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SSouth Africa has a long history of conservation efforts. It has 19 national parks, numerous game and nature reserves, and a range of ecosystems from rainforests to semi-deserts. Not only do we have the Big Seven (rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, whales and Great White sharks; we also have an incredible array of endemic bird and plant life.
Dyer Island Cruises, based in Gansbaai, is a highly respected and ethical company that offers whale watching in season and shark watching all-year round. The company, certified by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa, offers an extraordinary, informative experience that will enrich your understanding of the sea and its biodiversity.
AA boat ride taking less than 20 minutes will take you to “Shark Alley” near Gansbaai in the Western Cape. South Africa is one of the best Great White shark cage-diving destinations in the world as it's the only country where it’s relatively easy to see Great White sharks.
Of the 100-odd shark species swimming in South African waters, it is the Great White shark that has captured the imagination – their size alone has often been based on myth!
FFear of these creatures led to them being hunted, but in 1991 South Africa proclaimed the Great White a protected species and became the first country in the world to introduce Great White shark conservation. A big part of this was the switch from shark hunting to shark tourism, and the Great White shark is now officially a protected and thriving species.
Great White shark tours are offered in other locations around the coast of South Africa, other than just Gansbaai. Operators have to have a permit and licensed boats in order to operate this type of business and to ensure you are in safe hands. These are checked regularly to ensure their equipment is in peak working condition. Great White sharks remain vulnerable outside South African waters, where shark hunters and fishermen still target them.