While shark diving has been all the craze for adrenaline junkies around the world, a similar-but-no-less-crazy activity has also been growing in popularity – crocodile diving. Yep, if shark diving, an activity where you dive with sharks out in the sea, is not your thing, then crocodile diving may be an alternative adrenaline packed activity.
The diving industry is full of different types of extreme sports and activities, but here at WFO, we think that crocodile comes second only to shark diving. Diving hundreds of feet into the sea or diving off of cliffs is dangerous, but when you add live sharks or massive crocodiles into the mix, that taking things to a whole ‘nother level.
This Daring Encounter Is Attracting Crocodile Divers
Now a full established adventure with dedicated centers and locations around the world, this daring encounter is attracting divers to the murky rivers of remote location. Diving in deep rivers within a scaly-tail swipe’s distance of this prehistoric predator is something only the bravest will ever attempt.
We’re not really sure where crocodile diving started, but we do know of several locations in remote and adventurous parts of the world where you can go crocodile diving, and see what the hype is all about. The first stop on our world tour is in one of the few truly wild locations on the planet – Botswana.
The lush, swampy river lands of the Okavango Delta are flooded yearly, creating one of the world’s unique natural locations. While most deltas lead to an ocean, Okavango River empties onto open land that ends up flooding the savanna, creating a constantly changing inland delta that is home to many different wild animals – including our friends the crocodiles.
Over 3,000 of them to be exact.
Some even reach around 20 feet long…
And have the strongest bite in the whole animal kingdom, FYI.
But don’t let that info put you off, we just thought you might want to know that before brooking your flight. Moving on.
Adventures With Crocs (not the shoes)
While most movies and action films portray getting stuck in a river or other body of water with crocodiles as the main character’s the worst nightmare, it may come as a surprise for you to know that crocodiles will behave similar to sharks.
If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.
In other words, if you are very respectful of them in their home and habitat, they will treat you the same way.
Going with a specialized diver is essential, and when the time is right, you can dive to the riverbed to witness them going about their daily lives in the flow of the river current.
A Cage Diving Experience
In Zimbabwe at the iconic Victoria Falls, you will have an opportunity to be even closer to crocodiles in a cage diving experience. Enjoy a 360° view of three rescued Nile Crocodiles named Bongo, Prado and Lucky. You’ll be in a cage made for this activity, very similar to the types used in shark cage diving.
From there, you can watch the crocodiles going about their daily business from all angles. The secure cage will give divers an unparalleled experience to watch them in action, something you never get to see on land.
From the cage, you’ll be able to not only watch, but you’ll be able to touch them as well and experience them in a way never done before. You’ll be able to see them swim over you as they paddle with their short legs, tails and just take in a super cool activity.
Plus, this location in Victoria Falls doesn’t just provide an epic and cool experience for adventurers, but also is huge in promoting biodiversity and appreciation of the natural heritage. The center teaches about crocodiles vital role in the wild and help overcome the negative perceptions that people have about crocodiles.
The Nile Crocodiles
The three Nile Crocodiles you would have the pleasure of spending the afternoon with are female and were born in captivity at a crocodile farm in central Zimbabwe. The farm was sold to people who did not know how to take care of crocodiles and severely neglected them, which lead to Adventure Zone, (the company that offers the cage diving experience), stepping in to rescue them. Now they live a happy life together, and positively promote their kind to visitors from around the world with this extreme activity!
Two to four people can fit into the cage at a time, and then the cage is slowly lowered into the water, where you can get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. You can bring your own underwater camera to take photos of your adventure under the water, too.
Crocodile diving is a dangerous practice, particularly if you are free diving with crocs. Done correctly with respect for the animals, you will have a once-in-a-life time experience that very, very few people ever even dream of doing! Ready to take extreme to the next level and go crocodile diving? Take a peek a few “must dos” when crocodile diving tips to keep in mind:
A few “must dos” when it comes to diving with crocodiles:
- Only ever dive with crocodile experts
- Winter-time only: Diving with crocodiles should only ever happen in the winter months when the water is cold, for two reasons: Crocodiles are less active and lose their appetites in the cooler water.
- The smaller, the better – smaller sized crocodiles, are much less likely to attack anything bigger than themselves.
- Be wary of the danger zone: the danger zone is the water’s surface, as that is their choice place of attack
- Get to know croc behavior – only get close to crocodiles that seen to be comfortable with divers’ presence
- Last but not least- Make sure to keep out of the striking range of the crocodile’s head!
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