Frequently Asked Questions

Why use Africa Diver?

We are independent agent and can offer impartial advice on which dive trip is best suited to your needs. Every operator will tell you they are the best and there are many companies that offer similar dive trips but deliver very different experiences. We have the time and the expertise to help you customise your trip and ensure that you are on the right boat at the right time. All of our operators have an exemplary safety record, are experts in their field and are actively support  marine conservation.

Is diving with sharks safe?

Sharks are of course wild animals but any risk of a negative encounter is minimised by only employing the skills, knowledge and expertise of established and respected diving operators that have spent many years working with these animals. Conducting well managed shark dives is ultimately the responsibility of the dive operator and by following their instructions you will have a positive and rewarding encounter. Respect the animals – do not touch – enjoy the view!

Africa Diver recommends that you take out DAN dive insurance in addition to standard insurance before departing.

Do I have to be a qualified diver to cage dive with Great Whites?

You do not need to be a qualified diver to participate on a cage dive. All interactions with great white sharks are done by simply holding your breath – snorkels are not even needed. This is a tried and tested method. Scuba bubbles create a lot of noise underwater and tend to make the sharks uncomfortable and keep their distance. All necessary equipment is on board your boat.

The cage generally takes 5 – 6 people. It is secured to the boat and kept at the surface. The bottom of the cage is at a depth of approx. 2m to which you can easily descend and look through the viewing window. The price remains the same whether you choose to dive or view from the boat. You are able to change your mind should you decide to dive once you are out at sea.

Trips generally last 3 – 4 hours but this is completely dependent on the time of year, behaviour of the sharks, weather and sea conditions and is completely at the prerogative of the captain. Anyone attempting to touch the sharks or reach beyond the cage will be  asked to leave the cage, return to the boat and no longer permitted to dive.

Transfer to and from Cape Town can be arranged, pick up times will most likely be around 6.00am but please note that that the pick up time will be confirmed by the operator.

Great white sharks are not actively fed. They are attracted to the boat using a chum slick (an olfactory cue), and then drawn towards the cage using a visual cue. It is not the intention of any operator to let the shark take the bait but some crew have more experience than others and are therefore more skilled at removing it. For more information about concerns that cage diving conditions great white shark behaviour please contact info@africadiver.co.uk

Can I dive with Great White Sharks without a cage?

It is illegal for cage diving operations to chum and dive outside the cage with great white sharks. However there are some circumstances where divers may encounter great white sharks without a chumming situation. These pelagic dives are for experienced divers only as the dive locations are off shore on remote reefs where the currents and the depth of water calls for perfect buoyancy and composure.  Of course great white shark sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Do I have to be a qualified diver to dive with Tiger Sharks?

Divers and snorkelers alike can dive with tiger sharks. However it is recommended that you are confident with your buoyancy or a relatively experienced snorkeler / free diver.

The chum is contained within a drum so the sharks are not actively fed. For large groups a cage scenario can be arranged. This is a cage made from heavy duty netting rather than metal. It provides a visual deterrent so the sharks don’t approach too close and provides an enjoyable experience for less confident divers or snorkelers. Please contact info@africadiver.co.uk for more information.

Can a private charter be arranged?

Africa Diver can cater for novice divers, experienced divers, amateur and professional photographers  and specialist film crews. Please contact info@africadiver.co.uk for specific requests.

Is it safe to travel in Africa?

South Africa is malaria free and it does not really become an issue until you travel into northern Mozambique and beyond. Please consult your doctor for up to date advice regarding Yellow Fever, malaria and other tropical diseases.
 
Please take sensible precautions whilst traveling throughout Africa. It is advisable to photocopy all important document, ie passport, and have them verified before your leave. You can do this be  taking originals and the copies to your local police station. It is prudent to leave the copies with someone at home who can easily send them to you should there be a problem. In the unlikely event that you lose passport having the copy will make the replacement procedure easier.

If you intend to hire a car please apply for an international driving license from your local post office. Many car hire companies will let you take a car without pointing out that, in the event of a claim, you may not be covered by the insurance if you cannot produce an international licence.

Never leave valuables visible in the car.

Roads throughout Africa can often be dangerous due to pot holes, reckless drivers and livestock! However main roads in South Africa are generally well maintained and touring overland is a great experience. Check carefully that your route does not take you off road and require a 4x4 vehicle.

How do I make payment for dives, accommodation, flights etc?

Africa Diver can certainly advise where to find good flight deals but it is your responsibility to reserve, book and pay for all your international and domestic flights. In most instances we can book all your transfers, accommodation and any complementary excursions. Generally 20%  is to be paid to secure a booking,  half of the outstanding amount payable a month before departure and the remaining payable on arrival.
 
Payment can be made via online banking, credit card or cash on arrival.