Did you know?
The whale shark is the world's biggest shark.
A shark expedition in South Africa is easily tailored to suit individual expectations.
Whether the term conjures up visions of a great white hunting seal pups or a slow-moving whale shark keeping pace with a comfortable yacht charter, there's no denying our perennial fascination with these incredible ocean predators.
Your first consideration when planning a shark expedition should be where you'd prefer the encounter to take place: in a shark-diving cage, in the open ocean, from a boat, in an aquarium pool or from a comfy chair on the other side of the glass!
If you've set your heart on getting out in the ocean with the really big boys - great whites and tiger sharks - then prime dive sites such as KwaZulu-Natal's Aliwal Shoal or Cape Town's False Bay are your best bets.
Another favoured spot is Shark Alley, the cold-water channel - 150 metres wide and 600 metres long - that runs between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock in the Cape.
Any west coast island favoured by South African fur seal colonies is guaranteed great white territory, with the likelihood of sightings increasing when young pups venture into the ocean during November each year.
There are numerous dive charters that specialise in shark spotting. Larger coastal towns on both east and west coast offer special packages which include related activities such as fishing.
If diving with sharks in the confines of an aquarium is more appealing, South Africa boasts two world-class facilities where this is possible.
Cape Town's Two Oceans Aquarium, the fifth largest in the world, offers a unique opportunity to get close to ragged-tooth sharks and shoals of large predators such as yellowtail, dusky kob and black and white musselcracker.
Durban's uShaka Marine World showcases a number of large ragged-tooth sharks in a dedicated exhibit, while trainee scuba divers are at liberty to dive in a large pool containing smaller reef shark species.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
South African White Shark Research Institutue
Phone: +27 (0)21 552 9794
Two Oceans Aquarium Visitor Services
Phone: +27 (0)21 418 3823
uShaka Marine World
Phone: +27 (0)31 328 8000
White Shark Ecoventures
Phone: +27 21 532 0470