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Western Cape

IIf you’re looking for safari action on the open water, then there’s no better place than the famous and fearsome Shark Alley – a hunting ground for sharks off the coast of the Western Cape. However, it’s not only sharks you’ll find stalking these waters – it’s also a hotbed for Cape Fur seals and sea birds.

Shark Alley is famous for being one of the top commercial cage-diving destinations in the world. This is not surprising, given that it is home to one of the largest populations of Great White sharks.

Lying just a few kilometres south of the small fishing village of Gansbaai, Shark Alley is actually a narrow channel of water that runs between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock. It's thanks to the 50 000-odd Cape Fur seals on Dyer Island that the channel is so named, for these furry mammals are favourite food for Great White sharks. As a result, the sharks trawl the alley in numbers looking for their next meal.

Did You Know?
GGreat White sharks are declared a protected species in South African waters before anything else in the world.

CCage diving is a thrilling activity where you are lowered into the water, in a secure cage, for a face-to-face encounter. Divers don't have to be scuba qualified to cage dive, as the cage actually floats, with part of it remaining out of the water.

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VVisitors preferring to watch from the safety of the boat certainly won't miss out on any of the action, as the sharks remain just under the surface of the water and come right up to the boat. During peak season, between June and September, on-board spectators may also see Great Whites breaching – a fascinating and awe-inspiring display of these sharks' unique hunting habits.

Whale-watching along the Gansbaai coast is also excellent, particularly between May and December, when Southern Right whales come to mate, calve and nurse their young in this area. There are also a number of hikes and walking trails around the cliffs of De Kelders at Gansbaai, which feature caves to explore, abundant fynbos, spectacular ocean views and a fascinating history of ancient people settling in this area.

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