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10 Places to Go for Shark Diving Adventures

Renuka Savant
Diving with the sharks constitutes as one of life's greatest adventures, at least if you ask me. In case you agree, read this post to know about the best places to go for shark diving adventures around the world.
"Sharks have everything a scientist dreams of. They're beautiful―God, how beautiful they are! They're like an impossibly perfect piece of machinery. They're as graceful as any bird. They're as mysterious as any animal on earth".                   ―Peter Benchley, Jaws
Well, I'm sure you'd beg to disagree, if you've seen the stupendously successful movie based on the novel mentioned above. However, we can't really dispute the fact that sharks indeed are a species of immense beauty; especially when one gets to view them up close, in their natural habitat.
So, if you wish to do precisely that, we're giving you a list of places you can visit to fulfill your desire of getting closer to one of the most fascinating creatures that inhabit our oceans. However, before we get down to it, there are a few things you ought to keep in mind, with maintaining the honor of these gorgeous creatures:
• If it's not a caged dip in the ocean, always remember to maintain a respectful distance from the sharks.
• Whale sharks, in particular, are quite docile and harmless, which does not mean that you intentionally provoke them.
• Touching the creature or using flash photography may have adverse and irreparable consequences.
• Hammerheads and great whites are not to be messed with under any circumstances; these creatures are dangerous beyond your imagination.
• Always, always, always listen to your instructor.

South Ari Atoll, Maldives

South Ari Atoll is a marine protected area, which is a haven for whale sharks. They tend to the frequent the western side of the Indian Ocean archipelago from May to December, and head east until April. The Conrad Rengali Island Resort, in collaboration with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) conducts snorkeling tours to go shark spotting.
There are also several other island resorts that conduct such trips, so you're spoiled for choice. Another plus is that you don't have to be a certified snorkeling professional to be diving here; you simply need to know how to swim.
Species found
The whale shark, which is the largest known extant fish species in the world.

Best time to visit
All year round.

Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Cocos Island is a paradise-like place, owing largely to the fact that it is a marine national park which has seen little to none human interference in ages. You'll find 20 diving sites here on the island, out of which the Bajo Alcyone is said to be the place for hammerhead encounters.
The only way to get here is to get on a liveboard boat (either the Undersea Hunter, or the Okeanos Aggressor) which operates from the town of Puntarenas, and completes the 36-hour ride to come to Cocos.
Species found

The scalloped hammerheads are the specialty of the island; with divers having witnessed hundreds of these in one go. You'll also find whitetip reef sharks, Galapagos, silky, tiger, blacktip, silvertip, and guitar sharks.: On the whole, Cocos Island is not meant for beginners.
Best time to visit

The dry season, from December to May offers clear views over 100 feet, along with calm waters. If you're looking to be adventurous, though, you'd rather be here during the rainy season (June to December), when the upsurge of plankton causes the area to be flooded with sharks, although the visibility is drastically reduced.
The seas also get rougher, just so you know that this is only meant for experienced divers.

Please note: On the whole, Cocos Island is not meant for beginners.

Tiger Beach and Bimini Island, The Bahamas

The Bahamas have a long-standing reputation as a diving haven. Tiger Beach has been associated with tiger shark sightings for years, so this is a perfect spot to find your share of thrills. Plus, divers from all levels of expertise are welcome here.
Bimini Island is known for its resident bull sharks, which enjoy and flourish under protected status, along with 40 other species of sharks. Open swimming in Bimini is not permitted, and the only way you can experience these sharks up close is by being in a cage.
Anyone over the age of six is permitted to take a caged dip in the sea to view the sharks. Bahamas Shark Diving and Neal Watson's Bimini Scuba Center offer dive boats along with complete diving equipment to enthusiasts visiting Bimini.
Species found
Tiger sharks are the mainstay of the Bahamas; besides, you'll also find lemon sharks, bull sharks, along with silkies, and even chance an encounter with the great hammerheads.

Best time to visit
All year round.

Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Guadalupe is a small island off the Baja California peninsula, and holds the quaint distinction of being the best spot for great white shark spotting. The water here is distinctly blue and crystal-clear, which means that your views will be unobstructed from a distance.
Shark encounters here are mostly caged, because you obviously don't wanna mess with the great whites. Great White Adventures and Shark Divers are two stellar companies that organize cage dives here, so you may want to check their websites for details.
Species found
Great whites, Pacific blues, and oceanic whitetip sharks.

Best time to visit
August to October.

Seal Island, South Africa

Seal Island is situated off the South African coast, less than an hour's boat ride from Cape Town. The waters around the island may not score high on the visibility factor, but rest assured that the great whites will make their presence felt. Seal Island is home to the Cape fur seals, known to be the great white's favorite snack.
Mind you, with the great white in the vicinity, your diving will be caged. African Shark Eco-Charters specialize in cage diving, and operates from False Bay. Seal Island Express also conducts cage diving tours, and is based in False Bay as well.
Species found
Great white sharks.

Best time to visit
April to mid-September

Oahu, Hawaii

The Pacific waters surrounding Hawaii contain more than 40 species of sharks. Diving here can be free or caged, depending upon your level of comfort and expertise. Hawaii Shark Encounters provide caged excursions that combine the thrill of diving with educational inputs, and is a fantastic option for youngsters.
North Shore Shark Adventures also take you three miles into Oahu's gorgeous North Shore to view sharks in all their glory; these encounters are caged as well.
Species found
Pygmies, whale sharks, reef sharks, sandbars, Galapagos, and hammerheads.

Best time to visit
All year round.

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Adventurous is what best describes the experience at KwaZulu-Natal, with the great white shark being in attendance. But besides these sea monsters, you'll also find other shark species that are not as scary to hang out with. Shark Cage Diving KZN takes you to the deep sea for a close encounter with the great whites.
 Aliwal Shoal is a place off the coast of KZN, and this is where you need to go if you fancy the no-cage experience with the great whites.
Species found
Tiger sharks, bull sharks, copper sharks, and of course, the great whites.

Best time to visit
June to August, when sardines numbering in millions migrate northward along the KwaZulu-Natal coast, with all the sharks in hot pursuit.

Channel Islands, USA

The Channel Islands are known for their rich biological diversity, historic shipwrecks and sea caves, and the significant number of shark species that hover in dense kelp forests that lie beneath the waters. Islander Charters takes tourists into the Pacific for shark encounters, as do Horizon Charters Dive and Eco-Adventures.
Species found
Blue sharks, horn sharks, soupfins, and Pacific angel sharks, with a rare chance of a great white too.

Best time to visit
All year round.

Red Sea, Egypt

Feeding and baiting sharks is outlawed in Egypt, which has immensely contributed to the well-being of the species inhabiting the Red Sea. This way, sharks do not associate humans with food, and rarely regard their presence as interfering.
As a result, the diving experience here is peaceful and subliminal. Shark School organizes free diving trips in the Red Sea, although mind you, the currents here can be pretty strong, so prior diving experience is mandatory.
Species found
The clear waters of the Red Sea is where you'll find the exclusive oceanic white tip sharks and snaggletooth sharks.

Best time to visit
All year round.
Seychelles has been quite active in the field of shark conservation and studies, with some of the earliest whale shark recordings coming from here.

South Mahé, Seychelles

Dive Resort Seychelles, in collaboration with the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) conducts diving tours for amateurs and experts around the lesser-known locales of South Mahé. Proceeds from certain excursions are forwarded to the MCSS.
Species found
Whale sharks and reef sharks.

Best time to visit
Whale sharks migrate past Mahé from August to November, with peak sightings being made in the month of October.
Sharks certainly are a sight to behold, immensely beautiful, and to view them up close in the deep depths of the ocean is one of life's greatest humbling experiences. Tick this off your bucket list as soon as you can.