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This page contains answers to some of the common questions we receive. If you have a question, please contact us anytime and we will take care of all your questions and concerns.

 
     
     
  I don’t have all the dive gear with me, can I rent?  
  How much dive time can I expect during a trip?  
  What can I expect to learn in the courses?
  What is a PADI Distinctive Specialty?  
  How much flexibility is there in the journeys’ itinerary?  
  What do I need to bring on my trip?
  What is the visibility like on the diving trips?  
  What is the accommodation like, and do we have to share rooms?  
  Who are the instructors and guides?
  Is it really dangerous to dive with sharks?  
What type of people travel with Shark Safaris?  
  What about insurance?
  What about trip extensions?  
  How often do you run safaris?  
  What time of the year is the best to visit?
  What else than sharks will we encounter while diving?  
  How far in advance do I have to book?  
  Do I have to be a certified scuba diver?  
  How much do the safaris and courses cost?  
  What are the visa and entry requirement s for South Africa?
  What medical precautions should I take?  
  What happens if I am sick and can’t do the trip?  
  Is Enriched Air Nitrox available and can we use that on our dives?  
  What are the costs of the lunches and dinners?
  Are tips required?  
  What does the cost of the journeys and courses generally include?  
  Is there a refund if we do not see sharks?  
  What is the currency where we travel?
  What are the chances of getting seasick?  
  What type of boats do we dive from?  
  I’m travelling by myself can I still come on a diving safari without a buddy?  
  How much spending money should I plan to bring?
  What depths will we be diving to?  
  What is the situation with food and water in the regions we travel to?  
  Why is the concept you offer so special?  
  How come you don’t include flights in the packages?  
     
     
   
Dorsal fin of a great white shark South Africa. Q: I don’t have all the dive gear with me, can I rent?
A: Yes, not a problem. Most dive gear can be sourced for a small cost, whether it’s single items or the whole kit. If you own a dry suit it’s a good idea to bring it for dives around Cape Town since the water can be quite chilly at times, although most dives still use a thick wet suit so it’s up to you how comfortable you prefer to be. For dives in Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal a 5mm wetsuit will do.
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  Q: How much dive time can I expect during a trip?
A: This is pretty much up to you and your buddy, but obviously we stick to the dive tables/computers and safety always comes first. In either case we all would like to have as much time as possible with the sharks so we stick around as long as we safely can.
 
   
  Q: What can I expect to learn in the courses?
A: The courses have both a theoretic and practical portion, where the classroom sessions consist of colorful presentations and videos prior to the practical in-water sessions in the sea. Your instructor will supervise you during all these dives where we encounter sharks and other curious marine animals and on some of the journeys guest speakers talk about his/her exciting field. The theory sessions are usually 2-3 hours per day, although often they tend to last longer as both students and instructors have a tendency to get very involved in the discussions. The theory has a practical scientific -content where we cover up-to-date information on shark research currently being undertaken.
 
   
  Q. What is a PADI Distinctive Specialty?
A: In addition to the standard PADI courses (e.g. night diving, wreck diving, deep diving) that most divers are aware of, so-called Distinctive Specialties are also being offered. These are courses approved by PADI after assessing the syllabus, course objectives, and importantly, the instructor’s qualification, where the course outline is authored by the instructor who has a high degree of competency in a specific field not covered by PADI’s regular educational programs. Each Distinctive Specialty Course also counts as one of the five PADI Specialty certifications needed for the Master Scuba Diver certification.
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Whale shark diving in Mozambique. Q. How much flexibility is there in the journey’s itinerary?
A. In keeping with the nature of a journey, we keep our itinerary flexible to take advantage of unexpected opportunities or to adapt to weather conditions or other circumstances. In addition, where possible, we have built in alternatives and some free time so that you can experience a place in a way that suits you. If you are interested in exploring further, many of our expeditions offer pre- or post-journey extensions. We’ll gladly assist you should you like to extend your stay at the beginning or end of a trip. Please contact us for advice and travel suggestions.
 
   
 

Q. What do I need to bring on my trip?
A. On a journey with us, the dress is casual. We therefore recommend that you pack clothes that are comfortable and that will be well-suited to the activities and climate specific to the trip. Prior to your trip, we will provide you with specific packing suggestions, a recommended kit list and information regarding certain baggage weight/size restrictions.

 
   
  Q: What is the visibility like on the diving trips?
A: This varies considerably depending on numerous factors and can change from one day to the next, but usually ranges from 5m to 30m as a general idea.
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  Q: What is the accommodation like, and do we have to share rooms?
A: The accommodation we use is often villas that have been converted into guesthouses and all hold a high standard. A personal ambiance and diver-friendly hosts ensure a great level of service and pleasant experiences where we stay together as an exclusive little group. If you’re travelling together with someone you may obviously share a room or apartment if you wish.
 
   
 

Q: Who are the instructors and guides?
A: The instructor and guides are very experienced and knowledgeable divers with a combined total of several thousand logged shark dives, some of them with their own dive centers that specialize in eco tourism and shark diving. Guides are certified by the South African Government Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

 
   
flat Q: Is it really dangerous to dive with sharks?
A: We have a 100% safety record, all operators we cooperate with have a 100% safety record and, in general, shark incidents in any form are statistically so rare that the few times they do happen it usually becomes big news in the media because of its infrequency. However, we are dealing with wild animals and that’s why the knowledge you acquire during the course comes in handy.
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  Q: What type of people travel with Shark Safaris?
A: As with any diving trip the compilation of people on our safaris are quite varied with regards to age, nationality, background, and personality. The common denominator is their love for diving and in this case also a fundamental inquisitiveness for sharks and other marine animals, so it’s easy to get a long and have a good time together. The courses and specialist safaris typically attract travelers who arrive with and expectation of learning from the guides who really know their stuff. For many it’s the first time they dive with sharks while other participants are passionate shark divers who travel the world every vacation bringing cases of camera gear to shoot photos of as many shark species as possible. The shark safaris are a special opportunity for the particular traveler who wants an extraordinary diving holiday. The size of the group is typically an exclusive number of 4 to 8 people.
 
   
  Q: What about insurance?
A: It is recommended that you sort out your own accident insurance before you arrive in South Africa. Please ensure that this also covers you while partaking in diving activities. DAN (Divers Alert Network) offers good diving insurance and is well established in South Africa.
 
   
Great white shark Q: What about trip extensions?
A: South Africa is a big country, with an area almost as big as Spain and France combined, and with a coast line that stretches nearly 3000 km. The country has a vast number of must-sees and must-dos, in fact so many that you should be careful not to get too ambitious in trying to cover the whole country in one holiday with a time limit. Nevertheless, there are certain sites and activities besides diving you really should experience why we recommend you contact us for advice and travel suggestions.
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  Q: How often do you run safaris?
A: See our expedition calendar for scheduled safaris.
 
   
  Q: What time of the year is the best to visit?
A: That really depends on what you want to experience as many species are seasonal. Our expedition calendar shows what the theme is for each expedition and which species are in focus. Each journey and course is scheduled to optimize your experience, both with regards to seasonality and weather.
 
   
  Q: What else than sharks will we encounter while diving?
A: Depending on the expedition and location we travel to the number of other species we are likely to encounter varies. Dolphins, whales, seals, large schools of fish, diving seabirds, manta rays, sunfish, tuna, but to name a few. During the months July to November it is also common to encounter whales -sometimes even while we’re diving.
 
   
  Q: How far in advance do I have to book?
A:  We suggest that you book your expedition with us as soon as you can to secure yourself a spot on the journey since we only offer exclusively small group safaris and, as South Africa is an increasingly popular shark diving destination,  are receiving bookings up to a year ahead.
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  Q: Do I have to be a certified scuba diver?
A: It depends on the type of dive you are doing. If you are doing a shark cage dive you don’t have to be a certified scuba diver since you will be viewing the animals from a cage at the surface. If you are doing a normal shark dive on scuba, then you have to be a certified diver.
 
   
  Q: How much do the safaris and courses cost?
A: Each safari is unique and has a theme, and subsequently the itinerary varies as well as the time of the year the journey is arranged, why the cost of the safaris also vary. Please contact us for the cost of safaris and courses.
 
   
4x4 safari in South Africa. Q: What are the visa and entry requirement s for South Africa?
A: That depends on your nationality. Contact the South African embassy or consulate in your country for accurate information. Please make sure that you have at least two empty pages in your passport before travelling to South Africa.
 
   
  Q: What medical precautions should I take?
A: No required vaccinations are required however it is a good idea to consult a travel physician before leaving your home country.
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  Q: What happens if I am sick and can’t do the trip?
A: You are strongly advised to purchase travel insurance to cover you against this eventuality, as our policies do not allow for refunds on late cancellations.
 
   
  Q: Is Enriched Air Nitrox available and can we use that on our dives?
A: Yes. In fact, to get the most out of your shark diving we recommend diving on Nitrox if you’re qualified to do so.
 
   
fishschool Q: What are the costs of the lunches and dinners?
A:  Lunches cost about R50.00 while the cost of a main meal is about R75.00. A 3-course meal will set you back about R150.00.
 
   
  Q: Are tips required?
A: A 10% gratuity is common. We will advise about tipping where we travel.
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  Q. What does the cost of the journeys and courses generally include?
A. The cost includes most meals, accommodations, the dives, course materials where applicable, drinks & snacks on certain marine excursions as indicated in the itinerary, a dedicated expedition manager and local guides, local ground transportation, airport transfers. Included meals are noted in the itineraries we supply you with upon booking.
 
   
  Q: Is there a refund if we do not see sharks?
A: No. But the probability of seeing sharks are very, very good and we do offer a special shark guarantee at the start of the journey.
 
   
  Q: What is the currency where we travel?
A: In South Africa it is the South African Rand (ZAR) that is the currency. ATMs are very abundant in the country and you should have no problems exchanging foreign currency to ZAR. In Mozambique the currency is the Mozambique New Metical.
 
   
Bull shark in South African waters Q: What are the chances of getting seasick?
A: We really want you to be comfy while at sea, but as with any personal vulnerability to motion sickness divers do from time to time get a bit queasy. Most dives in South Africa are done from RIBs launched. Some people do feel a bit seasick if they surface earlier than the main group and have to spend a while on the RIB. There are several medications available if you do suffer from seasickness.
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  Q: What type of boats do we dive from?
A: Boat diving in South Africa is predominantly conducted from large RIBs with a pair of strong outboard motors on the back. Typically the boat is taken out of the water between each dive to reload dive gear.
 
   
  Q: I’m travelling by myself can I still come on a diving safari without a buddy?
A: Many of our participants travel alone, although you will always be paired up with a buddy.
 
   
  Q: How much spending money should I plan to bring?
A: The UK Pound, Euro and US Dollar exchange rates are quite favorable against the Rand [ZAR], making South Africa a really affordable destination. The only spending money you normally need is for certain lunches, dinner, drinks, souvenirs and tips etc. Most places accept common credit cards and there are cash machines available in most towns.
 
   
  Q. What depths will we be diving to?
A: We stay within the limits of recreational diving, i.e. absolute max 40m, depending on previous training and experience.
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  Q: What is the situation with food and water in the regions we travel to?
A: Drink lots of water (tap water is generally safe to drink) to avoid dehydration. Food poisoning is rare, although change in environment and individual susceptibility to different foods might make some people sick no matter where they travel.
 
   
Hyena pup

Q: Why is the concept you offer so special?
A: The journeys offered by SharkSafaris.co.za are unique because:

• Each of our safaris is an unrivaled educational adventure.
• You will experience a unique environment and wildlife.
• You will be diving in areas that few divers have explored.
• There will be no crowd and you are taken care of exclusively from the time you arrive until you leave.
• Your specialist tour guide will follow you through the duration of the safari and share his extensive knowledge of the marine life with you.
• There are exceptional photography and filming opportunities of large animals not readily available in most diving destinations.
 
   
  Q: How come you don’t include flights in the packages?
A: In the old days –before Internet– tour operators benefitted from favorable airfares from the airlines. This has generally changed and anyone are now able to find reasonable airfares online, sometimes securing even better deals than what the tour operators are able to find. Because of this we don’t see any reason to charge you more than you have to when it’s so easy to find air tickets for the time you expect to travel by yourself.
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