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10 of the best places to dive with sharks

Have you ever wanted to throw caution to the wind and go swimming with sharks? Check out this bucket list of destinations to encounter sharks around the world! At Africa Media we are dedicated to guide fellow adventurers on the most awesome wildlife expeditions throughout the world, so after deciding on your next big shark adventure, take a look at our upcoming photographic and video expeditions

shark dives - Cocos Islands

Cocos Island – Costa Rica

“Hundreds of scalloped hammerheads school above the scenic sea mounts of Cocos Island,” DeHart says. Here, you’ll probably spot massive manta rays, bright-orange frogfish and “whitetip reef sharks hunting like packs of wolves for small fish hidden in the reef.” The island, often described as “a jungle rising out of the ocean,” is one of Costa Rica’s many national parks and home to waterfalls and wildlife galore. Note: Getting to this remote spot is tricky; it’s more than 300 miles off the west coast of Costa Rica and requires a 36-hour boat ride. 

 

faup22

Isla Mujeres – Mexico 

It’s not unheard of to spot 50 whale sharks congregating here in summer, DeHart says. Better yet, you can get close enough to the gentle giants to clearly see the perfectly patterned pale yellow dots and stripes on their skin. “Leave your (scuba) tanks at home, though, as snorkeling is the method for encounters with these huge plankton-feeding sharks,” DeHart says. 

Sardine run 27

Sardine Run – South Africa

South Africa’s sardine run is widely known and recognised as the greatest shoal on earth. Each June and July millions of tons of sardines begin a reproductive migration up South Africa’s eastern coast. The concentrate on the thin continental shelf in huge concentrated shoals that attract marine predators from around the coast. Whilst not strictly a shark dive, when you successfully ‘get onto’ a bait ball you are likely to encounter a massive concentration of blacktip, dusky, and bronze whaler sharks, the likes you would have never seen before! Also divers can enjoy the migrating humpback whales, massive pods of common dolphins and thousands of gannets, all chasing the sardines. 

wobbegong-shark

Great Barrier Reef – Australia 

Take a trip to the treasured waters of the Great Barrier Reef, or “GBR” as the locals call it, for a peek at such tropical sharks as blacktip reef sharks and wobbegongs, a carpet shark named for its bold, tapestry-like markings. Plus, with barrier reefs spanning more than 1,400 miles, you’ll be drifting through a haven of 360 species of hard coral and 1,500 species of fish. That means seahorses, leopard moray eels and bright-yellow angelfish are bound to make a cameo. 

galapagos-diving-wall

Galapagos Islands – Ecuador 

The Galapagos Islands are located 600 miles west of Ecuador and offer some of the most spectacular wildlife found anywhere in the world. Nowhere else on this planet will you find penguins which live on the equator (The Galapagos Penguin) or iguanas which swim and feed in the ocean (The Marine Iguanas)! On any given dive it is not uncommon to see sea lions, turtles, hammerhead sharks, white tip sharks, manta rays, Galapagos sharks, and huge schools of eagle and/or golden Rays, sometimes numbering between 50 -100 individuals. There is also the possibility of seeing whales, whale sharks, thousands of dolphins and large schools of hammerheads, sometimes numbering in the hundreds. Between dives you can snorkel with penguins or sea lions.

A tiger shark flashes its metallic stripes

Tiger Beach – Bahamas

If you want to dive with and/or photograph tiger sharks you go to Tiger Beach. The small, shallow sand flat, an hour by boat from the West End of Grand Bahama Island, is the most reliable, consistent and, arguably, photographically pleasing spot to photograph these striped beauties on Earth. What is better is that the dive is really, really simple! so divers can spend loads of time enjoying, photographing and watching the tiger sharks, lemon sharks and other marine life that comes say hi!

Extensive collection of underwater and topside shots of white sharks breaching in South Africa

False Bay – South Africa 

False Bay, South Africa is home to the flying great white sharks! These sharks became famous for been the starts of numerous documentaries on Discovery channel and National Geographic. Between the months of May and September, huge great white sharks launch themselves from the water in pursuit of Cape fur seals. These attacks are ones of natures greatest predator prey interactions and can be viewed daily from boats. After this, divers can cage dive with the same sharks later int he morning. As an added bonus, False bay is also home to an awesome dive with the prehistoric seven-gill cow sharks. 

palau shark dive

Palau Shark Sanctuary – Palau 

In response to increased fishing for sharks and, in particular, the practice of ‘finning’ — removing the sharks’ fins and discarding the body — the island nation of Palau established the world’s first shark sanctuary that spans 230,000 square miles! Thanks in large part to its conservation efforts, Palau is now one of the best places on the planet to get up close and personal with sharks underwater

At the famous ‘shark city’ dive site, SCUBA divers can find many Gray Reef Sharks, schools of barracuda, snappers and Unicorn fish patrol the walls and corners of the reef. Clouds of Pyramid Butterflyfish, Square Anthias, Moorish Idols, and Yellowtail Fusiliers. 

 

GuadalupeCageDive

Guadalupe Island – Mexico 

Thanks to the area’s crystal-clear blue waters, Guadalupe Island is hand downs the best place in the world to get clear and stunning photographs of the Great White Sharks that reside seasonally here. Charters are all live-aboard and launch from San Francisco. diving is from protective cages only, a permit condition that is strictly enforced by Mexican authorities. Cages can be lowered to 30ft, and some operators offer the opportunity to dive in open submersibles. 

 

Collection of underwater footage of black tip sharks, with and without divers/free divers

Aliwal Shoal – South Africa

 

Aliwal Shoal forms part of the Aliwal shoal Marine Protected Area. This incredible reef system is home to a huge diversity of exciting and diver friendly sharks including – Tiger sharks, Blacktip sharks, Ragged tooth sharks, Bull sharks, Dusky Sharks and many more smaller species. In recent years the Blacktip sharks have attracted numerous snorkelers and cage divers due to their willingness to swim at the surface and interact closely with people. On any given day, over 30 blacktip sharks will circle divers and snorkelers for hours at a time. 

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