The first response a person gets when you talk about scuba diving in South Africa is, “I would love to do a cage dive with the Great White Sharks in Cape Town”.
What most people don’t realise is that this is not the only way to enjoy scuba diving with sharks. You could also do a baited shark dive without a cage at Aliwal Shoal where you could encounter a variety of shark species in just a single dive; such as Bull Shark, Tiger Shark, Ragged Tooth Shark. This is a dive for the more adventurous among us, but it is truly an unforgettable experience to be surrounded with as much as 20-30 sharks!
In Cape Town you can do a dive in a beautiful kelp forest where you could encounter the pre-historic looking Seven Gill Cow Shark, as well as the Shy Shark and Pyjama Shark.
And what about swimming with the biggest fish in world which also happens to be a shark. Yes, I’m talking about the Whale Shark!There is even the possibility to go on a dive and find yourself in the middle of a school of Hammerhead Sharks that is so many in numbers, it will block out the sun.
From the 400 species of sharks in the world, 100 of them you would find in South Africa alone. Diving with sharks is completely safe as long as you follow a few standard rules. So, if you only want to interact with them behind the bars of a cage, you might as well just go to an aquarium!
#1 – GREAT WHITE SHARK
A Great White will lose about 35,000 teeth in its lifetime.
#2 – WHALE SHARK
The spots on whale sharks are as unique to them as finger prints are to us.
#3 – HAMMERHEAD SHARK
Hammerhead Sharks can sense the heartbeat of a human from several miles away.
#4 – BULL / ZAMBEZI SHARK
Bull / Zambezi Sharks are known to swim in both salt water and fresh water.
#5 – TIGER SHARK
Tiger Sharks will eat anything it thinks may be food. Even garbage like car license plates!
#6 – Broad-nosed Sevengill Cowshark
Cow Sharks are the only shark species that hunt in packs. That’s why they are also known as the wolves of the sea.
#7 – RAGGED TOOTH / SAND SHARK
Unlike all other shark species that uses the oil in their liver to control their buoyancy, Ragged Tooth Sharks gulp air from the surface into their stomachs to control their buoyancy
#8 – WHITETIP / SILVERTIP REEF SHARK
A Whitetip Reef Shark can survive up to six weeks without eating.
#9 – BLACKTIP REEF SHARK
During 2008, DNA evidence confirmed that a female Blacktip Reef Shark fertilised her own egg impregnating herself without the help of a male.
#10 – THRESHER SHARK
The long tail of a Thresher Shark (which can be as long as the total body length), is used to stun their prey.
SOME OTHER SHARKS YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER:
African Angel Shark
Shortfin Mako Shark
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