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“Shark dive bliss”
Review of Marine Dynamics

Marine Dynamics
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US$147.84*
and up
Cage Diving with Great White Sharks from Cape Town
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US$374.46*
and up
Private Tour: Cage Dive with Great White Sharks from Cape Town
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Kleinbaai
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Marine Dynamics shark tours is the industry's leading white shark cage diving operator - dispelling the myths about sharks one client at a time. Not only can you expect a 5-star service start to finish, Marine Dynamics shark tours contributes directly to local white shark research by being the primary sponsor to the accredited non-profit, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. Marine Dynamics is the preferred operator for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, the BBC, South African Tourism and many more internationally recognized organizations. As you will see from our reviews, our staff are not only the most knowledgeable in the business but equally the most passionate about great white sharks and providing you an excellent experience you will never forget. Marine Dynamics operates out of The Great White House in Gansbaai, South Africa, where you will be treated to our 5-star hospitality underneath South Africa's only privately owned Southern right whale skeleton! Our custom-built vessel, Slashfin, was launched in 2010 and comes with all the modern amenities expected in a top quality vessel. Marine Dynamics guarantees a marine biologist, a videographer, and best value for money on every trip.
Boston
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Shark dive bliss”
Reviewed 4 August 2014 via mobile

My family of 4 had an incredible time despite the relatively low number of sharks around that day. This is a finely tuned, courteous and well-managed operation. Very impressive. My daughter and I were in the cage first and had a few swim bys. Apparently an 18 ft shark cruised by with good visibility from above but we couldn't see it from the cage. There was then about an hour with no sightings and they assumed the larger shark had scared others away. But they don't give up and neither did my son. He spent two hours in the cage, largely alone as others gave up. He was treated to an extraordinary experience courtesy of a shark grabbing the bait ball, thrashing and circling, just as the boat was dumping the chum. Gross fish guts in his beard but worth it!! This group divides up cage time by shark activity, not minutes.

Tip for photos and viewing is to go to the upper left corner of the boat.

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1 Thank sebagolizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Hawthorne, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Shark Alley is AMAZING!”
Reviewed 1 August 2014

If people are looking this up, they already decided shark diving is for them. So I am not going to go into how cool, amazing, adrenaline pumping, and beautiful this trip was. You will see sharks, you will be slightly scared and first, the water is cold, and you will come home with some of the most amazing memories and pictures you could ever imagine. My friends back and home are speechless when they see my pics.
Here's why if you go cage diving, I would recommend Marine Dynamics.
They had a shuttle which picked us up and dropped us back in Cape Town. This was very convenient, however it is a bit of a haul. 2-3 hours depending on how many people are in the group, stops, and traffic. They provide a nice breakfast. The staff is friendly and they really seem to care for the sharks. The boat is nice and has an upper deck which gives you a great angle for photos.
I also felt like I had a good amount of time in the cage and the money was worth it. This is something I've always wanted to do, so I can scratch it off the bucket list now.
With the drive, tour, breakfast, stops and all that, this trip is going to take up most of your day if you are coming from Cape Town.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Evan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Overall a Very Good Experience”
Reviewed 31 July 2014

I went cage diving with Marine Dynamics on 2 days (14th and 15th July)
Positives: The company is very well organized and all of the people at reception and on the boat itself are polite, courteous and helpful. The staff are very safety conscious and give a thorough briefing beforehand and make sure throughout the trip 'there and back' everyone is safe and taken care of. It is a big boat and as stable as any vessel can be in an ocean swell. Snacks and drinks were provided before, during and after the trip. The cage diving is an exciting experience and if the visibility is good, it is an excellent opportunity for taking photographs.
Negatives: When the boat is full (30+ people, plus crew and plus volunteers) it is quite crowded.
When the boat is full it is a bit of a production line in and out of the cage and quite crowded in the cage with 8 people at a time. Lots of elbows and being bumped around by the ocean swell. You hold your breath and pull yourself down within the cage and then try to take your pictures - while you do have people telling you when to "go down", it is quite hit and miss. And then when you feel you are getting the hang of it, it is then time to get out for the next group. Several people were sea sick and on a crowded boat that can be an uncomfortable experience for other people as well. Marine Dynamics are certainly not to blame for people being sea sick, however it is something you should be aware of.
Overall it is a professional and well run organisation with friendly courteous people.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank CWRG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manitoba, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“First shark experience, excellent!”
Reviewed 26 July 2014

We had an excellent experience with Marine Dynamics! I was there last November and had the shuttle pick me up in Cape Town. Friendly driver, friendly staff at the lodge and on the boat. Everyone had ample opportunity in the cage and we were lucky enough to see 14 great white sharks that day. Definitely a once in a life time experience that I highly recommend.
This was my first time ever getting sea sick, and again the staff were very helpful, one brought me water and made sure I would be OK, they knew what they were doing.
Would definitely go with them again.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Loreena D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Perfect Activity for Friday the 13th”
Reviewed 25 July 2014

Cliff's notes version: loved it, experience of a lifetime, amazing, worth it, do it.

We awoke at 3:45AM for our 4:15AM pickup to swim with the sharks. Everything about that sentence defies who I am as a person. We got in a van with people who were equally as enthused about our pick up time, and passed people on their way home from the bar. Our van had people from Tanzania, Sweden, Korea, and some kind of language I can only assume was German or Dutch. 2 hours of extremely winding driving later in which I contemplated my sanity, we were in Gaansbai. We stopped to do some whale watching (saw a mom and a baby), and then got to the shark lodge. It was at this point that my husband and I both entirely started freaking out: he afraid of seasickness, me afraid of water. Both of us couldn't care less about the sharks. We drowned our fear in eating a ridiculous amount of bread. It was good bread.

Soon enough I had a life vest on and a XXXL bright orange rubber jacket. Dolce&Gabbana would be mortified. We got on the boat with like 20 other people at about 6:30AM. We made friends with the girl running the show on the boat, who was from quite possibly the most random place we would ever think of: Nebraska. She was super friendly and accommodating, and told us to sit near the front of the boat to help husband avoid getting seasick. There was no seat to help water-fearing people like me. We were soon accompanied by a teenager who was battling seasickness. Our Korean friend from the bus looked green. Everyone else is doing great.

We went in December - South African summer. It is really, really cold. Husband and I are both thinking we are not going through with this thing. They tell us the water is about 65 degrees. They gave us wetsuits to put on. This was basically the equivalent to someone handing me my 2 year old nephew's pajamas and fully expecting them to fit me. I lost a few nails in the process of putting it on, and even more pride. Husband had to pull so hard that I came off the ground a few times. 20 minutes later I had my head to toe Spanx on. I've never looked skinnier.

We get to our destination about 10 minutes out. I am that kid in a Christmas Story that can't move his arms. They ask who wants to go in the cage first. Husband raises his hands for us. I have never wanted to kill him more. I walk over to the cage with him, thinking and hoping that they just counted him and not me. I'm met by someone putting weights over my shoulder and a mask on my face. I tell them I can't breathe. They tell me to breathe out my mouth. Oh.

At this point I am as scared out of my mind as I can possibly be, because I realize that I not only have to get IN to the 65 degree water, I have to also put my head under it. I am utterly convinced that I cannot, will not do this. And I look like Scuba Steve. A very skinny Scuba Steve.

Someone turns me around and tells me to walk down a ladder. I do not realize this ladder goes into a cage in the ocean. The water going into my wet suit feels like liquid death invading my spine. At this point, I welcome death. I grab whatever the heck bar they tell me to grab, and husband yells at me because my feet were accidentally on the outside of the cage and not the bar inside. I'm in water and frost bitten. I don't even care I could have lost a foot to Jaws.

It's at this point that I realize that I'm buoyant for the first time in my life. My head is easily a full foot above everyone else's, and I'm fully incapable of pulling myself down because I have turned into a statue.

Then the boat guys start chumming the waters. They tell you "down front!", "down left!", "down right!". I absolutely will not go down, both due to my own fear of water, and my new-found ridiculous buoyancy.

At this point I've succumbed to the fact that I will never be one with my limbs again, and I mourn their loss. Oh yeah, and there's like a 10 foot long great white shark a foot away from me.

Everyone else has been enjoying shark watching for a good 5 minutes before I realize that the boat people have been yelling at me in particular to put my head under. I realize I despise them. Then I realize that I'm mad at my buoyancy for just now deciding to reveal itself, so I start a personal vendetta to get myself lower for the sake of vengeance. Oh yeah, and there's sharks.

I finally get my eye mask to look under the water. I realize that I'm standing in a cage next to other people. I also realize that husband is the one vigorously shaking the bar that I hold on to for dear life, and that my feet are miraculously also on the right bar. They tell us "down front" again, and I hold my breath in my mouth and realize that my mask blocks water from getting in my nose. 2 points for you, face mask.

I see a big freaking shark. It was like looking in my own personal aquarium movie theater in my face. It totally didn't seem real. Then I looked above the water and saw Mr. Shark right next to my face. Hi. You're deadly.

The thrill seeker in me finally decided to come out at this point, and I got my head halfway under water to see the sharks (!!! major success for me!) We saw 12 sharks in total, and for the most part they were just really big and swimming peacefully. Every now and then they'd open their mouths for the chum bait, and it looked like Jaws. The sharks legit never scared me. They were just cool to see. It really was beautiful and the experience of a lifetime.

Finally our time is up. I've never been more proud of myself in my life. Getting out means I can take off my bodyspanks, wrap myself in a towel and my god awful orange jacket, and never have to go into a body of water again. It is at this point that my rush of adrenaline kicks in and I decide that I am a total stud who has just conquered the world. Now I just need to reconquer this wetsuit. Fortunately they're surprisingly easier to take off then put back on.

For the rest of the trip I got to take pictures and videos of the sharks while husband and his new teenage friend looked at the horizon, ate potato chips, and tried not to puke. Fortunately they were both successful. Korean guy is not. I got some pretty cool pictures and videos, and am still emotionally exhausted. Was it worth it? Yes. We drove by seal island (it'll blow your mind) and then they took us back for soup and to celebrate life.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank MissyJ23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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