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).
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.
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.
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.
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