Baited Shark Dive
Umkomaas, South Africa
Baited Shark Dive Umkomaas Reviews
Diving with Tiger Sharks Jun 30, 2012
Aliwal Shoal is famous for its presence of several big shark species and in particular the Ragged Tooth Shark. Therefore it's ranked by a lot of divers among the top ten dive sites in the world. But as with all the 2000 'Top Ten Dive Sites' it's all about personal taste and preference. If you like adventurous dives with big fish, this is a top ten dive site.
The Shoal is a rocky reef which is the remains of an old sand dune, now 5 km off the coast.
Divecharters are organised from Umkomaas, which is the closest town to the Shoal. They take you there fully geared up with a RIB from the beach. Once on the Shoal a bait is lowered in the water on a buoy. Then you wait for an hour for the sharks to appear. Or, as we did; you go and make a dive somewhere else on the reef.
When we returned you could see several sharks circling the boat, cutting the surface with their fins. After an encouraging briefing including tips such as; 'stay with the group, don't get singled out' and 'keep your hands close to your body, if you want to keep them', we went in with a backroll. As I looked around underwater I counted at least 25 Blacktip Sharks, but no Tiger Shark. The sharks focused on the bait that was hanging in a metal container at a depth of 8 meters, circling it, biting it. Hanging in the open only 8 meters away, the sharks reguarly checked us out, swimming directly at us just to suddenly turn away only an armslength away. We stayed down for 50 minutes, among the sharks. Unfortunately no Tiger Shark appeared, but we didn't mind, the Blacktips made it worthwhile anyway and it's a good reason to come back and try again someday.
Although most people will think otherwise, diving with sharks is actually not so dangerous. There have been no recorded accidents related to baited shark dives in South Africa.
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Amazing Experience Mar 04, 2011
It cost Rand1250 for about an hour dive. Bait used were rotten fish left out in the sun for a few days and there would be definitely be plenty of maggots and it stinks so bad.
There is 2 drum of bait. The top tin drum is for the oceanic black tip shark and the plastic drum is for the tiger sharks and bull sharks. The plastic drum is about 2/3 of a meter in size. As tiger sharks are territory, any oceanic black tip shark that comes near their plastic drum will be chase by the tiger sharks.
You will be in about 9 meter deep into the ocean and a bar might be used so divers can use it to control their buoyancy. Always stare the sharks swimming towards you straight into their eyes and do shout at them if they come too close to you. In the event that they do swimming to close to you, use your hands to lightly guide them away from you.
On the day of my dive, there was about 40 oceanic black tip sharks, 6 tiger sharks and one bull shark.
Part of the South Africa 2010-2011 travel blog