Shark cage diving is the exhilarating experience of diving with the ocean’s apex predators with the protection of a steel cage.
There are only a handful of places where you can reliably see the most infamous predator of them all, the great white shark.
Here are the top five places to dive with great whites in the world.
Gansbaai, South Africa
Dubbed the ‘great white capital of the world’, Gansbaai’s large population of sharks congregate between Dyer Island and Geyser rock, creating an ideal situation for those willing to brave the cold waters and come face-to-face with a number of shark species.
In addition to great whites, Mako, tiger, black-tip and blue sharks can all be found in Gansbaai. The local cape fur seal colony provides the sharks with a perfect place to hunt for food, making it arguably the best location for shark cage diving in the world.
Isla de Guadelupe, Mexico
Located roughly 240km off the west coast of Mexico, Isla de Guadelupe is a popular eco-tourism destination because of its diverse marine life and visibility unrivalled by any other location on the list.
Guadelupe Island is the main dive spot to see great whites off the Mexican coast, while the Rivelligegedo Archipelago further up the coast is a hotspot for dolphins, manta rays, humpback whales and a number of shark species.
False Bay, South Africa
False Bay is without a doubt the best place to witness great whites ‘breaching’, the unique hunting technique where they use the element of surprise to catch seals with such force from below that they fly out of the water.
Shark cage diving is popular in the bay, and many operators offer the opportunity to scuba dive within the cage, allowing divers to observe sharks at greater depths for a greater length of time.
Neptune Islands, Australia
Neptune Islands Conservation Park is a safe haven for great whites, who continually face challenges worldwide for survival due to human factors such as shark nets, overfishing and habitat destruction. This is the only place in Australia where shark cage diving is permitted.
Split up into two sets of islands, the Neptunes are characterized by rocky terrain and are home to the largest colony of fur seals in the country. In addition to the impressive ocean life, the islands are also well-known for their terrestrial flora and fauna and include an impressive array of mammals, reptiles and birds.
Farallon islands, United States
Just 30kms from San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Farallon Islands are a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. Known as the ‘Islands of the Dead’ by Native Americans, they have remained largely uninhabited for most of their history, but marine and weather researchers maintain have recently established a small presence.
The islands are closed to the public but the surrounding waters are an excellent place to view great whites due to the large elephant seal colony scattered around its shores, which provide an excellent food source.