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“We rented the whole boat for a large group and they didn't disappoint”

African Shark Eco-Charters
Ranked #3 of 21 Tours in Simon's Town
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Join shark expert and naturalist Rob Lawrence for a personalize true shark experience.Certified "Fair Trade in Tourism", we offer eco-friendly shark cage diving and great white breaching trips in Simon's Town.Small groups only Scuba Diving offered with no dive experience needed. A truly amazing experience.
Buffalo, NY
Level Contributor
81 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“We rented the whole boat for a large group and they didn't disappoint”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

July of 2013 we rented the boat for exclusive use for 10 people. Upon showing up in Simons town and parking the office for African Shark Eco is directly net to the parking lot on the lower level beneath a second story fish and chips joint. While my family ate I took care of paying for the excursion which was smooth process. We then proceeded for a short walk down the pier where we boarded their power catamaran. It should be noted that these dives only operate seasonally out of Simonstown (think South African Winter, when shark season is peak. If off-peak (summer) you can check ops out of Gansbaai).

Boat:
The boat is well appointed with a bathroom, plenty of room to walk around and a roof top deck. One of the nicest things about the boats coming out of Simons town is the group sizes. In African Shark Eco's case this is 9-11 people MAX. In prior outings in Gansbaai we were with 20+ people and it was not as enjoyable.On the 20-30 minute ride out to seal island we were given a safety briefing, the equipment was explained to us and we were offered snacks and drinks.

Dives:
We quickly got on a few different sharks and were putting people in the cage. The tour operator provides wet suits, boots, hood and snorkel mask. One of the distinctions here is that African Shark Eco uses scuba regulators and compressed air. This is a huge advantage as you can stay underneath while breathing compressed air instead of doing breath hold. Everyone on our boat got the chance to go more than once if they wanted and stay down for a good length of time. Some of the encounters were very close with the sharks hitting the cage, a real rush. Everything was handled efficiently, safely and professionally by the crew.

Wrap-up:
African Shark Eco is a good choice in Simonstown for white shark encounters with a large clean boat, underwater scuba regulators/compressed air (no scuba cert needed) and a professional crew. Make sure you bring your swim trunks and a good underwater camera with a wrist strap.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AIRJAWS, Owner at African Shark Eco-Charters, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Thanks very much for your detailed review. I am glad your group had a good time with us and the amazing great white sharks of False Bay.
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Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Exceeds expectations in every way!”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We had an absolutely incredible tour with African Shark Eco Charters last month! Upon arriving in Simon's Town, we were promptly greeted by a crew member and shown to the boat. After a short boat ride, we were at world famous Seal Island, where we saw multiple sharks breaching and hunting seals. It was amazing! The crew was very knowledgable and professional and were able to answer an questions we had. After watching the sharks hunt, we had the opportunity to get in the cage with them. They provide clean, dry wetsuits and only put two people in the cage at a time. You can also choose to snorkel or use a scuba regulator attached to oxygen on the boat. Many companies claim that noise from the scuba gear disturbs the sharks, but this definitely did not seem to be the case! Everyone who got into the cage saw multiple sharks at a close distance, and we all agreed using scuba equipment allowed us a better view of the sharks since you don't have to stay on the surface of the water. You feel very safe the entire time. It's an incredible experience that I would recommend to anyone visiting Cape Town or the surrounding area!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank morbea56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AIRJAWS, Owner at African Shark Eco-Charters, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
WE are so glad that you had a wonderful time with us. You guys were fun to have aboard. Using scuba diving on a cage dive is BEST, and glad you experienced it for yourselves.
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Mount Airy, North Carolina
Level Contributor
39 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Excellent Trip!”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Rob and his team were very helpful and enthusiastic about ensuring everyone a trip of a lifetime. We did two days with African Shark Eco-Charters and had a wonderful experience. Cage diving with air was a much better experience than having to come up so often with snorkles! A trip of a lifetime!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank aamartin20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AIRJAWS, Owner at African Shark Eco-Charters, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
We are glad you spent two days with us as it gives you a good feel of what the sharks are up to. We were very happy to have you aboard and glad you also used the scuba and saw that its the only way to experience your cage dive.
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Cape Town
2 reviews
“Thank you for an awesome trip!”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

Rob, I wanted to thank you for your hospitality on Monday, I really appreciate you letting me join you on the trip. It was great meeting you and the sightings were just awesome. You run a really professional operation.

I can see there is quite a bit of timing and good fortune involved in getting the "wow factor" breaching shots that you have on your Facebook page. John's guests had a fantastic time and will remember the day for many years to come.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Patrick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AIRJAWS, Owner at African Shark Eco-Charters, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
Thanks for having you aboard. It was great showing you how we run our operation. Glad the guests had a good time. Cheers Rob
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
148 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“The ONLY way to go!”
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We were one of two shark cage diving boats out at Seal Island today (July 12) and I am SO glad we went again with ASEC (we had gone once before in off-season and didn't get in the cage due to lack of shark activity). After a beautiful pre-dawn ride out to the island, Captain Rob and his crew got busy looking for predations. We saw several hits and some misses (yay for the seals that got away!). Once we'd seen a few of them as well as gotten a little tour and information about the island, it was time to get in the cage. The other boat crammed 4 people in their cage (ASEC only puts 2 people in at a time) and they did NOT have the use of regulators. What that means is basically, they had to hold their breath and go under to see the sharks as they swam by the cage. Sometimes this happens in the blink of an eye so I'm sure they missed a lot. ASEC uses the "hookah system" which means the tank with air stays on the boat and you're handed a regulator where you can slip under the water and stay down there observing the sharks. That is truly the ONLY way I'd ever do it. My husband was worried because from the boat, he didn't think I saw much shark action and he thought I'd be disappointed but once we were back in our room at Simonstown Guesthouse (highly recommend it as well!) I showed him video of the sharks swimming back and forth numerous times. They were too deep to see from the boat so there is no way the folks in the cage on the other boat would have seen them since the crew wouldn't have been able to tell them to go under. Captain Rob and his crew are super friendly, they are professional, and very knowledgeable (one of his crew holds her Masters degree in Conservation Biology). If you want the best possible cage-diving experience, you'll be sorry if you don't book with them!!!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank azhootie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AIRJAWS, Owner at African Shark Eco-Charters, responded to this review, July 26, 2013
Wow, what a thorough and complete review of our operation. Thank you, thank you for taking the time to write it. We really work hard at giving our guests the best opportunity of spending a good time with us and we appreciate the feed back.
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