We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Nice experience, saw 4-5 sharks but trip seemed short” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shark Diving Unlimited

Shark Diving Unlimited
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Shark Diving Unlimited specialises in conservation and education initiatives of all shark species around our coastline Owned by Michael Rutzen who has been working with great white sharks since 1994. Four years later Mike began freediving with great white sharks and is now known worldwide as one of the few people who is able to interact with these magnificent predators outside the safety of the cage!Breathtaking images of Mike have been featured in numerous magazines and documentaries including BEYOND FEAR (National Geographic) and SHARKMAN (Discovery). Mike’s aim is to portray positive images of great white sharks in order to dispel the ‘JAWS’ myth.Mike is a PADI Instructor and the only person in the world qualified to teach the prestigious Great White Shark Distinctive Specialty PADI course. He is a qualified skipper, First Aid instructor, qualified rebreather, nitrox and commercial diver. Your skipper Frank Rutzen has spent his life on the ocean from Kwa-Zulu Natal to the Western Cape. He has worked in the great white shark cage diving industry since 1995 and has a passion for wildlife and an extensive knowledge of the Dyer Island marine ecosystem.Nsunda is a qualified South African tour guide and qualified scuba diver. He will help you with all your diving equipment needs and make sure that your day runs smoothly!Shark Diving Unlimited was the company of choice for HRH Prince Harry, His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, Leonardo Di Caprio and Brad Pitt.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
5,331 reviews
3,419 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11,308 helpful votes
“Nice experience, saw 4-5 sharks but trip seemed short”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2011

Pros: You get to see great white sharks! Very nice boat, safe equipment and diving gear. The cages were very solid and made us feel safe in the water with these creatures. The crew and staff were effective and helpful, making us feel at ease about the sharks and the heavy seas we were encountering. They also made an effort to get us out earlier than the other operators, resulting in our seeing sharks first. Did we see more? I don't really know but we appreciated their efforts. It seemed all boats were onto sharks at some point. The nice food back at the home office before and after the shark dives and easy/good transport to and from CPT also made this a good day trip from CPT.

Cons: Trip seemed quite short compared to the brochure that suggests up to 5 hours at sea. We were on the water for just slightly over 2.5 hours and were back to the docks where another group of visitors was ready to take our place onboard to go out and see the sharks. This could be a big turn off to some but you don't really need more than a couple hours until you feel cold, hungry and ready for dry land. Also, the water was only about 10 degrees so it is really cold, even in wet suits.

Tip: Even if you normally don't need motion sickness medicine, its just not worth being sick on this kind of trip. its a good idea to take a couple motion sickness tablets so you don't risk sickness and ruin the experience.

Visited January 2011
5 Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

266 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“book with these guys”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

Always wanted to do this and it did not dissapoint. Book with these guys as they are the first out and have only smaller groups on board. We left the habour at 7.30 with 10 on board. By the time we were heading back at 10 other boats were in the area with 40 people on board. Lots of time in the water but watching from the boat was just as amazing. Also if you are worried dont be. For someone who allways thinks he is going to eaten by a shark in any water it helps to make you feel less scared in a way. They are so massive they dont really give you second look. Book it if you love sharks!!! UK price is around £135 and most other are all the same(ish) price.

Visited February 2011
1 Thank RTS1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Skip it if you have limited time, $ or you aren’t fanatical about sharks”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2011

If you love sharks, apparently this is the place to go. The walls are lined with photos of celebrities (helloooo Matt Dameon) and articles written by the staff. If you aren’t fanatical about sharks, skip it.

For the price we paid ($250 USD pp), what we saw (glimpses of sharks), the discomfort factor (cold, sea sick), and amount of time required (all day) – I wouldn’t do it again. We went in January, the peak of summer in South Africa, and it was freezing. The day was a feat of endurance for me. Thank fully my pressure point wristband worked great but another member of our party wasn’t so fortunate and was bent over the side of the boat the whole time. While our wetsuits were thick and they provided us with hoodies and shoes, holes were frequent and the cold water would get into the suit and freeze you up. The outfitters aren’t allowed to feed the shark – they bait them with “chum” a mixture of fish guts and blood to attract them to the boat. So after a 1 hour boat ride drive to the stop, we waiting for another 45 minutes without seeing anything, drove to another spot and finally got a few spottings. Keep in mind that it’s 2 hours from Johannesburg.

Shark Diving Unlimited is not scuba diving. You stand in a cage in the cold water with a face mask on. When a shark comes, you hold you breathe, sink so your head is below water and try to see a shark. This DOES work as the shark fleets by the cage so the duration you can stay underwater works. But imagine being submerged in freezing cold water waiting and waiting for a 2 second glimpse of a shark. The pictures were murky. I’ve never shivered so hard in my life (althoughsurprisingly I did get used to the cold water and stopped shivering after 5 minutes). Out of the water, you wait around while others wait a turn in the water. I think our boat trip was 4 hours but it felt like 8.

This place has a great reputation and I’ve read other glowing reviews but the staff could have been a lot better. I was expecting explanations, stories, history, science – information. But the staff seemed to go through the motions of getting us on to the water, into the water, and back on land with nary an additional comment or guidance.

The boat was fishing boat quality –functional but not pretty or with any frills. For example – I would have appreciated a private place to change out of my wet bathing suit. Definitely not a yacht.

Finally and maybe because I was cold and miserable – the food wasn’t very good. The whole day we had access to bottled water, generic sodas, cold sandwiches Back at the office we got bland lentil soup, scone, a thermos of coffee, or swiss miss hot chocolate. Despite being hungry, cold and not a very picky eater, I didn’t eat much. I don’t think it would take much to serve us a better meal after they charged us that much money.

Go to the aquarium or watch Shark Week on Discovery channel and spend your time and money on other splendors of Cape Town.

Visited January 2011
8 Thank Myntmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york city
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“These guys are the best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2011

These are the guys to go with. We had originally found a place that was cheaper, but the reviews were not so good. Since you may only be doing this once in your life, go with the guys that will give you the best experience. We saw at least 8 different sharks, and they arrived almost immediately - after we left, other boats that seemed to be missing out on the action quickly took our spot. Safe, experience staff. At least on this occasion, plenty of time in the cage (45 minutes for me) - though beware - water is cold!

Visited January 2011
2 Thank worldodyssey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great Thanksgiving experience!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2011

We went shark diving with SDU on the American Holiday, Thanksgiving in 2010. It was an early and chilly morning. The yummy breakfast and coffee helped! The small boat was wonderfully steady on a windy Atlantic sea. The sharks were amazing to see. I'm glad I dived but actually found that I preferred the view from the boat - you can see the sharks alot better - their fins, scars, teeth, etc. Beautiful creatures! We had a nice lunch when back on land.

The crew was professional and diligent in ensuring our protection and comfort level.

Visited November 2010
2 Thank Camel122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Shark Diving Unlimited also viewed

Gansbaai, Overberg District
Gansbaai, Overberg District

Been to Shark Diving Unlimited? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing