Mystery of South Africa’s Great White Sharks

posted 19th December 2023 by Danica Wilson in Wildlife
South Africa Great White Sharks
South Africa Great White Sharks
South Africa Great White Sharks
South Africa Great White Sharks
Images courtesy of South African Tourism

We started to wonder what happened to the thrilling cage diving encounters with Great White sharks in South Africa’s Cape Town region. The revelation is mind blowing, but totally makes sense…

The ocean’s drama began to unfold back in 2017 when the apex predators, the Great Whites mysteriously vanished from their once favoured spot – Cape Town’s surrounding waters of False Bay and Gaansbaai.

What caused this sudden disappearance we wondered and I’m sure you’re asking. Enter the cunningly clever Orcas. They developed a taste for the sharks’ fatty livers and turned the waters into a battle ground of survival. Great whites were brutally attacked and left for dead – mostly sinking or getting washed up on the beaches.

The population was under threat, but fear not… it wasn’t decimated. Contrary to the ominous rumours and orca conspiracy theories, the Great Whites were not taken out. Instead, they pulled off an incredible vanishing act and relocated to new territories that offer greater protection.

Did you know there were even conspiracy theories that Australia’s fish and chip industry was the root cause of their decline?!

To discover the secrets of this marine thriller, take a look at this wonderful article in the international Hakai Magazine – Coastal science and societies. It’s fascinating.

Click here to view.

It’s around 4 minutes worth of reading and you’ll learn the twists behind the Great Whites’ relocation and the dance of oceanic power that’s ensued.

We love wildlife – its ability to survive, adapt and the untamed wonders you find beneath the waves.





Mystery solved!

Image by Alison Kock