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Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

Florida
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Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

My South African Travel Agent just sent me this info about shark cage diving. Are there other companies that allow less people in the boat and therefore more time in the cage? We cannot scuba dive because we are not certified.

"The cage is about 3.5 meters deep and on the side of the boat with the top edge just above water level. They supply wetsuits and masks - you drop down and hold your breath. They take a maximum of 20 people on the boat and each couple (2 persons) get about 20 minutes in the cage. Depending on the frequency of the shark sighting, you can have more that one turn."

She quoted 1525 ZAR per person, which seems high to me. The company is not listed.

Thanks so much!

Florida
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1. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

Anyone?

I just thought you could at least snorkel and the price seems high. I don't know where is a good place and where isn't though.

Florida
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2. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

All right, I can save up to $50 US if I book this myself AND we can snorkel as opposed to holding our breath.

Are these companies reputable?

sharkcagediving.net/shark-cage-diving/index.…

http://www.white-shark-diving.com/index.htm

Any response would be appreciated.

Port Elizabeth
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for South Africa
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3. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

bwanadave knows the most about cage diving around here, I thought he would reply.

If I were you, I would look at the Lonely Planet forum. This topic has come up a lot on that forum.

thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/categories.cfm…

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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4. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

I'm in De Kelders right now - the community next to Gansbaai, which the town shark diving companies use as their base. That quote you were given is at least twice the actual price for the dive. I have been on the boat operated by White Shark Ecoventures twice - these people - www.white-shark-diving.com, and I highly recommend them. Very professional. Contact them directly. If you are driving yourself and don't need their transportation from and to Cape Town, you will save a great deal of money, also.

As for the procedures on the boat, you can certainly expect to have more than one turn in the cage. The boat stays anchored for 3 hours or more, and I never saw an example where people wanted more time in the cage and didn't get it. Most common is the situation where some do it once, and don't go back at all. Plus, the time you are out of the water can include relaxing on the upper deck, with the best chances for photos of the sharks when the approach, circle, come to the cage.

It's true you don't snorkel. The boat operators 'chum' - that is, put fish blood in the water to attract sharks. They keep a big piece of fish on a rope that is thrown out beyond the cage and jerked back toward the boat when a shark is nearby. The boat person in charge literally yells "DOWN!" and the 4 or 5 people in the cage duck under the water as the shark comes to the cage. It is amazing, to say the least.

Speaking now of the 4 or 5 people: On this boat, and probably all the others, they start at one end, and move along as earlier guests come out. Like a little queue. Even with as many as 20 guests on board, you will be in the water plenty of time to see a shark(s).

We have had awful weather here for most of the 3 weeks since I arrived - until now. It is beautiful, the water is quite clear, and if you get here anytime soon, you will also see the whales. From my terrace this morning, facing Walker Bay, I saw 8 pairs of mothers and calves at one time, right near the shoreline. Just perfect.

If you have a day in your schedule where you can stay in this area, it would make your experience easier. From a Cape Town hotel or Lodge, you must leave very early in the morning. You should ask the operators the specifics about that when you contact them, and also ask about the price reduction if you provide your own transport. One other thought: Believe it or not, I expect you could rent a car - if there as many as 2 of you - and drive yourself from Cape Town for that one day cheaper than you could come in the shark operator's van.

In any event, it's certainly not as costly as you were quoted - it is a full day's experience (including snacks, drinks, lunch, lecture) and a lot of fun.

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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5. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

Re-reading that long post - a correction:

It is not "most common" that people only go in the cage once.. but it is common.

And some on board don't go at all. They pay the same rate but just prefer to take the ride, see the sharks from the boat, and enjoy the day in their way.

Florida
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6. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

Thank you very much. Hmmm..double the price? According to the website, it's only a little bit more. I sent you a PM.

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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7. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

Thanks for the PM - and I am responding here to correct something else I said in the long posting. I misread the amount your agent was quoting as 2525 ZAR pp. How could I do that? Age? Wine? Moving too quickly.. Yes, it's #3. Last time I checked rates, I was quoted R1300 pp, and R900 PP for those who provide their own transportation. It's clear that they have narrowed that difference between the costs for those they transport and those they don't. So - it's about $200 USD pp right now. Is it worth it? That's a close call. Maybe so, if it turns out to be one of the days when they have 8 sharks, maybe more, come to the boat. At that price, I feel even stronger about using www.white-shark-diving.com or http://www.sharkwatchsouthafrica.com for the trip. Both have excellent crews and the boats are big enough for you to find some comfort when you are not in the cage.

Florida
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8. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

Thank you. Do you know anything about Great White Shark Tours? They are the only company that has responded to me via email.

Belfast, United...
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9. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

My family went shark cage diving in Mossel Bay in July this year.For three people diving it was 1400rand total.They all dived and enjoyed it very much.

London, United...
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10. Re: Shark Cage Diving--Is this a good deal?

Hello,

Personally I think the best views of the sharks are often from the boat, as you can see them approaching and can get some nice photos, especially if you have a polarising filter which can cut the glare off the water. So whether you 'dive' or not you'll have a great time!

Cheers,

Julian