Top Destinations to Get Up Close with Great White Sharks Oct 22, 2015 by Cathy (Awesome Escape Blogger)
The Great White Shark is also known as the white pointer, white shark, or white death. It’s a species of the large lamniformes shark, and can be located in the coastal surface waters of all the vast oceans. It rarely attacks humans but when it does the result is almost always tragic. The average Great White Shark is about 15 feet in length according to Animal Fact Guide. However, there have been verified recordings as large as 20 feet long! In weight, they can easily get as heavy as 5000 pounds. In color, they are usually grey-blue on top, which helps them blend in nicely with the sea. The belly or ventral is white, which makes it hard to see sharks from below. An evolutionary safety measure that has served the shark very well. They are strong, powerful swimmers and can easily reach speeds of 15 mph. The Great White’s tactic of attack is a burp of speed with a bump first to verify and then a bite. They mainly like to eat fish as youngsters but as they grow seals, sea lions, and small whales are preferable. When it comes to reproduction not a lot is known. The mom gives birth to two to ten pups, which are each about five feet in length at birth. Females don’t tend to mature until at least 14-16 years of age. Although uncertain, experts believe female sharks give birth every couple of years. Now that you have the facts it’s time to check out a few key locations you can reach out and touch these Great White beasts to learn more.
1. False Bay/Seal Island, South Africa
Destination number one is in the green-bottle waters of South Africa. The visibility isn’t the clearest but experts agree this is your best opportunity to see these ferocious beasts in action. Often the sharks found here shoot themselves majestically straight up out of the water for an incredibly powerful display of agility and awesome rawness. They do this to try and snatch a fur seal or a boat decoy. Absolutely breathtaking to watch! The destination, Seal Island, is just a short boat ride from the mainland and about an hour from Cape Town. The reason the Great White Shark populous is so alive here is because the main attraction is, of course, all the seals. Over 65,000 furry creatures hang out here, along with chunky penguins. Which makes it an excellent dining experience.
Best time to go – April to September are the times to book your diving expedition. But if you happen to be around off-season you will find the Great White moving closer to shore to feed. The ultimate sweet spot to visit is June to August for your best chances of success!
Diving Company – APEX SHARK EXPEDITIONS are the dive company to go with. They typically take out about 12 people at a time, where a couple goes down in the cage at a time.
The Bill – You can go big or small here. For as little as $230 dollars, you can go for a half-day trip. Or you can book for the week into an Ultra Shark Package and spend over $3000 per person. Go big or go home right?
2. Isla De Guadalupe, Mexico
The advantage to shark diving here is the waters are crystal clear. Which is spectacular when you are actually able to see these wondrous beasts approaching from far away. An energy like no other! This is where the fog floats just off the water to make it mystical and your premium dive destination is about 150 miles off the tip of the west coast of Baja. Where the volcanic rock is abundant and sparse vegetation is the reality. From San Diego to Ensenada is about an 18-hour trek. When it comes time to dive, the cages are dropped and you breathe through a hookah attached at the surface. The advantage here is you are submerged about 30 feet down to see the real action from start to finish.
Best time to go – From August to October is peak time to go.
Diving company – The SOLMAR V is the diving company of choice. There’s room for 6 divers plus a guide because they have 2 surface cages and a submersible.
The Bill – Everything is covered but the gear and parking fees for around $3400. A small price to pay for the chance of a lifetime.
3. Neptune Islands, South Australia
It was Australian Rodney Fox that created the first Great White Shark Cage almost 40 years ago. And today he still runs the operation with his son. There is a marine reserve here and an enormous collection of fur seals, which, of course, are a dining tease for this massive predator. The winter time is your best chance at cage diving and getting up close and personal with this fascinating beast. Here you’ll have the opportunity to see these sharks from the ocean floor. Up to 75 feet, below the surface, you’ll see some of these beauties up to 20 feet long! Scuba tanks are required for the deep cage dives.
Best time to go – You can book to go on the adventure of a lifetime from summer to winter, the end of November to February, or from May till October.
The Diving Company – You are in great hands with Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions. He runs either a two or three-night trek during the summer months or up to four nights in the winter.
The Bill – To give you an idea of the cost. A three-night adventure can run you up to $2200 per person all-inclusive. So little when you are setting yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.