Shark cage diving!

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Hello family and friends,

I can’t believe my time in South Africa is almost over. Three weeks from today, I will be back in my cozy bed in Orange! I’m in complete denial that I am leaving so soon, but I can definitely say that I have made the most of my time here. One thing that I knew I really wanted to do before I left was shark cage diving. I waited until as far as I could in the semester to go because apparently the water gets clearer and there is better visibility as winter approaches (remember, we have opposite seasons here so we are going into winter now). I went with 8 other students from my program, and our driver picked us up from our house at 3 AM, it was such a struggle. It was a two and a half hour drive to Shark Alley, which is a bay that is known to have the largest great white population in the world. The whole town surrounding Shark Alley was super quant, and every single business there was related to sharks/shark cage diving. We arrived at the harbor at around 6 AM at our tour guide made us all breakfast before getting on the boat. To my surprise, there was no “safety talk” or really any warning/preparation for what was to come. Definitely something that would never happen in America!! The only safety warning we got was a sign that said “do not touch the sharks”. We boarded to the boat around 7 am and drove about 15 minutes out to the shark zone. The crew docked the boat and threw buckets of chum in the water. Almost immediately, we were surrounded by so many massive great whites! Some of them were about as big as a large SUV, so massive and scary. The cage that we go into was attached to the side of the boat and large enough to fit about eight people. The way the cage was set up was that you had about a foot of room the stick your head above the water, and then we had to wear weights to keep our feet at the bottom of the cage. We didn’t have a snorkel or any scuba gear, you just waited with your head out of the water until the boat attendant yells “down down down”, which meant a shark was right in front of the cage and then you hold your breath under water to see the sharks. The minute before it was time to get in the cage, I was like what the hell am I doing I can’t do this. But then I was able to force myself into the cage, and I had the most amazing time! It was absolutely incredible to see the sharks up close, they were literally a foot away from my face. It was exhilarating/terrifying when the sharks would bite at the cage or bump into it, but it was the coolest thing I have ever done. We were able to go into the cage twice, we took turns going in for about fifteen minutes. It was also really cool to just sit in the boat and watch the sharks circle us. I would do it again in a heartbeat and recommend it to anyone visiting South Africa. In my opinion, it was way more “cool” than “scary”.

Now its time to buckle down for the next three weeks and kick butt on my finals!

I can officially say that I knocked everything off of my bucket list for South Africa, which includes:

– Shark Cage Diving

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– Safari (seeing lions, giraffes, rhino)

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– Highest bungee in the world

– Join a club for something I wouldn’t normally do at home (wakeboarding, meditation retreat)

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– Riding an elephant

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– Ride an ostrich

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– Go to the penguin beach

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– Galloping horseback on the beach

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– Wine tour

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– Volunteer/Spend time in a township

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– Surfing

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– Going up Table Mountain

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– Music Festivals / Afrikaburn

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– Kayaking

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– See Nelson Mandela’s prison cell

Nelson Mandela's Prison Cell

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2 Comments

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  1. That’s all you did?? What about that month in Australia, now seeming so long ago! 🙂

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