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“Unprofessional” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Great White Shark Tours

Great White Shark Tours
Gansbaai, South Africa
+27 28 384 1418
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Ranked #2 of 20 attractions in Gansbaai
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Owner description: The owner and founder Brian McFarlane is a professional diver and skipper who has always made a living from the sea. He started diving for perlemoen (abalone) at a young age, then moved on to become a commercial fisherman for 6 years and spent another 6 years diving in search of wrecks along the southern coast of Africa. This was followed by the diving for diamonds from the sea bed for the next 20 years.He has become a local legend with his fascinating tales about the sea and underwater experiences. During the timewhen Great White Shark fishing was allowed, Brian caught Great Whites, some weighing more than 1 ton.Today, he dearly regrets this and now spends his time and efforts in finding the great beasts to be observedand photographed at close range. Brian has worked with the Great Whites for 18 years, and has only had6 non-sighting days in the last 10 years.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Unprofessional”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

We booked the Great white shark tours after reading all the many good reviews about them. When we arrived, the breakfast was good and the briefing average with standard safety precautions being communicated. As soon as we got on the boat, the staff were busy playing around and goofing around with each other. They led us into the cage 8 at a time and at the time when I was in the cage, there were 9 people in the cage due to someone on the tour "sneaking" into the cage. This could have had serious repercussions in the event of an emergency and not everyone was accounted for during the time when we are in a cage with sharks! This made it seem as if the crew were not taking the safety of the people onboard seriously.

During the time when we are waiting our turn to see the sharks, there was no attempt to talk about the sharks and maybe some information about their biology/breeding or behavioural patterns. I know it is not meant to be an educational tour but this would have added value to the tour and increased our appreciation of the fish.

When we were in the water, one of the crew member was luring the fish towards us and at times it seemed as if they did not respect the fish and even caught sight of one crew member teasing another into jumping into the water. Playfully of course, but this came across as unprofessional to us.

Although the experience of diving with the great whites was an experience of a lifetime, I believe there will other better operators who may be able to give you a better onboard experience.

The great white shark diving as an activity is highly recommended but we will not recommend this tour operator.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharky41, Manager at Great White Shark Tours, responded to this review, December 24, 2012
As the owner and skipper of Apex Predator, used by Great White Shark Tours, I was astounded to read the negative review.

During my briefing I end it by stating that should the tourists have any questions regarding the sharks and their activities I will be happy to answer them. As far as shark information is concerned we try our best to inform the tourists of relevant shark facts, such as size, breeding habits etc., on the placemats set on the tables used for breakfast. In addition each diver receives a diving certificate incorporating a multitude of facts about the great whites.

Whilst on board I noticed no difference in the performance of my crew in carrying out their duties. As professionals they do try to create a relaxed atmosphere especially for persons who appear to be wary of entering the cage. Thus, the lighthearted “playing around”, in no way compromises the safety of our passengers since they are all trained professionals.

The lid of cage needs to be lifted for anyone to enter or leave, so it is difficult to imagine how any passenger could “sneak” into the cage.

No crew member jumped into the water. We saw at least 8 sharks on the trip in question!!

Finally, there is not much I can do at this stage to improve the experience of the reviewer, but I know that my crew and I do our utmost to make the visitor’s tour “a never to be forgotten” experience and success.

Brian McFarlane
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Leuven, Belgium
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Greatly recommended”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Very professional outfit. Very knowledgeable. Highly recommended company. Not very expensive either if you compare it to some other companies. Snacks and drinks available all day. We saw about 8 great whites. One of the highlights of our holiday with a great company.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

This was a fantastic trip! Truly the best experience of my two week trip to South Africa. It was also reasonably priced in my opinion at approximately £90pp.

The site is approximately a 2 hour drive from Cape Town so be prepared to be up early (4:40am pick up for us!) but they put on a hearty breakfast on arrival.

After the safety briefing we headed a short distance out to sea and arrived at the shark infested waters in approximately 20 minutes. It didnt take long at all for the sharks to begin to appear, maybe 30 minutes? We were divided into two sets to go down into the cage.

A word of warning though - if you have a waterproof camera DO NOT go down with the strap attached to it - take it off. One of the young women on our trip lost her camera when the strap floated out of the cage whilst she was holding the camera. A shark then swam past and the strap went over its nose and the camera was wretched out of her hands. The shark came back about 10 minutes later with the camera and strap around its body! Funny at the time (not for the poor woman) but it could have been serious had the strap been around her neck or wrist. The staff said they had never seen anything like it in 16 years of doing the trips, but it happened.

We saw approximately 15 sharks that day and we constantly had then swimming within the vicinity. Some of them were HUGE ! It was amazing when they swan right next to the cage or swan straight at it, teeth bared trying to get the bait. Such an amazing experience.

Once back at the base they put on a nice lunch of soup, coffe, tea, biscuits etc and played a video of the filming that day. This cost 250 rand from memory for about 30 minutes of video.

You get lots of time in the cage, I think I was down for a total of about an hour, split into 2 sessions, and lots of time on the boat to take photos. Brilliant - well worth every penny. Thank you Great White Shark Tours!

Visited November 2012
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Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Sharks, Sharks and More Sharks, simply amazing.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

My wife and I were more than happy to jump in the water given the quality operation offered by sharkcagediving.net. Breakfast on arrival, plenty of food and drinks on the not overly crowded boat, so many sharks you could not count them, refreshments upon your return. Pay a little extra for good quality DVD.

Don’t waste your time booking any where else; the crew and Apex Predator is first class.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Recklinghausen, Germany
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great day on the sea”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Excellent opportunity to see the great white shark. A whole day adventure with the possibility to go into the cage twice for a reasonable time. Sandwiches, crisps and drinks are plenty on board, any time to grab. Nice atmosphere, all you need is provided. If you book via your B&B you might get an discount.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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