Shark Cage Diving – face to face with the Great Whites

I’ve been fascinated by Great White Sharks since I was a kid.

I always wanted to see one in the flesh. In 2002 I got my wish. 

I travelled to Gansbaai from Cape Town so I could spend the day meeting the sharks from the safety of a Shark Cage at Seal Island just off the coast of Gansbaai. It’s a day I will never forget!

Trip date

September 2002

Here’s the boat I went out on and a rather flimsy cage (by today’s standards) attached to the back of the boat.

Shark boat

It looks just like a massive wire shopping basket. :-0

Who’s that cool dude?

JV boat

Off we go.


No turning back now. That cage really does look like it wouldn’t take a bashing from an angry Great White.



It was such a thrill seeing these magnificent creatures for the first time. Seeing a great whites dorsal fin break the water makes your hair stand up on end. I couldn’t wait to get down in the cage. I was the first one in and I also managed to go down again at the end of the day.






Photo’s from inside the cage.

Even though they are a bit grainy I’m so glad I hired a camera to take down with me. Don’t forget there were no Go Pros or hi-res digital cameras in them days.

View from Shark cage

View from Shark Cage

Great White Shark Close Up

View from the Shark Cage

View from the Shark Cage

I managed to touch a shark as it swam right next to the cage. Its skin felt just like sandpaper. I even had a moment with a shark when it swam past and then all of a sudden whipped around and stared straight at me. That image is burnt into my brain. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture as it happened so quickly but it’s one of those unforgettable moments that travelling can reward you with.

I need to go back to Gansbaai fully loaded with my new Nikon camera gear and a GoPro camera. It’s on my bucket list to go and photograph the Great Whites breaching.

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