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Cape Town Tours

Pelagic Shark Trips with Chris & Monique Fallows

Cape Peninsula, South Africa

Pelagic shark trip with Chris Fallows
Return to Cape Town & Cape Winelands Tours          © Chris Fallows

Chris and Monique FallowsThe target species on the Pelagic Shark trips are the magnificent mako and blue sharks as well as the massive yellowfin tuna that they hunt. Whilst not as big and bulky as the great white shark, the mako certainly does not stand back, as it is the fastest shark in the sea and coupled with its beautiful blue and silver coloring, it is a truly magnificent creature, aptly described by Peter Goadby as “Blue dynamite".

For the last seven years, Chris and Monique Fallows have been the only operators offering these trips in Africa.

These trips take place during the African summer and autumn months and a variety of shark species are seen. The area visited is also one of the best areas in the world to see pelagic birds.

To find these animals, you will head out into the warm Agulhas current off Cape Point and it is this warm current that a multitude of fish species exist to attract the great predators of the deep.

Here the emphasis is on free diving, but if you prefer, a great time can still be had by viewing these beautiful sharks from the boat, as they are very curious and often swim up and alongside the vessel.

To view these sharks, the Fallows' use sophisticated low frequency sound equipment to attract them. Once the sharks are around the boat and conditions permitting, you will then have the chance to dive with them or simply watch them cruise around the boat at your leisure.

Many guests who have cage dived with great white sharks have actually said that these open water free dives with the pelagic sharks were the real highlight of their trip. Expect the unexpected.

Note on Vessels: All of the Fallows' expeditions are run from their high powered 28-ft catamaran, equipped with two new 140-hp, low emission, 4-stroke engines, capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots if need be. They also have access to a larger 36-ft catamaran for larger groups if need be. These vessels are custom built for these activities, are safe, fast, and reliable, offering a well designed layout suitable for photography, filming, diving and general surface observation.

Note on seeing sharks: As sharks are entirely wild animals with no boundaries, no guarantee can be made for any sightings at any time of the year; however, there are certainly better times than others.

Pelagic sharks - chances of seeing one or more sharks:
High Season (Dec to June): 90%
Feb to June: The best
Apr & May: The Fallows' favorite time
Intermediate season (Oct & Nov): 65%
Low season (July to Sept): weather usually too bad offshore

The pelagic shark expeditions take place near to Cape Town. This is an area that has a mild climate and is predominantly a winter rainfall area, May-Sept. Average day temperatures in summer are around 25C and in winter around 19C. Pelagic water temperatures are around 18-23 degrees C throughout the season. The visibility on the pelagic trips is on average 15-20m, with good days being 30-40m. The summer winds are predominantly S-SE and average 15-20knots during Nov-Jan, with lighter winds earlier in the mornings.

From Feb to mid May, winds moderate and more winds from the SW and W become common, averaging 10-15knots most days, with flat calm days in between. June-Sept sees W to NW winds dominating and during cold fronts, which seldom last more than one to two days, winds can blow 30-50 knots. Between the fronts, light N-NW Winds are the expected winds. All trips are carried out based on the best weather reports available and are at the skipper’s discretion.

Other animals which may be seen:
Dozens of pelagic birds, including five species of Albatross, terns, shearwaters, petrels, prions, skuas, gulls, penguins and others. Adult Smooth Hammerhead sharks, Thresher sharks, Bronze whaler sharks; Yellowfin tuna, longfin and skipjack tuna, Sunfish, Common, Dusky, Humpback, Bottlenose & Striped dolphin, Humpback, Brydes, Pilot, False Killer, Melonheaded, Minke, Sperm & Southern Right whales. Cape Fur Seals.

Recommendations and requirements:
Guests suffering from nausea or motion sickness are advised to take precautionary measures prior to each day's scheduled departure. Warm waterproof clothing is recommended and during summer and autumn months, sunscreen and a hat are advised

Any persons wishing to dive with mako and other pelagic sharks are required to be experienced and comfortable in the water and diving will be done at the dive masters discretion. All divers free diving will be accompanied by staff members.

Blue shark on Pelagic shark safari Mako shark Snorkeling with a Blue shark Underwater with a Blue shark Yellowfin Tuna - Pelagic shark trip
All images © Chris Fallows

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