DARE devils looking for their next big thrill are creating a new wave of brave travellers who are tackling activities like shark diving on overseas holidays.
The increasing interest in dive holidays has prompted youth and adventure specialists at Student Flights to compile a list of the world’s top shark dive sites.
Bahamas: To satisfy shark seekers, many dive operations now guide curious travellers to locations where, after dropping chum to attract a crowd of white or black tip reef sharks, divers jump in and observe the feeding frenzy above them.
Southern California, USA: Shark dives are offered by operators from the Los Angeles area, Catalina Island and San Diego. The dives vary but all involve long boat rides out to deep water. From the safety of a steel cage and armed with only a camera, divers can see great white sharks, makos, hammerheads and tiger sharks.
Rhode Island, USA: Pull on a wet suit and jump overboard into the frigid waters off Rhode Island – about three hours offshore along the edge of New England’s continental shelf. It is here that the migratory blue sharks prefer to linger.
Gansbaai, South Africa: From Gansbaai, the ‘World Capital of the Great White Shark’, you can get on a dive boat to the infamous Shark Alley. Rumour has it that there are more great whites in this part of the ocean than anywhere else in the world. And at nearby Seal Island, you might even get to witness the astonishing sight of great white sharks leaping out of the water as they hunt seals. A variety of diving operations offer the chance to see the sharks underwater in a cage or to enjoy them from the relative safety of the boat. And many operators don’t require you to be a certified diver either.
Isla Holbox, Mexico: This is one of the best places in the world to see the biggest fish in the ocean and the gentlest shark of them all, the whale shark. Called ‘Dominos’ by the locals – due to the distinctive white spots on their backs, these huge fish can grow up to 30 feet long. But they only eat plankton, so swimmers need not be concerned.
TRY IT FOR YOURSELF
Cape Town Shark Dive
TAKE a dive in an underwater cage and eyeball man-eating giants of the ocean with a shark dive off the coast of South Africa from $739 per person.
Student Flights is offering a four-day adventure in Cape Town including a full-day Great White Shark diving tour, which is run by a commercially licensed diving crew.
The dive takes place from a launch boat moored in an established marine park near Dyer Island which is a known site of great white sharks.
Travellers do not need to have diving experience and, if preferred, can remain in the boat.
The price includes three nights bed and breakfast style accommodation at Hollow on the Square, return airport transfers, the shark tour with dive crew and a half-day Cape Town city tour.
The adventure is valid for sale until August 1 and for travel on selected dates until August 31. Airfares to and from South Africa are not included.
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