Great White Shark

The Great White Shark VS The Nile Crocodile

The Great White Shark VS The Nile Crocodile

Apex Divers, Gansbaai is the Gateway to the Route and home to five of the largest FreshWater Nile Crocodiles as well as the Great White Shark Cage Diving capital of the Western Cape! Here are Two Apex Predators that you can dive with, for those who want to get their hair wet!

Let’s dive deep as we get to know one of the ocean’s deadliest predators, the Great White Shark!

The Great White Shark

The great white shark is the world’s largest known predatory fish, they can be found across the world’s oceans, mostly in cool waters near the coast.

The name ‘great white shark’ comes from the shark’s size, and it’s white underside, they have powerful tails that propel them through the water at over 60km per hour! This beast’s mouth is equipped with a set of 300 sharp, triangular teeth arranged in up to seven rows, they grow to around 4.6m long, but some great whites have been measured at 6m in length.

The only known predators of great white sharks are Killer “whales.” Killer whales are apex predators, which means they have no natural predators, hunting in packs, these apex predators are actually dolphins, Sharks prefer to avoid dolphins, they are intelligent, know how to protect themselves, and will immediately attack the shark with the whole pod, when threatened.

Many people mistakenly think of these sharks as fearsome man-eaters, but in fact there are only on average about 5-10 attacks a year.

What Does the Great White Shark Eat?

Rather than preying on humans, the sharks, out of curiosity, are actually taking a “sample bite”, before swimming off. The Great White Shark’s diet generally consists of sea mammals such as sea lions, seals, and small whales. Their strong sense of smell can detect a colony of seals two miles away and one drop of blood in 100 litres of water!

Taking their prey by surprise, they position themselves underneath their unsuspecting victims before swimming up, breaching the water with their meals in their mouths. They do not chew their food, instead these sharks rip their prey into mouth-sized chunks.

When a female great white shark gives birth, she shows no care for her pups, she may even try to eat them, so the new-born pups will immediately swim off into the ocean.

Sadly, through illegal hunting, and overfishing, today the great white sharks are listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List and are under serious threat by human activity. 

If you are curious about Africa’s freshwater Nile crocodile, here you will learn all you need to know about this incredible apex predator!

The Nile Crocodile (Fresh Water)

Nile crocodiles have both been feared and worshiped, these awe-inspiring beasts, have earned every bit of their reputation, let’s take a closer look.

The scientific name for the Nile crocodile is “Crocodylus Niloticus”. “Crocodylus” comes from two Greek words meaning “pebble” and “worm,” and they refer to the rough scales of the crocodile’s hide, “Niloticus” means “from the Nile River.” Nile crocodiles are freshwater animals, the Nile River is also a freshwater river with its headwaters in Lake Victoria, this is why they love it so much, and where their name originates from.

They populate almost the entire African continent, they are most commonly found where there is plenty of water, in areas that have lakes, rivers, marshes, streams, swamps, and dams. Nile crocodiles have high levels of lactic acid in their blood, which helps them in water environments of all kinds, therefore the Nile crocodiles can live in saltwater.

They are able to swim underwater for 30 minutes before needing oxygen again, and they can remain underwater for up to two hours at a time, when hunting if they remain still.

What Does the Nile Crocodile Eat?

Nile crocodiles are large, fearless, extremely dangerous predators, with a very strong bite. They can take down everything from a full-sized hippopotamus to swallowing a human whole.

They are capable of working together in groups but get aggressive when defending their young or competing for food. With no natural predators in their hunting ranges, everything is prey, and this includes humans.

Nile crocodiles prefer live prey, they will eat anything that moves. Being carnivores, their primary diet consists of fish, birds, reptiles, antelopes, otters, wildebeests, zebras, and they have been known to eat other crocodiles.

According to the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, the Nile Crocodile is responsible for more attacks on humans than any other crocodilian species, with 63 percent of attacks by Nile crocodiles ending in fatality. They use their teeth to hold their prey still while trashing it around then dragging it back to the water to drown. Once their prey is dead, they will consume every part of it, even items that you might assume are non-digestible, crocodiles don’t care.

Nile crocodiles can move quickly over dry land, they have been known to reach speeds of up to 30km/h.With Nile crocodiles being apex predators, there are no other animals above them on the food chain, once they have reached their full size, no other animals will challenge them.

The IUCN Red List assesses the Nile crocodile as “Least Concern (LC)” as there are an estimated 500,000 occurring in the wild today.

For more information about these awe-inspiring beasts, see our blog titled, “Get Up Close and Personal with Africa’s Apex Predator! The Nile Crocodile”.

Book your Great White Shark Cage Diving experience and then head over to Afrikanos, just 3Km’s up the road, to experience another awe inspiring, face to face experience with the fearsome Nile Crocodile.

Crocodile diving encounters are open Tues. – Sun. at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00. Diving encounters are open daily during school holidays. Please enquire for group bookings. No under 6-year-olds allowed. Minors between 6 and 12 years old must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Book Now to enjoy the ultimate crocodile encounter, make a reservation, 082 220 3344 or visit us at 48 Van Blommenstein Street, Danger Point, Gansbaai.

For a thrilling close encounter, Afrikanos, in Gansbaai, is home to five of the country’s largest captive-bred Nile crocodiles, here you will meet the predators of the Nile, face-to-face, surrounded by beautiful scenery, natural fynbos and history! Our restaurant is fully licensed, has great pizza, we are child friendly and your fur children are welcome too!

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