2018 Itinerary 1 Day Great White Encounter out of Simon’s Town.
Please remember, this is purely a “suggested itinerary”, and we can add to it any which way you like.
Best time of year: Although we conduct trips from mid-January through mid-September, the best & “peak” seasons where there is more “action” is from mid-May to mid-September.
Please note, the Great White Sharks have not read this timetable and have no idea where they are meant to be and when!
This is a one day expedition out of Simon’s Town in False Bay. The Simon’s Town harbour is about 1 hour’s drive in peak traffic from The Waterfront in Cape Town.
You will be contacted by either, phone / e-mail / SMS at your hotel / B&B on the afternoon / evening before your scheduled Great White expedition to advise you of the pick-up time from your hotel / B&B the following morning, and to give you the expected weather conditions. Please check for messages with the front desk / receptionist.
On the morning of your expedition you will be collected from your hotel/B&B at about 05h30 and you should arrive at Simon’s Town Harbour at about 06h30, depending on traffic. After the briefing and safety talk you set sail for Seal Island. Seal Island is about 14 km’s or a 20 minute boat ride from Harbour and lies within False Bay, meaning it is reasonably well protected from the elements. Once in the vicinity of the Island a decoy is deployed and the skipper trawls the area towing the decoy trying to induce a “natural predation” or breaching Great White – “air jaws”. Depending on animal activity, at about 09h00 / 10h00 the boat is anchored off Seal Island and the cage lowered into the water for Great White Shark cage diving. The crew immediately begin to chum the water with mashed sardine and fish oil in order to attract the Great White’s to the dive boat and they then throw out the bait in order to hold the shark’s attention. Once a shark is attracted to the boat by the chum and bait the divers enter the cage and the bait is towed towards the cage allowing the divers within the cage to get up close and personal with the Great White Shark. You do not have to be certified in order to enter the cage as this activity is done on snorkel. It is our experience that the exhaust bubbles of scuba tend to frighten the sharks away. However, there is a “hookah” system on the boat for those who want to use a regulator, but this is not recommended.
At about 11h30 the skipper up anchors and heads back to Simon’s Town Harbour. The day’s activity ends by between 12h00 and 13h00 depending on shark activity and you will be back at your hotel by 14h00. The rest of the afternoon is free.
Also… you’ve come this far to dive. Why not take advantage of being in Africa and spend 3 days on safari in the world famous Kruger National Park. We have a 2 night / 3 day safari special for all divers travelling with “Dive The Big 5”.
Cost of a 1 day Great White Expedition excluding transfers.
Cost of a 1 day Great White Expedition including transfers from a guest house in Simon’s Town.
Cost of a 1 day Great White Expedition including transfers from a guest house in Cape Town.
- Full refund in the event of the dive being cancelled due to bad weather.
- Should the weather forecast be favourable when you depart Cape Town, and on arrival at Simon’s Town Harbour, the dive is cancelled due to the weather you will receive a full refund on the cost of the dive, but you will be liable for the transfer fee.
- Should we launch the boat for the dive and during the course of the dive the skipper decides to return to shore due to unfavourable weather conditions, there will be no refund.
- The skipper’s decision is final and is based purely on your safety and comfort.
Please note: The Great White Shark activity takes place on or just below sea level. Full scuba gear is not required for shark cage diving, as the cage is attached to the side of the boat and no diving certification or experience is necessary. Your head and shoulders are above sea level until the dive master gives the call to let you know that the Great Whites are approaching. You then submerge your head and shoulders below sea level for the close sightings of the Great Whites, as they swim towards and past the cage. Snorkel equipment and breath holding are the most popular options selected as the scuba gear sounds are found to be distracting to the extremely sound sensitive Great Whites. A “hookah” system, where air is supplied to the divers in the cage, is available on request, should you so wish. When you are not in our 6 man cage, refreshments are enjoyed while viewing the Great Whites and other sea life from the viewing deck.
Itinerary and prices are subject to change without notice.
Other “bits and pieces” of interest:
The cage is a 6 man / woman / person cage, subject to change, and because the total maximum of people licenced to be carried on our boat is 18 including crew, cage time is never a problem. Divers spend roughly 20 minutes in the cage during their first dive session; thereafter divers take turns for subsequent dive sessions. Exact timing differs from day to day, depending on the number of divers on the boat and shark activity.
Great White trips out of Simon’s Town are aimed more at the purist and shark lover wanting to spend more “intimate” time with the animals, say two to three days at least, opposed to the trips out of Gansbaai, which are aimed more at the “day tripper”, been there, done that, got the T-shirt.