After arriving in South Africa less than 24 hours earlier, I was convinced to go great white shark cage diving with my new hostel friends. Pickup was at 3:30am, which is never an ideal time, especially after traveling for 35 hours from home on very little sleep, but I figured I’d be awake early anyway, due to the ten hour time difference. As it turned out, that was actually a very good idea.
We drove in the dark for about two hours from Cape Town to Gansbaai, a small fishing town on the Atlantic Ocean known for its great white shark population. The reason for the god awful pickup time is because the early morning is when the sharks are the most active.
Gansbaai is chilly, even in summer, so the cold water definitely wakes you up quickly! The shark cage was much smaller and narrower than expected. Six people at a time get suited up in a wetsuit to go in the shark cage for ten minutes. The visibility in the water was about 1-1.5m, but you can see the sharks really well from above the water. We got extremely lucky and saw nine sharks fairly quickly, the largest being 3.5m long. Sometimes, you can be out on the ocean for hours and not see many sharks. And it’s not as scary as it sounds (and I’m scared of sharks)!
Shark cage diving is a definite must to experience while in South Africa!