Shark Cage Diving – face to face with the Great Whites

Great White Shark Close Up

Shark Cage Diving – face to face with the Great Whites

I’ve been fascinated with 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,


These videos aren’t particularly great quality because they were taken on a handheld tape driven JVC video camera back before the days of smartphones. They have also been converted from AVI to MP4 and uploaded to YouTube so there’s a bit of quality loss but you’ll get the gist.

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

If you don’t know what that is then check this out:


Book your trip to South Africa

Thank you for reading my blog. My aim is to educate and entertain so hopefully I've managed to do that. If you think I have, please like, share and follow me on my social media channels using the links below. Cheers, JV.
Harbour Table Mountain

Cape Town

Comments are closed here.