Great White Shark Cage Diving in Hermanus  |  Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa  |  So yes, today after over 20 years of dreaming about it and many Jaws movies in between, enough to scare the hell out of me, I did my own private Great White Shark Diving experience… yes of course in a cage.  Hermanus is located in the Western Cape region, only two hours drive from Cape Town. Consider to be the Whales Capital of South Africa, is also worldwide renown for being one of the few international spots for Great White Shark Diving.

We were picked up at the hotel in Hermanus by 7AM and transferred to Gansbaai where we spend the whole morning/afternoon diving with Great White Sharks. East of Hermanus and at the beginning of the Cape’s Garden Route, Gansbaai has become world famous because of its resident population of Great White Sharks.

Next to Dyer Island, which is a bird sanctuary 7km offshore, is a notorious stretch of water known as Shark Alley, probably the most filmed section of South Africa’s ocean. This is a favoured hunting ground for Great Whites, and is home to a large colony of Cape Fur Seals, the mainstay of their diet.

From 9AM, after a short security briefing and breakfast, we sailed off to our adventure. I must say that I LOVED it, but trust me my friends, the scariest part was not the Sharks itself, but the temperature of the water and the seasickness. For the first hour and a half, I was just playing up and down the boat saying I am fine….. but the worst came later, when I was not fine anymore. I think I have lost over 10 kilos, nauseous by the movement of the ship. Believe me after eating and drinking in Africa for over a month, I finally think I have gone back to my original weight of when I was 20 years old. But fully worth going through all this, in order to spend 30 amazing minutes in the cage joining one of the most beautiful creatures of the seas. Not to mention that around us, where two gigantic Southern Right Whales breaching over and over, and thousands of curious Seal swimming around. The tour lasted till 1PM.

The area is known for its unspoilt natural beauty, and small bays of white sandy beaches border vast areas of indigenous Cape Floral Kingdom. The cliff sides are littered with a network of small caves that are of significant archaeological and historical value. It is extremely rich in biodiversity.
The command voice was Divers Down or Divers to the Left. Then was when, once in the water you will go under the cold waters of Hermanus, to experience tour Great White Sharks close encounter experience. Such a stunning creature, which sadly enough is on the prime list of extinction species in the world, with an estimate of only 3,5000 sharks left in the world. scary right ? Even more scary was to hear that over 100 million sharks are killed, over better said slaughter a year, just to satisfy the demand for their fins and jaws, highly valuable in many parts of Asia.

Bait, Fish Oil and Seal Decoy in the water, groups of 10 sharks getting close to the boat, time to jump in the water and get into the Cage. Your heartbeats accelerate and you are set for a fantastic ride. Join their own environment and see then right on their habitat, over and over. I saw this jaws opening, felt one of their tales against my skin, when one of them got next to the cage holding the bait in his jaws. Just beyond real.
For this cage diving, I chose Gansbaai based Marine Dynamics. A crew, a full time knowledgeable Shark biologists, compromised and experienced skippers, and friendly guides. During the whole trip you feel in great hands, by their knowledge, experience and friendly service. The tour including transfers IN/OUT from/to Hermanus is ZAR 1350 (approx. USD 167) plus ZAR 300 (approx. USD 40) for the additional transfer to Cape Town.
I highly recommend this tour, but I will also warn anyone with seasickness issues, that even I, who have never had any incidents in the past, felt the effects for several hours. Keep this in mind since it might turn into a long afternoon in the sea that you might not enjoy at all. As for me, I have crossed out another item from my bucket list, enjoying the company of 10 Great White Sharks up close and personal. CM

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 This trip to South Africa and rest of Africa, has been flawlessly put together and coordinated by the expert hands of Rhino Africa Safaris. African based tour operator, with headquarters in Cape Town. Years of hands on experience in the region precede them, reason why I chose and trust them to be the partner for this African Experience. We both share the same philosophy, experiential travel and the concept of Been There Done That. Stay tuned, soon CM by Carlos Melia, and Rhino Africa Safaris will bring to you Small Gay Groups to Africa.