South Africans are a crazy bunch. Give them wild animals and they'll find ways to ride them or otherwise bond with them. Give them boats and the first thing they'll do is go looking for big fish to play with. And nothing excites them more then swimming with sharks. Give them free booze and ... okay, we won't got there.
Shark tourism started with the Great Whites of the Cape, which you can see from the confines of a cage. Then it was free swimming with Tiger, Bull and other sharks over the reefs of Aliwal Shoal in warm KwaZulu-Natal. Now the crazy couple who first documented the Amazing Flying Great Whites of False Bay are offering diving trips with mako and blue sharks in the very deep –and surprisingly warm – waters south of Cape Point.
Who Are These People?
Chris and Monique Fallows began documenting the breaching great white around Seal Island in False Bay 15 years ago, bringing this amazing phenomenon to world attention through their "air jaws" images. They are the only people offering free-diving trips to see pelagic - or free-swimming deep ocean species - up to 50 kilometers out to sea.
Their team meets you at Simon's Town Pier at 6:15 am for the briefing. Then you chug past Cape Point for one-and-half to two hours to locate the warm Agulhas current – which is where the big fish lurk, including giant tellow-fin tuna and marlin, although you are unlikely to see those speedy denizens.
What To Expect
It is necessary to chum to attract the sharks, but you'll be amazed as the big pelagic sharks swim right up to you. While not as big as the great white, the mako certainly does not stand back as it is the fastest shark in the sea. Coupled with its beautiful blue and silver colouring, it is truly a majestic creature.
A safety diver is always present, because all diving on these pelagic trips is done free (snorkelling) and not in cages. For added safety, only two guests are allowed in the water at a time. While the emphasis is on free diving, you can still view these beautiful sharks from the boat as they are very curious and often swim up and alongside the boat.
Who, How Much and How Long?
Apex Predators trips last from 6.30 am To 4 pm and costs R1,710 a person. The maximum allowed is six guests, and exclusive hire of the boat costs R9,000 a trip. Maximum of 6 guests.
Tel 082 364 2738