Last week I learned that crocodile diving is a thing. It’s all thanks to a fellow ParaMania Radio pal, Jay Lynch, who hosts the Sit, Chat & Laugh with the Lynch’s with his wife, Teresa, on Mondays from 7-9 EDT.
Jay shared a link on his timeline that included this video :
Super eye-catching image right? Totally made me have a “WTF” moment and stop what I was doing to watch it. (Same with you?)
I also had to watch to see if it was real.
April 1st had just passed. I wasn’t sure the video was legit.
After all, I got a couple of people with this year’s April Fool’s prank posts about the zombie cat and the Federal law mandating a creepy clown in every town.
So, yeah, I was leery.
But it’s legit. Some unintended research educated me about that.
I saw Jay’s post on Thursday. I left a comment about how I was totally going to share it for Freaky Friday (which I did on HJ’s FB page).
But before I could, there was a hiccup to overcome.
When I went to share it, it wasn’t giving me the “Share” option. (Just “Like” or “Comment.”)
So I went to search for the direct link in Facebook. I expected this crocodile cage diving video to pop right up.
I started typing in “Croc…” and was surprised Facebook auto-filled it with choices like “crocodile cage of death” and “crocodile cage diving.”
I selected the first one, expecting to immediately find what I wanted. Nope.
The top videos showed cages that weren’t clear, but bar-type cages similar to shark diving ones.
Also interesting, the Top Page was for a Crocodile Cage Diving eco tour company in Cape Town, South Africa. (Whereas Jay’s link that started my search to begin with was for a place in Australia.)
Crocodile diving seemed kind of popular. Hmm…
Two Types of Crocodile Dives
I decided to look into it all more.
That’s when I came across Underwater360’s post, “4 of the Best Places to Dive with Crocodiles,” and learned there are two types of crocodile dives:
- With a cage in a zoo-type setting
- In the wild without a cage
Where to Cage Dive with Crocs
Here are three places you can do it:
1. Cage of Death at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin City, Darwin Northern Territory, Australia
Think of Crocosaurus Cove as a SeaWorld, just substitute crocs for the killer whales. Here’s what their website says about their most exciting attraction:
Operated by an over-head monorail and designed for 1 or 2 people per cage, the Cage of Death has you suspended above the crocs before being lowered into the pen to get an up close and personal look at these amazing reptiles.
So the question is: would you be brave enough to do it solo, or would you want someone else in the cage to cling to? (Or to push into the croc’s jaws in case anything went wrong, giving you a chance to swim away?)
Besides the Cage of Death, some of their other attractions include an aquarium, turtle sanctuary, Big Croc Feed, and a Swim with the Crocs area for the kiddies. (“Jump in & cool down in our unique swimming pool that lets you get up close to our energetic juvenile crocodiles, safely of course!”)
For more info, visit: http://www.crocosauruscove.com/
2. Crocodile Cage Diving at the Cango Wildlife Ranch in Outshoorn, Karoo, South Africa
They don’t have a lot of info on their site about it, but here’s what I found interesting:
- Children 5 years of age and older are allowed to do it with a parent or guardian, and ones 14 and older can do it on their own.
For more info, visit: http://www.cango.co.za
3. African Crocdive at Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm in Simondium, Paarl, South Africa
This is an actual scuba dive type encounter, but with a cage:
After enjoying breakfast or lunch at our licensed café/deli our friendly staff will escort the group of divers to the platform where you will meet the dive master/croc handler. After a safety briefing everyone will be handed out their diving gear. Our spacious cage can easily take up to 10 divers and will spend approximately 20minutes in the water with our crocs.
They also have an “underwater dry viewing box for those that want to stay dry, but also wish to see the interaction between the divers in the cage and the crocs from our aquarium style glass windows.”
For more info, visit: http://www.africancrocdive.com/
Where to Dive with Crocs in the Wild
You know that Underwater360 article I noted above? The one about the four best places to dive with crocs?
They mean scuba diving! Open water. No cage.
Before we get to the four best places they recommend, here’s the safety tips they included (which are for real, but which tickled my funny bone):
Safety measures to take when diving with crocodiles
Dive with crocodile experts
Only dive in winter months or when the water is cold; crocodiles are less active and lose their appetites in the cooler water
Get in and out of the “danger zone” quickly; crocodiles attack at the water’s surface
Stay close to the riverbed; crocodiles attack objects silhouetted against the light
Always keep out of striking range of a crocodile’s head
Look for smaller-sized crocodiles; they may be less likely to attack anything bigger than themselves
Learn to read a crocodile’s attitude; only get close to crocodiles that appear to be comfortable with divers
So now that you know how to do it, here’s where you can:
- Okavango Delta, Botswana
- Aktun Ha Cenote, Mexico
- Banco Chinchorro, Mexico
- Papua, New Guinea
Of course wherever crocodiles are found, I’m sure you could attempt to swim with them, if you’re that desperate (or insane) for such an experience.
But I certainly wouldn’t advise it, and I’m pretty sure it’s highly discouraged in most places.
Remember: they don’t call them “man-eaters” for nothing. Us humans are fair game on their food chain!
Would you dive with a crocodile? If so, would you do it with a cage or no cage?