Shark Diving Unlimited
Shark Diving Unlimited
4
About
Shark Diving Unlimited specialises in conservation and education initiatives of all shark species around our coastline Owned by Michael Rutzen who has been working with great white sharks since 1994. Four years later Mike began freediving with great white sharks and is now known worldwide as one of the few people who is able to interact with these magnificent predators outside the safety of the cage!Breathtaking images of Mike have been featured in numerous magazines and documentaries including BEYOND FEAR (National Geographic) and SHARKMAN (Discovery). Mike’s aim is to portray positive images of great white sharks in order to dispel the ‘JAWS’ myth.Mike is a PADI Instructor and the only person in the world qualified to teach the prestigious Great White Shark Distinctive Specialty PADI course. He is a qualified skipper, First Aid instructor, qualified rebreather, nitrox and commercial diver. Your skipper Frank Rutzen has spent his life on the ocean from Kwa-Zulu Natal to the Western Cape. He has worked in the great white shark cage diving industry since 1995 and has a passion for wildlife and an extensive knowledge of the Dyer Island marine ecosystem.Nsunda is a qualified South African tour guide and qualified scuba diver. He will help you with all your diving equipment needs and make sure that your day runs smoothly!Shark Diving Unlimited was the company of choice for HRH Prince Harry, His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, Leonardo Di Caprio and Brad Pitt.
Gansbaai, South Africa
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles316 reviews
Excellent
183
Very good
54
Average
30
Poor
26
Terrible
23

louisetownsend1
Birmingham, UK7 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020 • Couples
Our holiday to South Africa has been cancelled because of CV19 so we haven’t done this trip but have requested a refund. To date I have had no acknowledgement of this request. Very disappointing
Written 1 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dennis F
Minneola, FL16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
I've wanted to see great white sharks in the wild for as long as I can remember. When we booked this trip, they were up front and told us that since this in the wild, there's no guarantee that you'll see a great white shark. But it was worth taking the chance. They had transportation available too, since we stayed about 2 hours away it was very helpful.

When we arrived, we saw the smiles from the people who had gone on the earlier tour, and confirmed they had seen several white sharks. We were excited, and it paid off. We got to see several of them in the water, up close. It was unreal, never imagined I would have that chance.

They provided all the needed equipment, and we had a great time. Even my wife and her cousin who were on the fence about it ended up loving it. Drinks and food were provided, and there were showers back at the shop so we could get cleaned up for the long drive back.

Worth every penny.
Written 19 March 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paddy
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Friends
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED This experience from the very start. We woke up early around 3:30am to be greeted by our driver Andy who went above and beyond even showing us some natural sites on the way home. We arrived at gaansbai around 7am for some lovely breakfast and signing of our lives as expected with an experience such as this, We then boarded the barracuda along with about 12 other people, we was well instructed and told of all snacks and refreshments and that with wild animals we may not see anything but hopeful as we was we did eventually see 11 sharks and one huge stingray, was amazing, 7 people per cage and i simply couldn't get enough. An experience I would certainly do time and time again as you never know what your truly going to get. Thank you to all the team who worked tirelessly to get the sharks attention :)
Written 21 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

de m
6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Family
No recommendations to this one. First they forgot to tell me the starting time for the next morning, so I had to write several times and call them. Then I bought a video they made from the trip and paid, but they didn’t send me the link as promised. Oh - and we didn’t see a white shark either, which may not be their fault, but it makes the experience complete. You better stay away from that company.
Written 13 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Horsemcshane
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
It has been a lifelong dream for us to see Great White's in their natural habitat. We travelled 16hrs to see them. We did not. Actually we didn't even see Mr Mike Rutzen!!

We understand that they are wild animals and they won't work to our itinerary, but it would have been nice if we had been told more when making the booking about the possibility of zero sightings.

The service was slow and slightly unprofessional from top to bottom.

We feel that this is a case of "you get what you pay for". We will plan another trip, but i think we will spend a little more and hire a more professional outfit, most probably on a private charter who are experts in finding the great white. We would even be willing to spend a few days at it to ensure the once in a lifetime sighting.

In summary, Our experience was disheartening and sad. We would advise other punters to be very aware that they may not see the great white if they book with Mike Rutzen's outfit, whatsmore they probably won't even see Mike! He's probably away where the actual sharks are!!
Written 29 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ScubaLife SA
Western Cape, South Africa6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Business
A special thanks to Heinrich for being an amazing guide & videographer. Everything went smooth the day before yesterday: we ended up going early morning to avoid the upcoming wind. Do keep up the good work and we will be back with a small group, hopefully March 2019! Warm regards, Koen and Robyn
Written 14 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris B
Coal Valley, IL1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Family
We started the day off with a good breakfast and safety briefing before boarding the ship. They also state clearly that the cannot guarantee that the sharks will show. they d offer a voucher for a return visit if no sharks appear. they also prefer not to charge until the trip is complete so people dont fear being ripped off. they make their best educated guess when and where to try and be but alot is left to chance which is beyond their control. we were able to ask questions and get very informative answers thru out the day. i do recomend motion sickness pills as alot of the visitors felt ill. on this day we waited for almost 3 hours but it all paid off becaue 3 beautiful 13 foot sharks came in and lit up everyones day. even after the trip was done and over my wife and i stayed and talked about shark genetics with the company owner. it was clear that he was very passionate about great whites and truly wants to educate people about how important these creatures are to the ocean eco life.
Written 7 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kevinsleegers
Eindhoven, The Netherlands10 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Couples
Let me first say that I do understand white sharks are wild animals, and it may happen I wouldn't see them during the boat trip, which was the case for me today. Nevertheless, this is not the reason why I was very disappointed about our experience I hoped and came for. I was hoping for at least receiving some information about the sharks and to pull on some dry wetsuits before jumping into the water. Now I had to wait for 2 hours in a cold/wet wetsuit, and didn't hear any updates whatsoever. Nor I went into the water. It felt like the staff on the boat weren't positive about seeing sharks that day , while in the folder stated a 99,99% success rate (how can you claim this… shame on you!). To pay 1700 Rand per person is a lot for me (and I assume for everyone… as it is almost 100 euro..), and for this amount of money you may expect a lifetime memory. Now it feels like losing a lot of money, but also a day of holiday which we thought spending right. On the boat we were not informed about the drinks and snacks either, so you can imagine it's strange when you see staff members getting their snacks and drinks while we were waiting and didn't know what to do.

To say something positive as well: The breakfast was good and tasty! But of course not worth the 1700 Rand per person. We asked for a possible refund, in which they offered a (maximum) discount of 300 Rand per person, which in my opinion doesn't cover the experience. I am so disappointed that I do want to warn you to avoid this Shark diving company! It is not worth the money, and you should go to another company to have better staff. This guide we had was just a joke…

I really hope they will learn from this feedback in order to improve their service/experience to be given in the near future to other customers. But looking at their reaction that their tour was perfect instead (how can you claim this when all people were complaining afterwards?), I doubt if they really want to improve, or just want to focus on their income!
Written 1 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Miranda B
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Solo
Booked this trip to see sharks, but knew that it was possible not to see them, it's nature.
Got a quick briefing before going on board of the boat. Once we were at sea the captain/guide didn't say a thing to us (the people who booked the trip). We didnt know what the plan was and what we had to do. He didnt tell us there were free drinks and snacks, so it was weird to see the crew eating and drinking as we sat there waiting for instructions. After an hour we still sat there. One of the other quests asked when we had to put on the wetsuit. The captain said, you should have already put them on, if there's a shark you only have a few seconds to see it. He didnt give us the instructions to put them on before??? The wetsuits were still wet from the group who went before us. It was really cold (rain and wind) especially with the wet wetsuit on. We sat there for two hours. Some people where suffering seasickness. The captain didn't care about that at all. He was busy with his phone and joking around with his colleagues. He didn't tell anything about the sharks, there habitat etc. No information at all! We didnt spend any time in the cage. There were no sharks. On the way back the captain said that there are almost no sharks in that bay anymore??? They counted around 100 Sharks in that bay a few years before and now only 4!? There are months they don't see sharks at all. But they still offering the trip and tell people that there's a really big chance to see sharks.
Once we where back all quests were really upset about the awfull trip. We all complained at the office. Not because we didnt see any sharks, but due to the fact the captain made it awfull. No information no conversation just sitting and waiting for instructions or information we didn't get.
They wanted to reschedule us for the next day. I didn't want to go with this organisation again and besides that I had to leave the next day. Afterwards I sent them a mail for a refund of 50% and explained how the trip went. Their answer was that the captain said he gave us information about sharks and that the trip wasn't bad at all and that the chance of seeing sharks was really good. I didnt get the refund. Very disappointed!!
Written 30 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Terrance
Tampa, FL106 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Couples
We booked a Shark Cage Diving experience on our recent trip across South Africa and our experience with Shark Diving Unlimited was one of the worst we have ever had. From the moment we arrived, everything went down hill. Upon arrival the host coldly greeted us while smoking a cigarette. There was hot coffee and breakfast, but the place was a bit run down and all of the pictures on the walls and accolades were faded and very old. Most dating back to the early 2000’s. None were current. Look at the fish tank in the lobby. The vessel, Barracuda, was old and in need of a refit. The other charter boats we saw on the water were much nicer, more modern and with better accommodations. The day that we went out it was 9.5C, blowing and the water was rolling. We were given old, torn, cold and soaking wet neoprene suits and booties to wear. Nobody wanted to put them on. People on the other boats looked comfortable and were given foul wether gear to stay warm while waiting. We were not. Most of the people onboard Barracuda became sick, they were cold to the absolute core and we never saw a single shark. After 3 hours we gave up and asked to go back to shore. This trip was torture. If you are looking for a Shark Cage Diving experience we’d suggest you look at the other companies in the area and their reviews before choosing Sharks Unlimited.
Written 7 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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