20 Places You Should Never Ever Swim

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Gansbaai, South Africa

Image: Olga Ernst, Wikimedia Commons

Gansbaai’s beaches are beautiful, the sands golden and the waters warm. The shore is tree-lined and the sun always shining. But beneath the shimmering waves, all is not as it appears. This might look like paradise, but danger always lurks and those who enter the ocean are at risk.

Located on South Africa’s southern coast, not far from Cape Town, the waters here are home to the densest population of Great White Sharks on Earth. Drawn to ‘shark alley’, a small channel between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, where fur seals are abundant, the great predators are getting ever closer to the scenic shoreline.

Planning a visit? Look out for warning signs and always take heed. For those keen to see the sharks up close and personal, tours are available, with divers lowered into underwater cages. This is a safer option than swimming — but the best bet of all is to stick to the sand and give the ocean a miss.