White Sharks at Dyer Island

Dyer Island is located five nautical miles from the small fishing harbour of Kleinbaai near Gansbaai. Cage diving activities started here in the early 90’s. They quickly developed into a high profile section of the tourism industry becoming one of the major attractions of the region.

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Dyer Island, the larger of a group of islands, is an important nature reserve for many marine bird species, including an African Penguin colony. The smaller rocky outcrop of Geyser Rock, located a hundred metres from Dyer Island, is home to 50-70 thousand Cape Fur Seals. This permanent colony of sea lions is the reason for White Sharks to aggregate in numbers in the area. The narrow and shallow channel separating the two islands is better known as Shark Alley as it was referred to in many documentary films.

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Each of the three days we are here we board an 11-metre long catamaran and spend the day with the White Sharks of Dyer Island. The sharks range between 1.5 and 5.5 metres in length, with an average length around three metres. The best underwater visibility conditions can occur during the southern winter months, up to 10 meters on the best days, and the water temperature is usually between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Excursions usually leave the little harbour of Kleinbaai at around eight in the morning to return later in the afternoon depending on shark activity and sea conditions.

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The White Shark’s behaviour makes it ideal for surface observation and photography. Snorkelling and scuba diving will take place in a large cage designed for multiple divers secured to the boat at all times.

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