Shark Diving in Cape Town

Waking up wee hours in the morning to drive 2 hours away from the city to visit some sights has never been my way of travelling.

google map from cape town to shark dive

mountain of western cape
crossing mountains

But in this case, I was excited as hell to get to our destination despite the long hours. Heck, I'd still be psyched if you were to put me on a 24-hr train just to get to a place where both words "Shark + Diving" exist.

shark dive cage

Well, maybe three words if you count "cage" in too.

We were to board a yacht that has sailed the world in breaking record.

unrealdive yacht

Ooo.. now that sounds like an adventure to me.

around the world yacht
The shark dive tour we took was Unreal Dive. Sounds pretty real to me.

Cape Town has really amazing weather throughout the year. In summer they were never too hot, and in winter, never too cold.

It was near summer when we went there in March (2 months ago), it was breezy and rather chilly at night most of the time. We were advised to bring our jackets along with dry clothes (doesn't sound too good).

cheering on the boat

When the boat started its engine and heading out to sea, we would feel the chill sinking in. Though everyone was still excited and chatty throughout the journey.


Afterall, we're on a yacht! It feels like the ultimate holiday already.


But by the time 15 mins has passed, most noise died off as the temperature and the wind was beginning to be getting too cold to bear.

all getting warm on boat
wrapped in blankets.

It took me ultimate balancing and will power (against the cold) to be taking this photo.

balancing to take video
standing next to Darran from the star. both gung-ho photographer :p

balancing to take video 3

Nevertheless, the view was beautiful.

sky and sea

Almost an hour later we arrived at a place called the "Shark Alley" (everybody say "ooooo....").

divers and boat 2

First thing that came to my mind: "are you kidding me?"

Well, you might not know but the windy breeze was heck chilly and we were DEAD cold by the time one hour has passed.

And the weather hasn't exactly changed much since we left the harbour and I could bet 100 bucks on the water's going to be f*cking FREEZING!

shark dive cage on water
oh yea.. we're going to go down on that thing. into the water. yep, into the freezing water.

Shark Valley wasn't what I expected to be. Well for one it definitely wasn't full of sharks at any one time at all, definitely not right at the moment we arrived.

We have to wait, and wait, and wait, and when we're done waiting, we played with the chopped up tuna head, squashed the juice,throw into the sea

throw tuna fish head out
tuna fish head: "ahhhhh~!!!!"

climbed to the bottom deck, got into our thick wetsuit (one and only thing to keep us warm),

me in thick wetsuit ready for shark dive

and continued to wait.

(Thanks Mai for the underwater camera!)

45 mins has passed and Nurul (from the winners group) got tired of waiting and changed out of her wetsuit and decided to climb back onto the deck. Our hopes were getting slim.

Now I've seen sharks before. In South East Asia. During scuba diving.

And honestly, sharks that I've stumbled upon in my dives have nothing to shout about. Most of them feels non-threatening and if I were honest, they're pretty small.

Well, I haven't seen hammer heads so that's my bad too.

Which was why I was shouting at the top of my lungs when the first sight of a shark next to our yacht appeared!

great white shark

Measuring 2.5 meters long, this young shark came to us FINALLY, after a whole hour of luring and waiting.

Though the shark guide was looking pretty stoned at the sight as though he's seen this everyday.

cool dude
Oh wait, he does see this everyday.

As for the rest of the story, you can read it from my previous post here (or straight from my Star Metro article here). I'll paste a few significant para for u here too.

Associated as human eaters, the great whites are known to be one of the scariest marine creatures living in the ocean, growing up to 3.5m on average, with a record of up to 18m of one adult shark, and the ability to chomp and crush through flesh and bones in one single bite. Ever watch the movie Jaws?

Never in my life would I imagine myself to be in a cage diving with such magnificent creatures, least to say coming within inches of them.

The sea water was cold, and weather chilly; fitted in my thick insulating wetsuit, one leg after another, I inched myself down into the 9°C water surrounded by a steel cage big enough for six while these large sharks circled around the cage, lured by the scent of cut up tuna thrown in by the seaman.

Acknowledging the signals from the dive master on board, we plunged into the now freezing water to catch a glimpse of these giants.

With my goggles on, I held my breath as I submerged into the cage, in that instant the world around me fell silent. All I could see was endless blue water and the steel bars which I was holding on to.

For a moment, there was nothing. I could feel the chill crawling up the sleeves of my loose wetsuit, down to my back and my breath was running out.

I felt suffocated for a split second. Just then, a shadow approached from the right and the next thing I knew, I was positioned next to a 2.5m shark, with its mouth gaping and hundreds of teeth protruding out.

My heart pounded hard, despite knowing I was in safe hands, something about defying nature to submerge so close to such powerful creatures overwhelmed me. I’m diving with a great white shark!

~~~ya da..... ya da...~~~

As fast as the shark appeared, the baby beast swept across the cage and vanished with its tail to the right. Frantically, my visual followed into the wild unknown searching for the vanished creature, preparing for it to assault us from any direction any time.

For the next 10 minutes, the shark faded in and out of view like a ghost, allowing me to imagine and feel the anxiety of a floating victim at sea surrounded by unsuspecting sharks. It was unnerving, but exciting.

I could imprint those moments in my mind forever.

We were only allowed 10-15 mins underwater before we have to come up and let other dives go down.

It was too cold to bear for that long underwater anyway.

BRRRRRRR..... coldest and most exciting moment of my life both at once, it's a confusing feeling.

Following our dive (I went first ^^), a few other sharks appeared. Bigger, fatter ones.

shark at surface

dangerous great white shark

And they were attacking the poor tuna head.


So after everyone had their turn, I went in the SECOND time. Muahahaha!!!

That also meant I endured splitting cold the second time too. T_T

Anyway, between the wait, here are some really nice photos taken by Pete and his 7D SLR (jealous!) of some shots of birds and the sea which I took the liberty to crop and edit. :)


bird and sea

spread wings on water

bird kissing water

skidding through water

duo flight


My favourite:

breautiful flight

blue sky and wings

This bird gives a new meaning to "taking a dip in the water".

dip in the water


And so, we finished our really shark dive and headed back to shore.

It was a good experience overall.


Let me rephrase that.

It was a BLOODY AWESOME experience!!!

One of the best moments of my life!

We showered on the yacht (there're toilets and sleeping cabins), took a nap and went back to the harbour for lunch.

At lunch, I managed to meet a fellow individual diver from Britain and secretly asked him how much he paid for the trip.

He told me he paid for 1250 rand.

That's RM600 RINGGIT! For a 15 mins dive!

Holy sh*t. And they say scuba diving is an expensive hobby.

To this, I'll end with three photos of the great whites attacking its shark bait!


shark attack

shark fin

Moral: "Don't mess with nature, kids."


6 kissed Nicole

  1. wohoo!! thank goodness nicole still lives to tell the tale..

  2. Wow, looks great fun! shots with the 7D are awesome too n_n

  3. Not only is scuba diving expensive,
    SA itself is very expensive. Cost of living there is very high!

    Great shots by the way, I can never take good shots of animals :(

  4. that's must be super awesome experience :D

  5. whoa..i is jealous! haha. would love to try that one day too!

  6. I like the seagurl photos...