Monthly Archives: May 2016

Witness Nature’s Greatest Spectacle – An Airborne One Tonne Shark Right Next to Your Boat.

6333_1165417530299_1073700704_30498983_2720607_n

There’s no greater sight than a 1 tonne Great White Shark launching itself out of the water, right by your boat, in hungry pursuit of a seal.  Shark Diving Unlimited in Gansbaai, South Africa runs breaching trips from May to August each year so that you can witness this spectaculr behaviour.

Breaching is thought to be part of the Great White Shark’s hunting behaviour and only occurs in the South African winter months.  It is thought that they only exhibit this activity in one place in the world, Gansbaai, two hours South of Cape Town.   During winter visibility is excellent in this region and tours are especially popular with photographers and those who want to enjoy the majesty of these animals but don’t want to get their feet wet.

Breaching trips head out at first light and last approximately 2-3 hours.  An artificial seal is towed behind the boat to entice this apex predator to breach and guests then brace themselves for this rare spectacle with cameras at the ready.  During their visit guests are treated to breakfast, snacks on board and a light lunch after the trip.

Mike Rutzen, well known shark behaviourist, conservationist and owner of Shark Diving Unlimited, was the first person in the world to witness this behaviour from both above and below the water in his documentary Great White Shark: A Living Legend.

The first time I saw this behaviour my heart skipped a beat, it is truly magnificent and right up there with observing  lions hunting  or fighting.  The great white shark is worth a lot when slaughtered for its jaws and teeth, but alive it is truly the greatest sight

Great White Sharks are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List and are primarily being threatened by baited hooks, which are used by the government to protect swimming beaches, by hooking (and in most cases killing) sharks.  Poaching for the shark’s valuable jaws and teeth is also a huge problem in the preservation of this species.

Shark Diving Unlimited uses most of its profits to fund scientific research, in collaboration with Dr. Sara Andreotti, a marine biologist at Stellenbosch University.  Together, they have been attempting to preserve the great white shark through a series of studies on their behaviour and genetics.

Shark Breaching trips are  10 000 ZAR per boat ride for 1-8 people and the cost is split between all the guests on any given trip.   It is also possible to book an exclusive breaching trip for 10 000 ZAR.  In addition, those wishing to go shark cage diving can do so all year round at a cost of  1500 ZAR.  Return transfers from Cape Town are 450 ZAR per person return.

To book please email us at info@sharkdivingunlimited.com or call us all hours: +27 (0) 82 441 4555