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The Tiger has been recorded up to 6 metres in length but 5.5 metres is a more normal maximum and 3.5 an average.

The Tiger is often called 'the dustbin' or 'the Hyaena' of the seas as it will eat anything. Dissections at the Natal Sharks Board of sharks killed in the bathing beach protection nets, often show bizarre stomach contents such as tin cans and other refuse. Like the Zambezi, they are often found in the turbid water at the mouths of large rivers. Much is made of the very occaisional finds of human remains in Tigers dissected at the Natal Sharks Board. That these 'finds' happen is quite true but indications are that these are remains of people drowned in the large rivers or people attacked, killed and partially devoured by crocodiles. Whilst Tiger sharks show absolutely no interest in scuba divers as a food source, our crocodiles see humans just as much 'MacDonalds on legs' as they see antelope and cattle as a normal food source.

Tiger sharks show distinct stripes on the body which give the species it's name. It is often stated that Tigers loose these stripes as they become mature but we have seen no indication of this happening even with 'our' 5 metre sharks.

The Tigers we see on these dives are normally accompanied by numerous Blacktip sharks (Charcharhinus limbatus). These beautiful sharks- smoothly aerodynamic, light stripe down their flank, incredibly fast swimmers and highly manoevrable are fascinating to watch with the Tigers. There is a very obvious 'protocol' involved in their interaction. A large Tiger will quite happily attack and eat a Blacktip. Whilst the Tigers cruise around the divers at a relatively slow speed looking like a World War One Battleship, the Blacktips swerve speedily past and around the Tigers like protecting Destroyers- though their speed is probably to keep clear of the Tiger's teeth. When we have large numbers of Blacktips and relatively small Tigers (around 3.0 metres) the protocol changes and we have Blacktips centre stage with the Tigers swimming around the outside of the group.

Smaller Tiger sharks- up to 3.0 metres- have a lower jaw which (when extracted) can be easily twisted by hand. At this stage, we note that the Tigers eat ordinary fish species and smaller sharks. When a Tiger gets to 4 metres, the jaw is many times thicker and totally solid. At this stage, the Tiger can crunch through it's favorite food- a turtle- as cleanly as you or I can bite through that MacDonald's burger.

Tigers do not show the 'aggresive' behaviour of the 'Zambie' but their size and obvious controlled power are impressive enough.

..Stephane Harge's Tiger shark video

Where to see them

Ponta do Ouro October - May on Pinnacles. Often seen as we enter the water at about 10 metres. Larger Tigers may be seen deeper in Zambi territory.

Aliwal Shoal  Virtually 100% of the South African Tiger Shark video footage you have seen on National Geographic, Discovery Channel or Blue Planet and most professional still images you see were taken at Aiiwal Shoal. The Tigers are timid in the precence of divers and were rarely seen before we started our baited dives to attract them. Tigers are seen throughout the year but the best sightings are during our warmer summer months particularly February to April.

 See a video of our Tiger dive.

These are drift dives at only 8 - 10 metres, perfect lighting for video and still photographers.

Visibility is normally good averaging 15 -20 metres but we do reserve the right to cancel planned outings on the rare occasion that visibility reduces below 10 metres.

From January - June, larger mature sharks are the norm. These sharks, mostly 4 metres plus, are more cautious than the younger specimens but with a calm group of divers, they often come in very close approaching to within a metre or so of divers. June-December offers smaller animals normally.

This experience replaces two conventional dives at a surcharge of Euro 95 per person with a group of six divers.

 

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