the top of the food chain in our oceans.

THE DAY AT SEA:

We gather at our crew house in Simonstown (only 45 minutes from Cape Town) for coffee, muffins, admin and a briefing while it is still dark at + - 06h00. The boat then departs for Seal Island at + - 06h30 to arrive approximately 45 minutes later while the oncoming day just starts allowing us to have a good all round view of the area surrounding the Island. It is during this early period of dawn whilst the light is still weak and light penetration into the water is still bad, that the sharks make the most of the prevailing conditions. We usually spend around an hour just hovering around, waiting, as the light grows, to see some surface action. The moment we see action, we race over to get a close-up view and to witness a natural predation taking place.

Because of the very unique topographical nature of the sea bottom around Seal Island, the sharks go down to the bottom in waters ranging between 20 and 35 meters deep and patrol the outer perimeters of the Island and adjacent area, waiting for Cape Fur seals to either leave the Island to go and feed, or to return to the Island to go and rest after a long hard hunt. Once a shark then either see's or senses an overhead swimming seal that is swimming on the surface, it will rush up from the deep to attack the seal with stealth, surprise and speed, its momentum causing it to sometimes fly 2.5 meters high completely out of the water. This style of hunting often results in incredible dogfights on the water surface between a white shark and its fleeing prey. In many cases the very nimble and acrobatic Cape fur seals, escape the initial attack.

But sometimes, even their best efforts cannot keep them safe from escaping the chasing and hungry white shark in hot pursuit. It is a real privilege to witness nature, at its best. 

After spending some time attempting to see natural predations taking place close-up, we put our own "Seal" into the water and tow it + - 20 to 30 meters behind the boat. This then often results in the sharks mistakenly attacking our decoy "Seal" at full speed from below, resulting them to BREACH the water + - 30 meters behind the boat. This is an amazing sight to see and will leave you gasping for air. Obviously this also affords incredible photographic opportunities for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

After about an hour of attempting to get a breach, we usually go on anchor, put a minor scent trail in the water, attract a shark/s to the boat, lower the cage and commence with surface viewing around the boat and the actual cage dive. Trip duration is usually around 6 hours.

This combination trip in other words allows our guests to see the sharks in all its glory and what it is capable of, not only viewing them from the inside of a cage, therefore the popularity thereof.

THE BOAT HAS:

  • SAMSA (South African Marine Safety Association) - Surveyed annually
  • MCM permit to operate as an Shark Cage Diving Operation
  • Qualified skipper, dive master and Level ll medic on board
  • All diving equipment required for cage dive

MEALS:

  • Snacks on Boat
  • Chips
  • Water (Still and Sparkling)
  • Fruit
  • Coke and Diet Coke

VIDEO:

A videographer will join you on your cage diving trip for the day and film all the action that takes place. After which you can view the DVD and decide if you would like to purchase it.

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • Full day of breaching, cage diving, surface viewing
  • Personal tour guide for the day
  • Snacks, coffee/tea, cold drinks
  • All diving equipment, including wetsuits
  • Towels

PACKAGE EXCLUDES:

  • DVD of the day
  • UnrealDive Clothing

 COST:

  • From R 2,100pp (Around U$ 210* - calculated at an exchange rate of ZAR 10 to USD 1. For the current exchange rate click here.)
  • Transfers from Cape Town are available at R350pp. Pick up and drop will be at your hotel or any other address in the Cape Town area.

VIEWING SEASON: 

The Great White Shark Breaching at Seal Island is very seasonal. We only operate at Seal Island between May and Mid-September. During the rest of the year we would suggest that you Book Your Great White Shark Expedition at our Shark Alley location, as we have great white shark sightings year-round at Shark Alley (Gansbaai).

WATER AND WEATHER CONDITIONS:

  • During the high season the water temperature will be about 15C or 59F.
  • Visibility is usually 6 - 8 metres, but it can go up to 12 - 15 metres on a good day and down to 2 - 3 metres on a bad day. The visibility is better during the high season.

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING WITH YOU FOR THE DAY:

  •  Waterproof jacket, warm clothes, hat
  • Sun block
  • Swimming costume for underneath wetsuits (if diving)
  • Camera.
  • Underwater cameras (disposable) are recommended, and are available at the harbour curio shop or at most camera stockists.

Image Gallery

Click on the thumbnails below to show large image.

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