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Published: July 23rd 2012
It is a hot topic in South Africa the pros and cons of shark cage diving and even the use of burley or chum to lure the sharks in for documentaries is now a big no no since the surfer was taken off the coast close to a filming crew. For sure we can see both points of views here, having the burley in the water and a group of terrified tourists in a cage must to some degree get the shark’s thinking food when they see humans. People also say that it is interfering with nature and can have negative consequences and alter their behavior, just check out the baboons.
But it is a big industry and brings a lot of income for the region, increases jobs and knowledge to tourist about the sharks showing that they are not as bad as Jaws may suggest. Just like most tourism industries in Africa it needs to be managed properly without trying to cash in (the recent Tanzania disaster comes to mind) and find a balance to make it safe but also sustainable and not impacting too much on the environment.
Well it is a touchy subject and one we
will not get into too deeply here but as you can see we did go and visit the great whites for a few hours and yes it is amazing. Well it was for one of us as Diana is prone to sea sickness and it well and truly kicked in on this voyage but she was only doing her part to help attract the sharks so they didn’t need to use so much burley and yes her first sighting was with her head over the edge and it just so happened that a shark surfaced at the same time...
The good thing is that you are pretty much guaranteed to see sharks in this area. With the seals close by the lads know exactly where to go and within minutes a shark was circling the boat, with the help of the burley of course. On the way out to the shark area you are put into groups of four and as soon as a shark approaches your wet suited up and heading right into the near freezing water. If you’re in the first group into the cage it is good as everything is happening so quick and you don’t
get a chance to think ‘holly shit I am about to get into the water with a great white’. It is not until your holding onto the cage and then you see a mouth full of teeth only one meter from your head that it hits you.
The people above get to view all this going on below and then the mind starts thinking of all the things that can go wrong. But to be so close to the ultimate ocean predator is an experience that will last a lifetime and we only hope that shark diving will continue so others can experience it but without causing all trouble it currently does.
Also in the this area it is possible to go to the most southern point in Africa which is not Cape Point as many tourist believe. Cape Agulhas is the place where all the tip to toe travelers head to capture the achievement of making it so far from their respective starting points. Honestly there is not a great deal to see or do in the area but it was on the way between our previous place and the sharks in Hermanus so made for a
After Hermanus it was time to visit some of the wine towns that South Africa is famous for and Stellenbosch was on the radar. It is a great city which has a great vibe about, plenty of students getting around whom we are sure are not just there for their academic aspirations. We visited a couple of the vineyards surrounding the town and yes they are as good as they say. We only wish we could have stayed for longer in Stellenbosch as it is a very relaxed city but with our final stop Cape Town close by we needed to get moving.
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