Oct 15

Cage Diving in Cape Town

Whenever I’m traveling I try to do something unique and something that people think of when they think of certain locations.  In South Africa I decided to do Cage Diving with sharks!

My day started with a morning pick up (these tours either have pickups around 5 AM or 8 AM) and a 2 hour drive to Gansbaai, where the diving is.

Once at Supreme Sharks we filled out our forms (they’re not liable for a shark eating us) and have a continental breakfast.  We also got suited up with wet suits.  After the group was ready we walked 2 blocks to our boat and set sail for the sharks.  The ride to the dive spot took about 15 minutes and was pretty bumpy, but it was a lovely setting along the coast.

Once docked we put on our wetsuits and waited…

While we waited there was a crew member who photographed, and another member who put chum in the water. After about 15 minutes sharks started to circle and after a few minutes of watching them we got the order to get in the cage. The cage is long and holds 8 people. It has an entrance on each end for easy loading. The top portion of the cage is above water and has a bar to hold onto (and push yourself down with). The good thing is that when they start loading the cage, it’s done quickly, this is good because it is REALLY REALLY cold! Once inside the cage you wait for direction from the crew, this typically comes as “down and left” telling you where the shark is.  After the sharks went by a few times they had our group switch with the other half of the group that was still on the boat.  I was happy when it was time to switch, I felt like I was constantly being jostled around while in the cage from the natural motion of the ocean.

Once on the boat, I felt like I actually had a better view of the sharks, but the downside was the chum. It literally smells like shit and kinda looked worse.  This is the part where I almost got sick (from the smell, not the rocking of the boat) as well as several people who did get sick. From what I hear, this is not uncommon when cage diving.  Finally, after the second group finished we loaded up the cage on the boat and sailed back to town, I was never so happy to be on dry land again.

Back at the Supreme Shark HQ we had lunch, which I didn’t eat much of since I was still feeling ill. We also got to see (and purchase) the video and photos they took.  Then it was time for the 2 hour ride back to Cape Town.  The building did have facilities to change and even shower if you needed to.

What to wear: A bathing suit with easy to take off clothing, as well as a water proof camera. Also, bring a change of clothes for the ride back to the hotel. Towels were provided.

Do I recommend Cage Diving? Well either you’re interested or you’re not.  If you’re not, then don’t do it.  If you are, then yes, I think it’s a fun experience. I felt totally safe and if you don’t feel safe going in the cage once on board, you don’t have to. But at least you’ll get some nice views of the sharks.  But, be warned that you may feel sick on the boat, if you do, stay outside and breath in the fresh air away from the chum and sick passengers.