Sharks of South Africa

© Jean Tresfon
Ragged Tooth Shark in the waters of Algoa Bay, South Africa.

The sharks of South Africa are interesting creatures part of the marine life found all along the coastline of Mzansi. A variety of small and large, famous and more unknown sharks patrol both the cold and warm waters of the Western coast and the Eastern coast respectively. 

Sharks are carnivores with a keen sense of smell and a sensitivity to vibrations and electrical impulses. Although beachgoers are wary of travelling too far out into the ocean in fear of sharks, the majority are harmless and are rarely encountered. 

Sharks of South Africa include the infamous great white shark, as well as the hammerhead shark, tigershark and whale shark. The Marine Guide of offers more facts and information on these fascinating predators of the ocean.

Cat Shark

Catsharks belong to the Scyliorhinidae family which comprises of 15 genera and 105 species, making them the largest shark family....more

Great White Shark

The great white shark belongs to the Lamnidae family which comprises of three genera and five species. It is the only surviving species of the Carcharodon genus as the Megalodon is extinct....more

Grey Nurse Shark

Odontaspididae family consists of 2 genera and 4 species. Listed as vulnerable. The only shark known to gulp air and store it in the stomach to maintain neutral buoyancy. Migratory species....more

Hammerhead Sharks

Hammerheads are characterised by the shape of their head, which is flattened laterally. Its eyes and nostrils are located at the ends of the hammer, which is called the cephalofoil....more

Requiem Sharks

Requiem sharks belong to the Carcharhinidae family which comprises of 12 genera and 50 species. They have five-gill slits and their teeth are blade-like with a cusp....more

Whale Shark

The whale shark belongs to the Rhincodontidae family which comprises of one genus and one species. Whale sharks are the largest living fish in the sea and can have a mass of up to 13 tons....more