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During August and September, False Bay is the place to witness the spectacular phenomenon of great white sharks in their most predatory behaviour, leaping above the surface of the water to catch their favourite prey.

There is a small granite island in the bay called Seal Island, which is one of the main breeding sites for the Cape fur seal. The seals attract many great white sharks and some of the biggest sharks ever seen have been spotted in these waters. These sharks are famous for the manner in which they breach the surface of the water while attacking seals, sometimes jumping entirely out of the ocean. Despite this, swimming, surfing, yachting, scuba diving and so on are popular pastimes around the bay, at centres such as Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Smitswinkel Bay, Strand and Gordon's Bay.

Simonstown is nestled on the shores of False Bay - only a few miles from Cape Town and defined by the Cape ‘hanging rock,’ and Cape Peninsula - and has the most stunning views of the Cape Peninsula. This pretty coastal town is South Africa’s main naval base and consists of lovely Victorian buildings, quaint streets and walkways and a fascinating history. Simonstown is a little further along the False Bay coast from Muizenberg towards Cape Point, and is some 40 kilometres from Cape Town.

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: great white shark, fur seal, broadnose sevengill shark, pyjama shark, brown shyshark