Should you kiss animals? No.
Should you kiss WILD animals? Definitely No!
Should you kiss a Great White Shark? Yes, why not?
This might going to happen, especially if you are visiting Cape Town in Winter. And this is actually what you should go for!
The best time to see Great White Sharks is the winter in the Southern hemisphere, and Cape Town is the place to be. Not directly in Cape Town, but in Gansbaai, a 2 hour ride away, where the cold currents from the Antarctica hits on two tiny islands. Dyer Island and Geyser Island. This is where the seals are hunting for sardines and other fishes and this is where the sharks are going to hunt seals.
This is where you will find Shark Alley!
This is where tour operators like Marine Dynamics offer shark diving tours and you shouldn't be afraid of joining one of those, to see this wild and deadly animal in action!
Wild and deadly? Yeaph...if you are a seal!
Did you know...
- that there are actually only 5 - 10 fatal shark attacks per year worldwide?
- but 100.000.000 sharks get killed by human per year!
- there are 30 fatal attacks per year from domestid dogs in the USA only!
- 150 deaths from elephants per year
- 400 deaths from toaster electrocution per year
- 32 % of all shark species are threatened with extinction
- 145 countries worldwide exchange shark products
Back to the fun part... Kissing sharks!
After a short boat ride, on which you might even see whales, you'll reach the spot with all the sharks. Don't be worried about the cold water, as the crew will provide you with thick wet suits. You also don't need to be afraid to be in the water with the Great White Sharks, as you will be surrounded by a cage... as long you enter that and not just jump into the water. :)
The first splash might be a bit cool, but your body will quickly warm the water up in the wet suit and then it's time to concentrate to see an amazing animal!
Get a good deep breath and get your head underwater!
Someone of the crew got a bait, which he'll throw in the water in front of you. That will attract a couple of sharks. Usually the sharks don't get it and instead of getting tired of getting scammed each single time, each single day, they are coming back for it. Luckily!
That way the sharks will swim... actually it's more floating... just a few centimeters in front of you.
If you are lucky, a shark will come so close by, that the fin touches the cage and this is what happened to me, the fin was centimeters away from my face! That was so close, that it felt like I could have kissed the shark!
But I didn't! ;-)
Just a few minutes later, one shark seemed to be a bit more hungrier than the others and really went for the bait. The crew member pulled in the line, where it was attached and the shark hunted it. A second later, the shark hit the cage with its full body.
Do I have to mention that quite a few started screaming?
That screaming very quickly turned over into exciting, as the shark didn't went for the tourists in the cage, but for the bait.
Marine Dynamics operates the biggest boat in the area, which holds a capacity of around 40 tourists. I usually prefer smaller tours, but must say that I was surprised how easily it all went along. Each group in the cage had around 20 minutes in the water, which was good. With a bit of luck, you can join a second time, if there is space left, but most will probably prefer not to get into the cold wet suit again.
After the dive, you will probably still have the time to see Dyer Island, which around 50.000 seals call their home.
And then it is time to head back to the harbour and who knows, maybe you spot a whale on the way back.