Shark Diving in South Africa: Answering your Questions

One of the most adventurous underwater excursions you can experience is swimming up close to sharks. Shark diving in South Africa is the ideal diving expedition for the more advanced diver and depending on the time of year you choose to dive, you could see tiger sharks, blue and mako sharks, hammerhead sharks or sand tiger sharks.

Most divers who embark on a shark dive in South Africa have already done a few previous dives and sort of know what to expect. But not everyone has dived in South African waters, and not everyone has swum with the sharks. So it’s understandable that you might have a few questions you want to have answered.

We’ve done a question and answer article before, but in this one, we are looking specifically at shark diving in South Africa.

tiger shark diving south africa

What is shark diving?

It is exactly what the name says; it’s scuba diving with sharks. There are many species of sharks that are quite harmless even though they might be quite curious about divers once they are in the water. Diving with ragged tooth sharks, blue and mako sharks, tiger sharks and hammerheads are all common dives on South Africa’s East Coast.

There is a vast difference between shark diving and shark cage diving. Shark cage diving is reserved for those who want to see Great White Sharks. Along with a cage being a part of the package, divers don’t need to be experienced in order to do this dive.

Prices for shark dives can vary, depending on the company you book your dive with.

Where can you go shark diving?

To just give the answer “South Africa” would be extremely unhelpful, so let’s break down the best destinations in the country:

  • Aliwal Shoal: With a baited dive, you could see Sand Tiger Sharks, Zambezi Sharks, Tiger Sharks, or all three species. If you have a non-baited dive, you could spot Sand Tiger Sharks, Grey Nurse Sharks, Dusky Sharks and Black Tip Reef Sharks.
  • Protea Banks: Both baited dives and non-baited dives take place here. Some of the sharks you might see here include Zambezi Sharks, Tiger Sharks and Blacktip Reef Sharks. Hammerheads can also be spotted here!
  • Cape Town area: If you want to experience shark cage diving in South Africa, you’ll find the best destinations are clustered in the Cape area. You can also experience the other type of “diving” in the Cape. South Africa is well known for its shark breaching sightings, and the Cape is the best place to see this.
hammerhead shark diving south africa

Is shark diving dangerous for sharks?

Quite the opposite actually. Shark diving has done a lot for conservation. Most tour operators are dedicated to shark conservation and would do nothing to endanger the sharks you will see. We only use responsible operators. We do plenty of research on the operators before working with them. Shark diving not only helps the South African tourism industry but it also helps to fund the conservation efforts.

Who can go shark diving?

Shark diving in South Africa is guaranteed to be a deep dive. This makes it a dive for experienced, certified divers. For those who want to dive but don’t have the right experience, there is always shark cage diving. It is very important that you are more than just a little bit comfortable with scuba diving before you decide to book a shark dive!

If you have a few questions that were not touched on here, check out our FAQ page or get in touch with our team. We’ve been offering diving expeditions for more than 20 years and we can share all kinds of helpful advice.

Ready to dive with the sharks?


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