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3 Best places to dive with great white sharks

  • Multiple countries

Last updated: 25 June, 2024

Since Steven Spielberg’s smash hit film Jaws in 1975, the great white shark, carcharodon carcharias, has both fascinated and terrified us in equal measure.

Cage diving offers a safe – if still nerve-wracking – means to see them up close. When they turn up, they’re surprisingly unthreatening and curious, to the extent that some tour operators now allow you to free dive with them (i.e. without the cage). NB rather you than us.

Here are the best places in the world to find out for yourself…

Table of Contents
  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Large shark swimming past a cage full of divers in Cape Town

Bucket List Experience

Cape Town

In the waters off Cape Town it’s the Great White Shark, carcharodon carcharias, that rules the roost, and admiring this remarkable predator in its natural environment – from the safety of a sturdy steel cage, of course – is a bucket list experience you’ll never forget.

Spacious speedboats leave Kleinbaai harbour (two hours’ drive from Cape Town) in the early morning, setting course for Dyer Island and the famous ‘Shark Alley’. Here, chum (fish bait) is released into the water, the cage is lowered and adventurers don their wetsuits. When a shark comes to investigate, it’s into the water you go.

Note – you don’t have to go in the water to enjoy this trip. Watching these majestic, and curious, creatures glide around from the security of the boat is also worth going for.

From the editor: at time of writing, sightings are less than they used to be following the arrival of two orcas (that prey on the great whites). No one is sure how long the orcas will stay… so check before you book.

Adult price: £100

Min age 6

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 5

  • San Diego, California, United States of America (USA)

great white shark swims around the cage in deep blue water

Bucket List Experience

Guadalupe Island

Guadalupe Island, off Baja California, Mexico, teems with these infamous predators – dive operators have identified more than 75 different individuals – who come to feed on fur seals. If you’re crazy enough to share want to dive with a great white shark, this is the best place in the world to do it – sightings are virtually guaranteed, the water is a pleasant 18°C-20°C, and the excellent visibility up to 40m allows unrivalled views of those impressive teeth.

Adult price: £3,500

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 5+ days

Adelaide

  • Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Close up of great white shark head just outside of the cage

Bucket List Experience

The Neptune Islands Marine Park is one of the world’s best and most accessible great white hotspots. Full-day cage diving tours depart year-round from Port Lincoln (and some include swims with sealions). In winter months, opt for 2-5 night liveaboards to allow for unpredictable weather and reduced daylight hours.

Adult price: £300

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 1-5 days