WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES TO SEE GREAT WHITE SHARKS?
by Ron Daniel
Where Can I Cage Dive with Great White Sharks?
There are just a few places around the world where you can go cage diving with great whites. Ranging from near to far, each of these locations host different populations and amazing views. Following are the best places to fulfill your dream of having the life-changing experience of being in the water with carcharias carcharodon, the incredible great white shark!
1) San Francisco, California
Just 29 miles west of the Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco's Farallon Islands play host to the 50 to 100 great whites who come to the island each year. These sharks come to feed on the resident sea lions and elephant seals. Although the waters tend to be cold and visibility can be limited, the huge average size of the Farallons' great white sharks makes it a coveted destination for shark lovers.
2) Isla Guadalupe, Mexico
150 miles off the west coast of Mexico's Baja California, Isla Guadalupe offers the clearest water views of great white sharks. From July through November, great whites can be seen in quantity as they come to feed on the Guadalupe fur seal and northern elephant seal. The smaller males show up early, energetically competing for prey and dominance. Later in the season, the larger females arrive, offering incredible views of these apex predators who can approach 20 feet in length! As an added bonus, the water temperatures average from 72° F in the early months to 68° F later in the year.
3) Cape Town, South Africa
A very dense population of great white sharks can be found two hours from Cape Town in Gansbaai. Known as Shark Alley, the waters between Gansbaai's Dyer Island and Geyser Island are teeming with great whites who feed on Cape Fur Seals. Also near Cape Town, Seal Island in False Bay is famous for great white shark breaching, as they launch themselves into the air during seal predations. Shark tours run to both locations all year long, with the peak season between June and September when the water visibility is best.
4) Port Lincoln, Australia
South Australia's Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula is the launching point for great white cage diving trips to Neptune Islands Conservation Park. The park is Australia's only place to legally cage dive with great whites. There are currently three operators licensed by the government to run cage diving tours to view great whites. Best viewing times: Breeding season is December/January. Also, May through July offer excellent predation viewing opportunities, although it should be noted that this is during Australia's winter, and cancelled trips due to poor weather are not unusual.