Great White Shark Diving in South Africa

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by agsoccer32, Jul 8, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. agsoccer32

    agsoccer32 Silver Member

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    Happy Shark Week Everyone!

    I have a friend planning a trip to South Africa and he asked about my experience seeing Great White Sharks a few years ago. What started as an email to him morphed into something a lot longer and I thought I'd share it with a group of people who would definitely appreciate it. I've been a member of MP for years and while I don't post much, I do a lot of reading here and have learned a lot so I thought I'd give something back.

    http://whereveryoumayroam.com/shark-cage-diving-in-south-africa/

    If anyone has any questions about planning a similar trip I'd be happy to help try and answer them. Now is actually a great time to go to Africa as the US Dollar is strong against the South African Rand.
     
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  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Thanks for sharing! I've dove with sharks around the world, but never in a cage. Did you know about Ocean Ramsey? See:

    http://oceanramsey.com/
     
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  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I'm glad that South Africa is starting to get some coverage here. Any tips for someone who'd be visiting the country for the first time?
     
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  4. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    South Africa is a pretty big country so any advice should be predicated/tailored to your interests (and more importantly how much time you have to spend) .. We really enjoyed our visit to the Cape region and one thing I would highly recommend if you are unable get a direct flight (only DL does from ATL) is to try to route your trip through Sao Paulo rather than the much longer and stressful NA to Europe to SA.

    A highlight of our trip was a visit to Hermanus ( around Sept/Oct) where one can see (often dozens?) of the right whales and their calves as close as 100 feet away (or less) by standing on the shore overlooking the bay. The area is their prime annual mating/calving region in the world.
    Lots of sharking diving operations listed on the road into Hermanus.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
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  5. agsoccer32

    agsoccer32 Silver Member

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    I had not heard of Ocean Ramsey but that is VERY interesting! I'm going to take some time to watch some of the videos. She is a lot braver than I am!

    To newbluesea's point there is a ton to do in South Africa and it really depends on how long you have in the country, what you would like to do, and where you're coming from. A little background on my trip (and I can go into more detail if anyone is interested) is that my wife and I took a direct flight from JFK to Johannesburg (about 15 hours on South African Airways) stayed in Johannesburg for a night, took a budget airline flight to Durban on the East Coast and then drove about an hour north to the game reserve for a week's safari. After that we drove back down to Durban and took another budget airline (We flew Mango and Kulula airlines for these domestic flights and they were cheap and easy flights) to the West Coast to Cape Town for a week to explore the city and wine region. This was our first visit to South Africa and I would love to go back. We went in August of 2012 and the US Dollar is a lot stronger now compared to when we went so it is a great time to go.
     
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  6. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Great trip report. :cool:
     
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  7. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Thanks @newbluesea and @agsoccer32 for the good ideas. I take it that driving is the best way to see the country, or do they also have a decent rail system? Also, what are the better seasons to visit the country?
     
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  8. agsoccer32

    agsoccer32 Silver Member

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    They do have a good rail system and some really exciting trips to take across the country via train, but it is not cheap. However given the strong exchange rates now compared to when I last looked at these options a few years ago I would definitely take a look. The trip across the country and the luxury trains look like a great experience.

    http://www.bluetrain.co.za/
    http://www.rovos.com/

    We rented a car from Durban Airport and drove about 2 hours north to the game reserve and I found the driving to not be a problem at all. The only time I was a little uncomfortable was on the ride back to the airport when we had extra time and drove into Durban. I don't enjoy city driving and I compare that to driving near Times Square with a lot of people walking in front and behind your car while you're stopped at the light. We chose to fly between Durban and Cape Town mostly because of the time constraint but I would have no problem taking a more leisurely road trip to the West Coast if we went again. The roads were well maintained and everything clearly marked.

    In terms of best time of year to go, it really depends on what you want to see and where you'll be going in the country. Our primary reason for visiting was the photo safari so we went in the middle of August and chose this time because this was the winter season and on the east coast the vegetation was dead/brown and made it much easier to spot wildlife. The other benefit was that it is MUCH less hot and humid this time of year and the risk of malaria is much lower.
     
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  9. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Great info, thanks!
     
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  10. chrisontour84

    chrisontour84 Member

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    Cant wait to do it myself, its been on my bucket list for a while lol
     
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