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“Loved it!”

White Shark Ventures
Ranked #3 of 5 things to do in Kleinbaai
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Attraction details
Owner description: White Shark Ventures invites you cage diving with great white sharks in the aptly named "Shark Alley", near the fishing village of Gansbaai, South Africa. Due to various geographical reasons, water temperatures and easy access to food, this area has earned worldwide fame and recognition as the single most successful area to view the great white shark within a very shot period of time. In successful operation for 23 years, and established in 1992, White Shark Ventures were the founders and pioneers of shark cage diving in Gansbaai. Our tours are not only highly educational, but we also actively participate in documenting valuable research information on great white sharks, which is forwarded to Marine & Coastal Management Research and various Marine Biologists world-wide. Our directors and employees are passionate about conservation and rehabilitation of all wildlife species, more which can be seen on our website. Our company were the founders of the Great White Shark Protection Foundation, a body dedicated to the protection and preservation of the great white shark globally. Our tour includes; Luxurious return road transfers from Cape Town; Light breakfast and hot beverages offered upon arrival in Gansbaai; Snacks and drinks on-board; Educational information and safety briefing; Diving equipment and wet-suits available at no additional cost; Assisted cage diving for divers and snorkelers; Spectacular surface viewing for non divers; Hot lunch, beer and wine served upon return to shore; Stop over for land based whale watching in Hermanus (only when whales are spotted) Drop-off at Cape Town International Airport at no additional cost. (Upon request).
Reviewed 26 May 2010

We booked with White Shark Ecoventures after recommendations on here. We were staying in Hermanus so drove ourselves there. It cab be tricky to spot as it is upstairs above a bank but there is loads of parking around the back. We also chose to drive down to the harbour and follow the bus down and made our own way back for lunch. If you have a car I would do that as we went back for lunch straight away and so got served first which was great as we were starving!

Do take your own towel otherwise there is a charge to rent them and wear your swimming costume under your clothes there are no private changing facilities on board apart from a small toilet.

Other reviewers have said that they felt that there were too many people in the cage and you did not get long enough each time. It was explained to us that they do not give you long the first few times as they have no idea how many sharks they will attract or how long they will stay (tricky things these wild animals, don't read contracts...) so they try and make sure that everyone gets at least one encounter.

We could go in as many times as we liked and saw 3 sharks very close every time and for a good length of time each time which was great as we were there at the end of the best time of year so we were really pleased.

We didn't buy the video simply because I know from experience that we would watch it once and never again but I did get some great photos (the top of the boat looking down over the cage is the best place) so I can't comment on that.

The crew we had very very knowledgeable and we really enjoyed it. My husband was not that excited about going it was really my thing and he did not want to go in the cage but he said afterwards it was one of the highlights of our trip and how glad he was he went even though he stayed dry and out of the cage.

1  Thank Emma_N68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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225 - 229 of 274 reviews

Reviewed 29 April 2010

As a Tour Consultant , it is important for me to know what I'm selling... so I decided to try out Ecoventures.
My partner and I were collected at 05h30 (ouch!!) but the vehicle was comfortable enough to allow me to catch up on some sleep on our way to Gansbaai.
Upon arrival we were served a simple but tasty breakfast and introduced to our guide for the day. Rozier impressed me with his knowledge of the sharks, their behaviour etc, as well as having a great sense of humour and way with people.
Once on board, We were given a full safety briefing and given instructions on what to do in the unlikely event of something going wrong.
What I enjoyed most, was that although they are licenced to carry 30 clients (+ 5 crew), we only had 21 clients on board, so plenty of room to move around and the group was small enough for Rozier to spend time with each of us during the day. It was frightening to see just how many people some of the other boats had crammed onto their decks! Glad I didn't book with them!!
The first shark made it's appearance before we'd even dropped anchor and we were lucky enough to spot 8 or 9 different sharks circling our boat throughout the day. Again, only 5 people were allowed into the 6 man cage at a time, to ensure that we were comfortable and had space to move in the cage...
All in all, I found the staff to be professional, knowledeable, calming (for those of us feeling uncertain and nervous being in the water with those huge jaws!!) and just generally fun to be around.
At the end of the day, we returned to shore and headed back to the office for a nice warm meal after all that cold water, and some wine / beer while we reviewed the dvd that was made of the day.
Ecoventures - you guys rock! We had an amazing day out... we felt informed and safe at all times and had a great time.

I would not send my clients to anyone else!!!!

1  Thank Lindivz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2010

My wife and I do travel a lot globally and like to advise people on a one on one basis of what we can recommend and what not. Believe me there are a lot of yes and no places and attractions in the world. Recently we have decided after much debate to participate in a shark diving excursion during our stay in Southern Africa. We chose White Shark Ecoventures as they had a reputable track record in the shark diving industry in Africa; according to reading material we gathered.

Must say that since the minute we started corresponding with them we felt at ease and were handled exptremely professional. All details as to what we need to bring along on their excursion was given in advance which made our trip most comfortable. The educational en-route tour from Cape Town to Ghaansbay was very informative. The bus was well equipped with airconditioning and seating space. A special 10/10 for the tourguide who went out of his way to look after us and who knows a lot about the country. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks offered to us was fresh and very, very tasty. The boat was extremely neat and clean and the deck crew extremely friendly and helpful. We were 25 passengers on the boat and there was enough space for all of us. The educational talk and material received on the boat was of a high standard. We even received animals facts booklets which we could take home to our grandchildren. We booked in the morning excursion and there was enough time to do proper diving in the cage and even underwater photography as I am a keep photographer. What I particularly liked was the bucket of fresh water on the deck in which I could rinse my camera equipment. We particularly enjoyed the DVD footage of the excusrion which we bought as a souvernir.

We recommend that you take enough warm clothes with you on the excursion. Sun block is a must!! What a memorable experience - we are definitely recommending this tour to all our clients and friends. Our fear of sharks are something of the past. Fantastic and very, very profesional company and crew 10/10!!

2  Thank AllianceTours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2009

I recently took a shark cage diving trip with White Shark Ecoventures and would seriously warn anyone that is contemplating going on a day trip with this provider as a dangerous, cavalier organisation only interested in taking your money and providing you with the most basic of experiences.

I do not consider myself to be an apprehensive traveller nor am I melodramatic but this experience seriously knocked my confidence for boat based activities. Below are the main points that made my trip so bad:

• The tour guide was arrogant, assuring apprehensive guests that it would be a smooth ride - turned out to be more like a roller coster ride,
• The violent motions of the boat where so hard the (only) life raft came free,
• Although mentioned before, NO life jackets offered to passengers onboard,
• Lack of any real safety briefing but jokes about 'if we're both unconscious it's over to you' and 'the captain can't swim',
• Overcrowding onboard; 30 people on a 35ft boat,
• Seas far to high for the size of boat including spray coming over the side of the boat and waves tossing the boat like a champagne cork,
• An engine failure and fuel block reducing power to the second engine for a time,
• A skipper who's conduct was unprofessional, that included (--) and (--) at the other crew in front of all the customers,
• Nearly running aground on rocks on the return leg because the skippers attention being focused on the engine failure, which included periods with nobody at the helm,
• A 'crash landing' of the boat back at port onto the trailer with all passengers still on board, followed by an off the cuff remark from the skipper in Afrikaans along the lines of 'to hell with it, that will do', which sums up the whole day.

At the end of the trip there where passengers vomiting on the pier and over the side of the boat. To make matters worse they called me later, not to offer apologies or a refund but to say my credit card had been declined and I was trying to fraud them! Sadly we only saw one shark in 3 hours at anchor, I learned later they do not come to the boats in rough weather, making the whole trip futile.

I am sure that with a reputable operator on a calmer day this experience is enjoyable but I will never use White Shark Ecoventure again.

1  Thank Sandyb123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2009

I went on a shark diving day with White Shark Ecoventures and booked online at www.white-shark-diving.com. Despite the mixed reviews below, I selected the company because they advertise the use of scuba gear and snorkels for non-divers; where as many other companies use the “hold your breath” technique. I should have done a little more research- on board I was informed that scuba is rarely used (you need excellent visibility and the sharks don’t like the bubbles). As well, no snorkel was mentioned and frankly it wouldn’t have made any difference, as you want to be at the surface to hear the spotter’s instructions and then go under for the view! So don’t let this impact your selection of companies...

Let’s start at the beginning. I was picked up in Cape Town at about 9:30am and we drove to Hermanus, where we stopped to pick up about 16 others from the local backpackers. We then proceeded to their office, a small room with a few tables and chairs. Breakfast was a sad affair of rolls, cheese, meat and oranges. We then made our payments, drastically different amounts (I paid 1650Rand for the day, including 300R for the Cape Town pick-up. I heard others say they had paid as little as 900Rand from Hermanus). Definitely worth negotiating! We then drove to the marina and the boat was launched at about noon.

The boat is lovely, but far, far, far too small for the 24+people on board. It was uncomfortably crowded. We whipped out to the anchoring site and were lucky enough to spot our first shark! We then took turns rotating into the cage- when my turn came they loaded the cage with 5 people! Again, far too many people in a very confined space, although I think they were trying to ensure that everyone who wanted to go in the cage did so while the sharks were around. Anyway, it didn’t feel like I was in the water very long, but I did see several great whites swim by...one even bumped the cage. The sharks were amazing!

Water conditions were murky, with swells of 2-3meters, but apparently this is normal. Beware if you are prone to seasickness! We stayed on the water until about 3:15, with the option of re-entering the cage. . The snacks onboard consisted of peanuts, kids candy, water and generic cola. Once back on land we viewed the video (350Rand to purchase) and were served lasagne (not great) and beer. The “dive master AKA driver AKA payment taker” spent a little bit of time discussing the sharks we had seen and seemed quite knowledgeable on their behaviour etc...however, with so many people, it was difficult for him to spend the time for an in-depth briefing (more detailed information on behaviour, breeding, threats would have been nice). Then it was back to Cape Town.

Overall, I agree with the review below a “sausage mill”. The sharks were fabulous- and definitely worth while...but I wasn’t impressed with White Shark Ecoventures...and feel a little ripped off! Too many people in a small space and they have cheaped out on the food/wines etc. I wouldn’t book with them again.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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