There is an entire world under the sea where a family of species, sharks, have been reigning since the prehistoric era. They are familiar with every nook and corner of their habitat and are quite territorial. You can guess what happens when a foreign species invades their land, right? While that’s mostly true, several of the commonly found species of sharks don’t bother with human beings unless they are threatened or are hungry, and do not pose a Jaws-level threat.
Sharks come in various sizes and usually have sword-like teeth. If you are someone who is intrigued by the vastness of the waters and looking to quench your appetite for adventure, then an adventure sport allows you to swim with sharks.
Dive deep into the sea alongside one of the most feared marine carnivores. The ocean creatures have their origins 450 million years ago. The biggest and oldest fish species have an acute sense of hearing. The aquatic species are also quite intelligent as they can read the body language of their partners and also express themselves. So, if you are diving with sharks, you can keep an eye on their body language to understand whether they are interested or not.
Sharks can sense their prey from miles away and are swift swimmers. But fret not, there are experts all over the world who conduct ocean diving with sharks. Here we list out 20 places around the world where you can actually swim with sharks. The list isn’t exhaustive and you can add your own!
20 Nassau, Bahamas - meet the Caribbean reef sharks
In Nassau, Bahamas, you can go for an underwater dive to meet the Caribbean reef sharks. As a part of the extreme shark adventure, in your first encounter with the shark, you will be taken close to the feeding zone of the shark. The unfed shark will start hunting in the wild, giving you a sense how the mighty creatures behave in the wild.
Later, during the second meet, you will be provided with food to feed the host of the day. If you are hesitant to face the shark and would rather watch it from a distance, then you can opt to just swim by and watch a professional diver feed the shark from a box of bait.
19 Viti Levu, Fiji - face to face with bulls and tigers
Scuba diving amid colorful corals may be a unique experience, but diving among sharks is certainly the most exhilarating thing you can experience. Viti Levu in Fiji offers diving with sharks through dramatic pinnacles of the Pacific Harbor coast. You can meet eye-to-eye with bull sharks and tiger sharks.
You get to meander the hard coral walls of Viti Levu with the saw-toothed fishes. When you are off to the South Coast of Viti, you must visit the Beqa Lagoon, which is known as the best shark scuba diving destinations in Fiji. This will definitely be a dive to remember.
18 New South Wales, Australia - don't forget the selfie
Diving with the grey sharks in New South Wales, Australia, is a spine-tingling experience. You can swim with the native humpback sharks. There are also the tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, hammerheads, lemon sharks, and others in the South Wales shark lagoon.
For the shark diving period, you will be trained by experts who will give you a thorough walkthrough of the session. Even if you are beginner, your experience will be safe. The unique and colorful scene of fleeting sharks and other aquatic life in the sapphire waters will evoke a series of life-altering emotions in you. You can take underwater snapshots of the sharks, and maybe a selfie or two with expert supervision.
17 Bodufolhudhoo, Maldives - Say hello to hammerheads too
Adrenaline junkies can savor the fears of coming face-to-face with the elusive hammerhead sharks at Bodufolhudhoo in Maldives. Watching the weirdly-shaped fish with razor sharp teeth doing a 360 around you will give you a heart-pounding experience.
The Atoll Scuba is the most recommended diving center in Bodufolhudhoo. Its dynamic team of dive instructions will guide you through the adventure and make your dive safe. You can choose the difficulty level as well. You will enter the dive arena in a strong cage, and can peek through it or get out of the box, or swim along with them once the sharks are well fed.
16 Cancun, Mexico - guaranteed to pump up that heart rate
Shark diving in Cancun is pretty exciting for thrill seekers as they get to stay up close with the marine beasts. You can witness a variety of sharks, include white sharks and bull sharks, and other strange aquatic life underneath the ocean.
The bull-shark dive is especially an incredible experience. Fasten your dive suit and take a leap of faith in the Caribbean islands of Mexico.
The experience thrills the beginners and hardcore adventurers alike. Dive in with the dangerous creatures and other beautiful sea animals in their natural habitat. Immerse yourself in the crystalline waters of Cancun along with the wonderful sea creatures.
15 Oahu, Hawaii - get up close and personal
Diving the depths of the Pacific, cherishing Oahu’s scenic North Shore, and watching wild sharks swimming in tranquility through the steel bars is an experience difficult to sum up with words. Watching Oahu’s mean predators closely from a cage will flood your body with adrenaline.
You will spot gray reef sharks, sandbar sharks, and hammerhead sharks there. If you don’t want to watch the sharks from a cage, then you can view them from a boat. The thrilling cruise from Oahu’s shore is as exciting as the diving experience. You will be paired with professionals who are aware of the behavior of the predators, so, safety isn’t an issue.
14 Playas Del Coco, Costa Rica - explore caverns and tunnels
Located between Bat Islands and Catalina Islands, Playas Del CoCo hosts bull-shark dive amid volcanic landscapes. You can sail along the vibrant coast and meet bull sharks. The underwater scenario at Playas Del Coco, however, is completely different from the shore one; there won’t be pristine corals, but volcanic formations and scattered wrecks such as caverns, arches and tunnels.
Besides no corals, the place is up full of pelagic species. The currents in the Plays Del Coco are very light, which makes diving with sharks easy especially for novice divers. May to November is the right time to catch up with the sharks.
13 Oslob, Philippines - Whale sharks may stop by
The sharks under Oslob’s waters look gentle and calm when they are munching on their food. A great place for a swim with the mighty creatures, Oslob offers some of the most mysterious and gorgeous ocean and deep ocean views in the region. The diving spot is famous for whale sharks, the largest known extant species of shark.
The whale-shark swimming area in Oslob is known as “Butanding” sanctuary. The place is ideally fit for Open Water Divers who aspire to dive with the massive sea predators. Snorkel underwater with sharks and make your diving adventure memorable. Follow the great fishes into their lair and interact with them.
12 Wilmington, North Carolina - a premier shark destination in North America
Wilmington in North Carolina homes shipwrecks in its ocean, which attracts tiger sharks. The sand tiger sharks are in abundance in the State. Swimming with mouths wide open, tiger sharks are kind enough to pose and smile with teeth for pictures. In North Carolina, you won’t bait or feed the sharks, but rather observe them in their natural way.
You can shoot clear pictures of fearsome tiger sharks at the wrecks of North Carolina. Also a part of the Graveyard of Atlantic, Wilmington is recognized as a premier shark destination in North America. You can encounter big sand tiger sharks year-round.
11 Gansbaai, South Africa - break the misconceptions
You can get a close-up view of white sharks at Gansbaai, South Africa. Meeting the apex predators eye-to-eye will send jitters down your spine. Besides the spine-thrilling adventure, you will be taught on how to identify male and female sharks, and study their behavior with experts.
Gear up for the once-in-a-lifetime, adrenaline-pumping experience as professionals adept in marine dynamics will prepare you to face the sharks with meat-hooks for teeth. You will have the safety of a steel cage, of course.
The trainers in Gansbaai will allay your fear of sharks and break the misconceptions and stereotypes you have of the magnificent beings.
10 Isla Holbox, Mexico - You're not on their menu
If you are looking for the ultimate diving adventure, then you must visit whale sharks of Isla Holbox in Mexico. The sea safari in Holbox will give you a heart-pounding deal. The gargantuan beasts migrate in groups off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from mid-May to mid-September.
Having a diet based mostly on microorganisms, whale sharks are human-friendly and are rather intrigued by human interactions. So, you don’t have to be worried about being on their menu!
The carpet-like sharks have pale white and yellow marks that are as unique as human fingerprints. Gliding alongside the gentle giants will make you feel closer to nature.
9 Donsol, Northern Philippines - Centuries of sightings
Donsol has a rich variety of aquatic species such as the whale shark. The place offers whale-shark sightings from November to June. You can come across the world’s largest congregation of whale sharks as they stay longer in Donsol than in other places.
You will have the option to snorkel and swim alongside the ginormous creatures. There are exclusive whale shark interaction programs at Donsol that are carried out with the supervision of experts.
Studies date the origins of the whale shark to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods; however, the first whale shark was spotted in 1828. To know more, go snorkeling at Donsol!
8 Utila, Honduras - the Whale Shark Capital of the Caribbean
At Utila in Honduras you can scuba dive and even snorkel with the whale sharks that are found in the region throughout the year. Over the years, the whale sharks have been tracked from Utila through Honduras, Belize and Mexico. One can even spot Utila Sharks in the waters of Florida as well.
The shallow fringing reefs attract spectators from all over the world. Swimming alongside the giant beasts, which the locals in Utila refer to as Old Tom, is an adrenaline rush to the adventure savant. Known as the Whale Shark Capital of the Caribbean, Utila gives a good glance of the 18-32 feet long whale sharks swimming through the water.
7 South Mahé, Seychelles - a marine life abundance
South Mahé in Seychelles is the perfect destination for sea divers. It has unique sculptured granite rock formations, diverse beautiful coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life. You can spot reef sharks, and seasonal whale sharks predominantly along the coastline of Mahé.
Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is surrounded by scenic white sand beaches, rough granite mountains, and plentiful flora and fauna, which will enchant your mood before facing the king of the ocean.
You can visit the giant whale sharks between October and November, and swim alongside them. Dive in over 50 sites in Mahé and keep the adrenaline rush flowing down your spirit and body.
6 Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia - look at those chompers!
Ningaloo Reef is considered one of the largest fringing areas in the world. Also, it is known for its seasonal feeding of whale sharks. Enriched with marine life, Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia offers a breathtaking diving experience next to reef sharks and the humpback whale.
Splashing with the sharks in the pristine waters of Ningaloo Reef is an experience you will cherish for life. You also get to learn the history of the marine creatures of the Reef from the experts’ mouth. Get ready for a spectacular dive with some of the most elusive sharks and whales of Western Australia.
5 Koh Tao, Thailand - chill with the world's largest fish
Koh Tao is a popular scuba diving destination for adventure maniacs. The island is filled with colorful tropical corals and marine life that get the attention of tourists all over the world. Thrill seekers from around the world rush to Koh Tao to take a glimpse of the whale shark.
The world’s largest fish weighs about 40 tons and is 15 meters long. Whale sharks that feed on plankton and tiny fishes are super friendly to human divers and allow them to swim by. Cruise alongside the gentle giants and explore the depths and curves of Koh Tao with the mammoth company.
4 Gladden Spit, Belize - rely on the moon
Widely known for the Great Blue Hole, Gladden Spit is also famous for its sharks. During the months of April through June, Gladden Spit offers diving and snorkeling opportunity to spot the great whale shark.
Also, it is said that throughout these months the gentle creatures are in a rather good mood. Usually, in Belize, the whale shark season begins two days before the full moon and is until 10 days after the full moon, throughout March to June.
From beginner to advanced diving and snorkeling, one can choose any level of difficulty to swim alongside the magnificent creatures.
3 Tofo Beach, Mozambique - enormous water mammals
Apart from the perfect holiday destination for travelers, Tofo Beach in Mozambique is ideal for adventure seekers. People visit Tofo Beach to get a glance of large sharks in the splendid ocean that graces it. The gorgeous and laid back views, clear waters, the beautiful reefs, and enormous water mammals causing giant waves is a treat to the eyes.
You can snorkel or dive with the sharks in the cerulean waters of Tofo. Besides the whale sharks, you will get to see their cousins, Manta Rays, and many other colorful species of fishes around the coral reef, which are also known to be graceful swimmers.
2 Protea Banks, South Africa - the Himalayas of scuba diving
Protea Banks is one of the best places in South Africa to swim with sharks. While swimming in the waters of Protea Banks, you will encounter eight different species of sharks. At the peak of the season, you can spot hammerhead and sand tiger sharks.
Protea Banks is titled as the Himalayas of scuba diving. Gear up for the adrenaline-loaded thrill that will take you close to the fearsome beasts in their natural environment. Peek into the waters of Protea Banks and capture the portrait of sharks, which are more often found to be playing hide and seek in the sea.
1 Red Sea, Egypt - white tip and snaggletooth sharks
Diving in the Red Sea is a spectacular experience as the marine treasures of it will enchant the mind and soul. Red Sea is home to 1,000 invertebrate species and 200 soft and hard corals. The rich and diverse ecosystem of Red Sea will melt your heart.
The clear water in the Red Sea makes it perfect for shark diving as you can encounter white tip and snaggletooth sharks. The sight in Egypt is natural, and it is not permitted to bait or feed the sharks. Dive alongside the giants in their territory and lock the experience in your heart forever.
References: bestproducts, scoopwhoop, earthtouchnews