Bungee Jumping South Africa
November 26, 2011 by staff
Bungee Jumping South Africa, Bungy jumping and sky-diving – these had been completed with relative ease whilst touring the Garden Route. The prospect of shark cage diving however had provided a lingering sense of anxiety for weeks. With a montage of scenes from Jaws and of course “That Music” resounding in my head, I left Herma**s for Kleinbaai – a small coastal town and the Shark Capital of the World.
After a quick breakfast at the headquarters of Marine Dynamics (our dive operator), we were provided with a brief presentation on the Great White Shark. Due to modern fishing practices, the use of gill nets off beaches and the growing demand for shark meat and fins in Asia, the numbers of Great White Sharks have declined dramatically. Scientists estimate that only 3500 still survive and despite global protection their numbers are estimated to be falling by 20% every three generations.
Marine Dynamics, in partnership with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, both funds and conducts world class research on the sharks in conjunction with local and international universities. The team is conducting pioneering work in the recording of shark behaviour through acoustic-tagging and tracking. Photographs of dorsal fins are also submitted to a global database which allows scientists to monitor individual Great White Shark movements.
On a comfortable 14 metre two-tiered cruiser, we made the journey through fields of kelp to Shark Alley. This shallow channel separates Dyer and Geyser Islands and their near 40,000 strong population of Cape Fur Seals. As we slowly cruised down Shark Alley, I could not help but feel that I was in a David Attenborough documentary- surrounded by nature in all its magnitude. Whilst the majority of the colony laid encamped on the rocks, a few of the younger seals swam without care in the clear turquoise waters. All eyes on deck darted around the boat, half-expecting an ominous dark shape to appear and snatch an unsuspecting pup. There were a few half-starts, namely a larger male seal and some kelp bobbing in the distance, but this treacherous strait of water was strangely devoid of its namesake. The crew decided to then try the warmer waters off the beach where the larger females tend to congregate.
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