< Scuba dive with cow sharks » Scuba Dive Courses Cape Town

SCUBA DIVING WITH COW SHARKS IN CAPE TOWN - INTRODUCTION

Why sit in a cage and see sharks through metal bars if you can swim next to them near Cape Town?

Don’t worry; the sharks in question are usually not aggressive. Cow sharks, (sometimes referred to as the Seven Gill Cow Shark, or the Spotted Cow Shark) are one of the most primitive shark species in the world. They are also one of only two species that have 7 gills and their sizes range from about 1.4 to 3.5 meters. It is interesting to note that they do not possess the dorsal fin that is most commonly associated with sharks.

They are generally very inquisitive fish and have been known to rub up against scuba divers as they glide by. They are usually not aggressive towards divers, and are normally quite sluggish – but, as with all creatures in the ocean, they should not be teased or provoked.

This scuba experience takes place in the kelp forests near Simonstown in the Cape, where we go in search of our colony of cow sharks.  They are social feeders and group together which makes for an excellent experience. As much as 18 individuals have been seen together at a time.

When we go scuba diving with Cow Sharks the channel that we dive in is about 12 meters deep. This makes for a truly unique experience, as Cape Town is one of the few spots in the world where you can scuba dive with them in such shallow water. 

As they swim up and down the channel you will have ample opportunity for photos and by the end of the scuba dive you should be able to identify individuals by their colour, bite marks and other features.

There are also some other things to see on this dive near Cape Town. The dive happens in a kelp forest with abundant life – it is quite common to see the endangered Red Roman here, octopus, jelly fish, Pajama Sharks etc – the list if virtually endless! We occasionally also spot the short tail Sting.

Cow Shark Scuba dive facts

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What have others said about Into the Blue Scuba Dive Center?

Globetrekker Oxford

“Top marks for safety and professionalism”....

The reason for giving five stars is not because my dive day was good - it was horrible, a complete washout, no viz, unpleasant swell, just all round yucky conditions.

However, that's nature, and dive operators can do nothing about it. What all dive operators should do is be as professional and customer-focused as the guys from ITB diving.

First thing to note is that ITB is considerably cheaper (by almost 1000.- Rand) than Simonstown operators, which is baffling considering that they also have the transport cost from Cape Town to budget for.

DMs, Instructors and Shopfloor staff are all super friendly and helpful; I even got picked up from my Cape Town digs and dropped off afterwards, free of charge.

On the boat, I saw all the emergency and redundancy gear I like to see: twin engines (VERY important!), Oxygen, comms gear, flares, the lot. Briefings were thorough, and buddy check was insisted on.

The trip to Seal Rock in the RIB was fun in the swell, but when we got there the captain did not let us dive because of the unsafe conditions. Disappointing as this was, he was totally right. Low tide and heavy swells are a dangerous combination this close to the rocks, and as for trying to get back into a RIB in seas like this....
We then tried the PMB wreck, where zero viz and nasty vertical swell separated the group and forced us out of the water after 25 minutes.

The captain did offer to try another spot but was honest enough to tell us that in his opinion it was going to be rubbish everywhere, and so we called it a day.

Back at the dive shop, we were all offered a re-schedule, but as I'm out of time I was given half my money back. I know from experience that this is not the norm in the industry, sadly.

Into the Blue is a top notch outfit that does things by the book, with a strong safety focus and very customer centered, on top of offering reasonable pricing and a fair refund policy. You'll have a hard time to find a better operator anywhere around. They'll definitely be my first choice when I pass through next, and for doing my IDC sometime this year.

Just hope mother nature will be in better mood then.

Visited April 2017

 

Jayson De Ath

Super and very professional setup. Glad I was able to dive...

with them and would not only recommend diving here, but look forward to the next trip to dive with again.

Marlise Jordaan

Super friendly staff. Would def recommend using this place