The Breaching Behaviour of Sharks

The White Shark Diving Company is a responsible, eco-friendly tour operator that offers you the unique experience of getting up close and personal with one of the sea’s most fearsome predators – the enormous Great White Shark. Nothing beats the exhilaration of ducking down into the water and seeing the toothy shadow of the majestic Great White suddenly powering towards you and then vanishing back into the murky depths. Shark cage diving is a once in a lifetime experience and will instil in you new-found respect for these animals which are so deserving of our admiration and conservation efforts. 

The White Shark Diving Company operates in Gansbaai, which is the ideal location as the 30, 000 strong Cape Fur Seal colony on Dyer Island creates the perfect feeding ground for the sharks. While Great Whites are active in the area for most of the year, the months of May through October are considered optimal for viewing these rulers of the ocean. 

The famous Dyer Island is world renowned as an ideal spot for Great White sightings and it’s here that the fascinating breaching behaviour was first uncovered. The Great White is a surface feeder, so you can watch the feeding frenzy from the boat and you may also be privileged to witness the shark hurtling its entire body out of the sea, as it breaches, suspended in the air for two seconds before crashing back down into the water. 

Watching the 1200kg predator blast its entire, massive frame out of the sea at astonishing speeds, is a breathtaking experience you won’t soon forget. This honed hunting technique is an astonishing testimony to the shark’s phenomenal power and cunning, as it launches itself on its prey, often unsuspecting seals and snaps, before the seal even has a chance to react. This behaviour is instinctive in Great Whites and Dyer Island is one of the best destinations to witness it. 

If you choose the Gansbaai Shark Cage Diving package, then you’ll hop on a boat, which will then proceed to trawl around Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, tempting predation by towing a fake seal. Most shark attacks occur in the morning, when the seals come back from their nightly forage, making for the perfect time to employ the decoy approach. Once the shark spots the decoy which it believes to be a seal, it will give chase and you’ll be able to see the incredible speed it swims at, before it lunges itself out the water. 

According to Dr Dirk Schmidt, based on footage of sharks breaching, it is guessed that for a shark weighing 1000kg to launch itself out of the sea, it must reach a speed of between 45 and 50km/h. As the space is so limited around Dyer Island, the shark must explosively accelerate from 7km/h to 50m/h in only a few metres, before it reaches its terminal momentum which is the force that enables it to push itself completely out the ocean. 

After you have witnessed these incredible aerial feats, you’ll have the opportunity to climb into the cage and get even closer to these feisty fish, as they appear out of nowhere with a flick of their powerful tales, facing you head on. 

The White Shark Diving Company is committed to ethical and eco-friendly business practices and prioritises the shark above all else, so you can rest in the knowledge that no harm will come to this magnificent animal. The Breaching Package is the ideal opportunity to witness some of the more astonishing behaviours and hunting techniques of the renowned predator.