scuba diving cape town

Being ‘eyeballed’ by a three metre shark gliding silently past your face is not the kind of experience you forget in a hurry.   However, depending on the time of year and with a little bit of luck, it is an experience that divers can commonly expect on our shark dives.

This isn’t a staged event with divers in a cage, this is a genuine scuba dive done in relatively shallow water (12m maximum making it a dive open to even novice divers) in a location bordered by kelp forest, with a sea bed of both rocky gullies and smooth sand patches.  The sharks prevalent in this area are Seven Gill Cowsharks;COW SHARK up to 3M of slow swimming predator named for their seven gill slits and identifiable by the absence of the front dorsal fin (the classic ‘shark’ fin).

All sharks are prehistoric, but the Cowsharks are the last survivors of an otherwise extinct branch of very early sharks which makes them the grand-daddies of the more ‘modern’ sharks that can also be seen on these dives; In particular, the Spotted Gully shark, a smaller and more lively species which can be seen amongst the rocks. Whilst Cowsharks specialise in making slow passes within reach of divers, the Spotted Gully shark is more nervous and tends to swim off. It’s possible that this is because whilst we think of the Gully sharks as modern relatives of the Cowshark, the Cowshark is more likely to think of them as lunch. The general rule is that by the time you have finished mouthing the word ‘wow’ and you think to point out the Gully shark to your buddy, the Gully has gone.

With the Cow Sharks, Gully sharks, and two types of shy shark also to be found amongst the kelp it’s not uncommon to surface having seen no less than four species of shark in one dive.