Great White Sharks

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San Francisco, California

Great white sharks are closer than you think! Choose from a one day adventure departing from San Francisco or another nearby marina in the Bay area. The Gulf of the Farrallones Marine Sanctuary is home to some of the world's largest great white sharks -- and they are very easily accessible. These islands (Southeast Farallon and Maintop Island) off the coast of San Francisco are the winter water playground of adult great white sharks, which measure 15 to 20 feet long. (4.5 meters to 6.1 meters). The sharks come to the Farrallons to dine on the local population of Northern Elephant Seals. You'll find yourself rooting for the seals as they compete in a race for their lives against some of the planet's most incredible marine predators. Watching this natural great white feeding event is an experience you'll never forget.

If you want to see the Great White sharks, go to Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco. The best time period is between September and November. It is a frightful experience: cages are lowered ten to fifteen feet into the water, and dead fish are placed into the water to attract them. It is not necessary to know scuba, as you will be supplied with air from a hose from the surface. If you can snorkel, you can dive with sharks. As long as you're in reasonably good health, love sharks and the ocean and meet minimum age requirements, you can cage dive with big sharks. See Great White Sharks Adventure.

Another option is Cage Diver. You will Cage dive with Great White Sharks the size of cars in the world's largest shark cage - and you don't have to be a diver. The Great White Shark day expedition begins when you board the shark boat at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Great white sharks feed on the population of seals who inhabit the Farallones. Dives are offered on a select number of Saturdays and Sundays, late-September through November.


An alternate location is the Mexican island of Guadalupe. Isla Guadalupe is considered one of the best places on the whole planet to view great white sharks. The best viewing time is between Mid-August and mid-November.

South Africa

Another location is in South Africa. A friend of mine saw the Great White Sharks here, and described it as a "horrific" experience. It is a well known spot to see the Great White Sharks. The tours are run all year long, but the best months to see great whites, however, are April through September, when the success rate for seeing Great White Sharks is 95% (it is closer to 50-70% success the rest of the year). -- William S. Howard