Did you know that the winter months are the best months for shark cage diving and scuba diving in Cape Town? While things get somewhat chilly on the surface, the water beneath the ocean is far clearer than the summer months. This means excellent visibility and the chance to see plenty of sharks, seals, dolphins and even whales during a shark dive trip or boat tour. This winter, head beneath the ocean to discover a whole new watery world…
Shark Cage Diving
If it is sharks you want to see, then cage diving is without a doubt one of the most amazing things you could experience. There are a number of ways to see Great whites, Blues, Makos and many other shark species off the coast of Cape Town. If you have your scuba license, you can do deep water diving to see pelagic sharks off Cape Point, or even Sevengill sharks on the False Bay coast. If you don’t have scuba but still want to come face to sn
out with the giants of the deep, then cage diving in Gansbaai or False Bay is well recommended. You can also view sharks, dolphins, seals and even whales from a boat if you’d rather stay on the surface.
The winter months brings water temperatures up a bit, with excellent visibility also on offer. Scuba divers have a number of options to choose from, with both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans to explore. The Atlantic Ocean side is rich in kelp forests, with Cat sharks, Cape fur seals and many other marine species to be seen. The Indian Ocean side is warmer, with colourful fish and clearer water. Popular dive spots in Cape Town include Oudekraal, Millers Point, Simons Town, Coral Gardens, Sunny Cove and many others. There are also plenty of scuba schools in the city, which provide resort courses, Open Water, Dive Master and other PADI courses.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
On the surface of the ocean, the months from July to November are excellent for whale watching. From the end of July, large numbers of Southern right whales come in to the bays to calve and breed, and can be seen frolicking in the waters and performing magnificent breeches out of the water. Kalk Bay is a great place to view whales from land, while Hermanus is a popular town for boat and shore viewing. A drive along the stretch of main road on the False Bay coastline offers some great views too. Dolphins can be seen on the Atlantic Ocean coastline and even the False Bay coast, travelling in small pods and playing in the waves. An organised boat trip with an experienced guide is the best way to see these amazing marine mammals and learn more about their behaviour and conservation status.
There are plenty of tour operators in Cape Town that specialist in shark, whale, scuba and boat tours. While many of these tours depend on ocean conditions and weather, the overcast, chilly days are perfect for seeing what the beautiful oceans have to offer. Don’t forget to take along an underwater camera!