no alt text

Bucket list experience:

blue shark surrounded by divers

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Richard Holmes

While Great White Sharks have been the star attraction of Cape Town’s marine adventures for years, shark-lovers and ocean adventurers can also head into the waters south of Cape Point to free-dive, snorkel and scuba dive with the mako and blue sharks that patrol these waters.

Alongside these graceful deep-sea sharks, there is also the opportunity to spot yellowfin tuna, bonito and sunfish, as well as a range of pelagic birds including albatross, petrels and skua.

Full-day excursions depart from Simon’s Town harbour, and all equipment is provided. A valid certification is required for those wishing to scuba dive.

Price from: £125
Minimum age: 13
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: Full day

Getting there & doing it

Tour operators depart from Simon’s Town harbour, a 45-minute drive from the city centre.

All equipment is provided, and experienced dive masters lead all dives/snorkelling. Sea conditions can be rough, so take anti-nausea medication if you are susceptible to sea sickness.

When to do it

Pelagic shark trips are offered November to June, although winter conditions can be rough and cold. March-April offers perhaps the finest weather, with mild temperatures, sunny days and less of the Cape’s infamous south-easterly wind.

Divers meet at 6am for pre-trip briefing and equipment allocation, before the boat departs at 7am to enjoy sunrise views of Cape Point on the trip south. The trip returns around 2pm for lunch (included) at the dive centre.

Our writer’s recommended tour operators to book with

Shark Explorers

Shark Explorers

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Highly experienced and professional shark diving specialist offering diving/snorkelling with blue and mako sharks, and cage diving with great white sharks, in Cape Town. They also organise diving trips to see the Sardine Run, and shark diving in Bimini to see hammerheads and tigers.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Chartfield Guesthouse

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa[6.4 miles]

A century-old seaside mansion forms the heart of this mid-sized guesthouse in the bohemian suburb of Kalk Bay, offering easy access to the charms of the False Bay seaboard.

Official star rating:

Steenberg Hotel & Spa

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa[12.3 miles]

This elegant country hotel set on a working wine farm is a quietly luxurious base in the Constantia valley, from which to explore the city.

Official star rating:

Tintswalo Atlantic

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa[14.4 miles]

A luxurious lodge retreat, set just yards from the Atlantic Ocean, on the shores of the Table Mountain National Park.

Official star rating:

Vineyard Hotel

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa[22.6 miles]

A great value boutique hotel set amid expansive gardens in one of the city’s leafy suburbs, in the shadow of Table Mountain.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Cape Town

Western Cape, South Africa

Vibrant, multicultural city with dramatic scenery, adrenaline adventure galore, Africa’s best art’s scene and golden beaches and outstanding gastronomy.

Website >
Overview >

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Dive with great white sharks in Cape Town

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa[14.3 miles]

Get up close to man’s most feared predator, the infamous great white shark, diving in steel cages just off the back of the boat. Cape Town is one of only a handful of places in the world you can do it – and the most accessible.

Best for ages: 13+ | £100 | 5

Website >
Overview >

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Exterior of the building during the daytime

Norval Foundation

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa[11.6 miles]

Set amid the Constantia Winelands, this contemporary gallery celebrates global and African artists in both indoor exhibition spaces and the outdoor sculpture garden. Excellent on-site restaurant.

Best for ages: 18+ | £9

Website >
Overview >

Round-ups that include this experience