Dive Site: Cow Sharks

 

Probably the most internationally famous dive in Cape Town and definitely the one dive every diver who visits Cape Town should do the Cow sharks dive , also known as Shark Alley or Pyramid rock to local divers is located between Millers Point and Castle Rocks in Simons Town. This Sharks were not well documented in this spot until a few years ago and Cape Town legend has it that a few years ago a bunch of divers got lost in the kelp coming back from a shore dive at Pyramid Rock and stumbled upon these sharks which only congregate in a very specific part of the kelp forest.

The dive site is fairly close to shore and consists of a majestic Kelp forest and a number of large granite boulders scattered over a coarse sandy bottom.Here you will find one of the few spots in the world where you can dive with the prehistoric Broadnose Sevengill shark or “Cow Shark” at shallow depths ranging from 6 – 12meters. It is an otherworldly experience to seem through this beautiful, slightly eerie kelp forest and see these graceful, slow moving predators appear from between the fronds of Kelp and start slowly swimming right past you as though you were not there. The Sevengill Shark is apparently one of the oldest species of shark you can find and basically a living fossil.This spot can be dived from the shore, but it involves a long surface swim and a difficult entry and exit.I recommend diving it from a boat if this makes you uncomfortable or you don’t have an experienced guide to lead you. Pisces Divers is a great local dive operation that frequents this site.

 

Where:

False Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

The Cow Sharks dive , also known as Shark Alley or Pyramid rock to local divers is located between Millers Point and Castle Rocks in Simons Town.The dive site is fairly close to shore and consists of a majestic Kelp forest and a number of large granite boulders scattered over a coarse sandy bottom.Here you will find one of the few spots in the world where you can dive with these prehistoric Seven Gill Cow sharks at shallow depths ranging from 6 – 12meters.

When to Dive:

This site is best dived in the winter season from early April until late September and a Northwest wind and when the swell is under 2 meters and the wind clears the water the water creating good viz.You can however find good windows to dive this site all year round and the fact that it is surrounded by heavy kelp forests means the visibility here usually doesn’t drop below 3 meters, although it can drop right down to 1 meter when there is a lot of plankton or heavy surge sweeping up sand and debris.In my personal opinion and with four years of experience diving this site regularly,the best time to see the sharks is January to June, although they come and go all year round.

 

Water Temperature: 

11C – 18C  You will need a 2 piece 5mm full wetsuit and hood at the very least here.

What can you  see:

Seven Gill Cowsharks, Pyjama Sharks, Puffadder Shysharks and Spotted Gully Sharks.

Various stingrays including Giant Short Tailed Stingrays.

Sea Sponges, Anenomeas and other invertebrates.

Various reef fish like Red Romans, Hottentots and Galjoen.

The Kelp forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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