Best Places to Dive with Sharks

Have you ever wondered how it would be to dive with sharks – one of the most amazing ocean creatures in the world? A mesmerizing adventure is waiting for you in which your heart does not know if it should stop or beat faster! 

We have put together the full guide of all the best places of where you can dive with different types of sharks around the world.

We have done all the research for you, to help you discover the beauty of encountering sharks in their natural habitat. In this article, you learn all about different your favorite sharks and where to dive with them.

It is guaranteed to be one of the most unforgettable experiences in life to swim or dive side by side in the sea with sharks. Undoubtedly, it is high on the list of many outdoor fans, adventurers, nature and sea lovers.

Have we piqued your interest? If so, read ahead or jump to the headline of your favourite shark!

Blue Sharks

Hammerhead Sharks

Tiger Sharks

Bull Sharks

Whale Sharks

Great White Sharks

Summary

1.      Blue Sharks

diving with blue sharks

Blue sharks are a favourite for divers and underwater photographers to dive with due to their beauty and speed. They are also noted to be highly curious and gentle sharks, which makes them even more attractive to dive with.

Before we dive in to where to find the most promising places to dive with blue sharks, let us give you some background information about them.

Conservation of Blue Sharks

Blue Sharks are decreasing in number worldwide as 10 to 20 million sharks are killed per year by humans. This makes the blue shark the most heavily caught fish on earth.

Primarily, the shark’s fins are sought after by shark-fin soup enthusiasts. Decreasing the demand for this soup could already help to contribute conserving this beautiful and gentle shark species. Aside from the fins, blue sharks are not particularly tasty. Hence, the rest of their bodies are mostly used for fish meal production.

Today, the blue shark is marked as near threatened by the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Level of endangerment near threatened

Blue Sharks are incredibly gentle creatures towards humans. Let’s focus on just observing instead of overfishing them.

Blue Shark Quick Facts

  • The blue shark, as a large deep-sea shark, eats almost everything it can capture. Unfortunately, indigestible garbage can also be found regularly in its stomach.
  • The largest blue shark ever caught was 9 ft/3m long and weighed 256 LBS. It took four experienced fishermen to get this fantastic creature out of the sea close to the coast of England. The fished blue shark was later released back into the sea where he reportedly was able to swim away.
  • In 2011 scientists found two-headed female blue shark embryos. They were found inside a pregnant adult female that had been caught in the Gulf of California off the western coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Often, a blue shark dive is experienced as the following: divers hang in the water between 20 and 30 meters and their patience is tested before, if you are lucky, dark shadows arise in the distance coming closer and closer. Suddenly, the silhouettes of the blue sharks turn into detailed pictures just in front of your eye and are in reach but, before you know it, they have turned around.

Where to Dive with Blue Sharks

Here we list the 4 best places on this planet where you can dive with these magnificent and elegant creatures:

1. The Azores, Portugal

Dive with sharks in Azores portugal

One of the most promising spots for encounters with blue sharks can be found within Europe’s “best kept secret”: The Azores. This is an island group that belongs to Portugal and lies in between America and Europe in the Atlantic Ocean.

Besides diving with blue sharks, the Azores are also popular for diving with mako sharks, mobula rays, dolphins, hammerhead sharks, black marlins, and even whales.

Key statistics to diving with blue sharks on the Azores:

Best TimeBeginning of July to mid-October
Water Temperature21 – 25°C / 70 – 77°F
VisibilityUsually 30+ metres
Chance to encounter blue sharksHigher than 90%
QualificationAdvanced Open Water Diver or equivalent

Operators:

Blue Shark Diving is an incredible adventure. Especially for people who are diving with sharks for the first times in their live. Explore the beauty of these amazing creatures and the ocean where they roam wild by contacting these operators:

2. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town has plenty to offer: hiking Table Mountain, exploring the local bars and club scene, visiting wineries, or cage diving with great white sharks.

Yet you could make your trip to Cape Town even more remarkable by experiencing a dive with blue sharks in the open water without a cage.

Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in Cape Town:

Best SeasonNovember – June
Water Temperature16 – 25°C / 60 – 77 °F
Visibility10m – 50m
Chance to encounter blue sharksHigher than 80%
QualificationOpen Water or above but snorkelling is possible

Operators:

Looking for an educational and meaningful marine life experience?

CapeRADD operates as a center for marine-biodiversity related research,
offering SCUBA diving, free-diving, snorkeling & fieldwork courses as well
as educational and recreational expeditions throughout the Cape False Bay of
the Southern Peninsula, Cape Town. Their team consist of passionate ocean
experts and conservation enthusiasts. If you’re looking to learn more about the
marine biodiversity in the Cape, want to embark on an expedition to witness the
marine Big 5 or take up an exciting course that contributes to important
research, take a look at everything CapeRADD has to offer:

3. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

dive with sharks in cabo san lucas mexico

Cabo San Lucas is one of top destination for shark diving in the world.

Just off the shore, there can be found the arguably highest concentrations of blue sharks and mako sharks. Diving schools offer dive trips 7 days a week all year-round. Besides blue sharks, mako sharks, hammerhead sharks, and silky sharks are also frequent visitors during dives.

Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico:

Best Season January – May
Water Temperature 23 °C / 73 °F
Chance to encounter blue sharks Near 100%
Visibility 30 meters – 50 meters
Qualification Open Water or above but snorkelling is possible

Operators:

4. Rhode Island, USA

Blue Shark Diving

Blue Shark encounters are most likely not the first thing that comes up to one’s mind when thinking about Rhode Island. However, there is an excellent opportunity for adrenaline seeking adventurers and nature lovers to discover another aspect of coast of New England.

Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in Rhode Island, USA:

Chance to encounter blue sharks Over 90%
Water Temperature 13°C/55°F – 24°C/75°F
Qualifications No specific requirements

Operators:

Blue shark diving in Rhode Island is only offered by one diving school. The trip lasts the whole day and costs upwards of 450 USD. It can be booked with Rhode Island Shark Diving.

2.      Hammerhead Sharks

dive with hammerhead shark
800

Diving with hammerhead sharks is one of the ultimate scuba diving experiences.  You’ll never forget the first time you come face to face with this bizarre creature.  They look like something out of a science fiction movie.

To see one is impressive, to see swarms of them cruising around you is absolutely breath-taking!

These incredible animals can be enjoyed by divers in a number of locations around the world. They are known to gather in larger numbers at certain times of year, increasing the chances of exceptional encounters.

Conservation of Hammerhead Sharks

Unfortunately, many species of Hammerhead Sharks are at a high risk of extinction. Hammerhead fins are considered a delicacy in many countries. Fishermen can sell these fins for very high prices, so many times when a Hammerhead shark is captured, it has its fins removed, then is dumped back into the Ocean. Of course, without fins, the shark is unable to swim and subsequently dies.

Humans are the #1 threat to all species of Hammerhead Sharks.

The Squat-headed, Scalloped Hammerhead and the Great Hammerhead sharks are on the endangered species list. Extreme care should be taken in the preservation and conservation of this sharks and their environment.  

Hammerhead Shark Quick Facts

  • The extraordinary flattened shape of their heads, known as the cephalofoil, is believed to be linked to enhanced vision and sensory perception.
  • They use their crazy-shaped head as a hunting tool; with eyes on either end of their head it means they can see better than most sharks, improving their ability to find prey.
  • Believe it or not, the Hammerhead can sport a nice tan! They are one of very few animals who tan from the sun. This happens to the shark because Hammerheads are often cruising in shallow water or near the surface for extended periods of time.

Where to Dive with Hammerhead Sharks

Here are the top places where you can dive with Hammerhead sharks:


Hammerhead sharks are one of the most evocative animals in our seas. Their extraordinary shape and movement beguile any diver fortunate enough to share the same patch of ocean.

Hammerheads are not aggressive and aren’t considered dangerous to humans. Although the sheer size and predatory nature of the Great Hammerhead means caution should always be taken when diving with these prehistoric giants.

1.      Bimini, Bahamas

dive with sharks in bimini bahamas

Bahamas and the Keys during the summer are good for hammerhead shark diving adventures.

With over 40 shark species, the Bahamas has the greatest biodiversity in the world and one of the largest populations. The Bahamas earn more than 110 million US dollars annually with shark tourism. The government has recognized the value of sharks as a tourist attraction and is making efforts to protect them, but also to market them in an effective advertising manner.

When to go

  • Hammerheads are found all year at the Bahamas
  • Peak: December to February

Operators 

2.      Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

diving with hammerhead shark

The Pacific Shark Corridor, also known as “The Hammerhead Triangle”, consists of the Galapagos Islands, Socorro Islands, and Cocos Island.

These three locations are known as the hammerhead triangle and are absolutely the best place to dive with hundreds of hammerhead sharks.

You can only reach these dives on a liveaboard so be prepared to pay quite a bit for the privilege of experiencing the world’s best hammerhead diving places.

When to go

  • December to May

Operators 

3.      Cocos Islands, Costa Rica

dive with sharks in costa rica

Isla de Cocos – Cocos Island – is also sometimes referred to as: “Mountain of the sharks”. Almost everyone knows that this tropical island in the Pacific Ocean is a superlative spot for big fish!

When to go

  • May to September

Operators 

4.       Layang Layang, Malaysia

dive with hammerheads in malaysia

With a circumference of 21 km, the atoll is more than three times as large as the reef around Sipadan. Especially in the months from March to May Layang Layang is one of the most spectacular dive sites in the world. 

During this time large schools of hammerhead sharks come to the drop offs at the eastern tip of the atoll. Sometimes you can see over 100 of these fascinating animals. But orcas, pilot whales, thresher-tail sharks and manta rays are also regularly sighted here.

When to go

  • March to May

Operators 

3.      Tiger Sharks


Diving with tiger sharks is one of the most exciting animal encounters we know of. Unlike tigers on land, tiger sharks generally do not see us as prey.

Imagine submerging into the blue, knowing that soon you will encounter one of the most efficient predators on this planet. A predator you are going to meet eye-to-eye with equal respect for each other. 

Let us take you on a journey and follow us to the best places on earth to dive with tiger sharks. The following map gives a sneak peek on where diving with Tiger Sharks is possible:


Fuvahmulah is located on the equator between the two southern atolls of Addu and Huvadhoo and is the only island in the archipelago with two freshwater lakes and lush tropical vegetation, which consists of mango trees, coconut palms, papaya and various species of flowers.

Due to its unique location in the middle of the open ocean, the island is surrounded by thousands of pelagic marine animals that gather at the cleaning stations throughout the year. An absolute highlight for every diver! Only here in the Maldives at Tiger Zoo you have a 100% guarantee on dozens of tiger sharks. In addition, there are thresher sharks, hammerheads, silvertip sharks, whale sharks, grey and white tip reef sharks, giant oceanic mantas and even mola moles.

Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in the Maldives:

Best time All year round
Water temperature 27-30 Celcius / 74-86 Farenheit
Chance to dive with tiger shark 100%
Qualification At least Open Water Diver or equivalent

Best Diving Schools on the Maldives around Fuvahmulah for Diving with Tiger Sharks:

There is only on diving school that operates on Fuvahmulah – the Fuvahmulah Diving school.

3.      Beqa Island, Fiji

diving in beqa fiji

One of the most beautiful hideaways on the planet, Fiji invites divers from all over the world the opportunity to come into close proximity with tiger sharks. Within this reserve, you are able to witness reef sharks, nurse sharks as well as the mysterious tiger shark. 

Given Fiji’s geographical position, the diving here is second to none. There are warm waters, beautiful clear open water as well as the option of seeing tiger sharks virtually all year round. Added to all of this, whilst diving, you will be amongst soft and hard corals and other beautiful marine life. 

Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in Fiji:

Best time All year around 
Water temperature 25-27 Celcius / 77-80 Farenheit
Chance to dive with tiger shark More than 80%
Qualification At least Open Water Diver or equivalent

Best Diving Schools on Beqa Lagoon for Tiger Shark Diving

Multiple diving schools are offering tiger shark dives. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

4.      Protea Banks, South Africa 

sardine run bait balls

Photo from http://www.sardinerunassociation.org

Situated 7km off the shore of South Africa, the Protea Banks is a reef which lies at a depth of 27-40m. There is an effort to increase the conservation of the Protea Banks as well as the inhabitants including the dolphins, whales as well as of course, the sharks. At the Protea Banks, divers are able to dive and get close up with the tiger sharks. 

With all the freedom that you could want, divers come safely interact with the sharks that they see. Becoming a more popular location, the Protea Banks is also known due to the Sardine Run which occurs each year. This rich marine ecosystem enables all to enjoy their own experience with underwater animals – like the tiger shark. 

Key statistics to diving with blue sharks in Fiji:

Best time March – June 
Water temperature 19-24 Celcius / 66-75 Farenheit
Chance to dive with tiger shark more than 70%
Qualification Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent

Best Diving Schools in Protea Banks South Africa for Diving with Tiger Sharks

4.     Bull Sharks

Bull Shark with Divers

Bull Shark with Divers

Do you want to look for the best places to dive with bull sharks? Bull Sharks are said to be one of the most dangerous sharks for men around the globe. 

Out of the 400 or so species of sharks there are only a handful which are commonly made responsible for most shark attacks on people. Among great whites and tigers it’s the Bull shark which is considered to be one of the most dangerous sharks on our planet.

However, please keep in mind there is less than one bull shark per year on a human making the risk of an attack almost 0%.

We have researched for you the major facts about these animals. Read here what makes bull sharks so special and where you can experience a thrilling dive adventure with this species.

Bull Shark Quick Facts

  • The bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is also known as Zambezi shark or Lake Nicaragua shark. These two latter names stem from the places where bull shark populations occur.
  • This species belongs to the family of the Requiem Sharks which comprises of live bearing sharks from the warmer oceans such as the tiger shark or the grey reef shark.
  • Bull sharks have an unusual habitat for sharks: they have a very special ability to adapt to the salinity of the water and even can live in fresh water. This ability allows them to leave the coastal areas of warm oceans.
  • Bull sharks and their predecessors have inhabited the oceans for over 400 million years.
  • The most striking feature apart from the bulky body with the blunt and short muzzle, which makes bull sharks distinguishable from other sharks, is the right-angled first dorsal fin, which is shaped like an equilateral triangle. 

Where to Dive with Bull Sharks

dive with bull sharks

We have done a comprehensive research to find for you the best spots to dive with bull sharks.

In any event, all such shark dive trips require from you in general:

  1. a certification of Open Water Diver or a similar qualification
  2. the ability to keep a good buoyancy control and air consumption   

Please make sure to discuss all further requirements with the dive team of your choice.

Here is our list of the 5 best places to dive with Bull sharks:

Some of the considerations you might want to look into when searching for the right dive center for you are the following questions:

  1. Do I want to meet Bull sharks in a cage free environment or do I prefer the added safety of a cage?
  2. Am I open to dive trips which involve feeding the sharks with chummed food. Here, sharks are attracted to the dive site by exposing a mixture of fish scrap and blood into the water.   

1.      Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji

Pacific Harbour is located on the island of Viti Levu and claims itself the bustling adventure capital of Fiji.

If you want to meet bull sharks underwater, this is the place to go to. It offers probably the best opportunity for Bull shark encounters on the world.

Just a 10 minute boat ride from the docks into Beqa lagoon the dive teams will bring you to a community based marine conservation area called Shark Reef Marine Reserve. Here you can see bull sharks during baited dives on a regular basis together with other shark species and hundreds of fish. Depths are up to 30 m (100ft). 

Dive Operators in Pacific Harbour which have a focus on bull shark dives are:

2.      Playa del Carmen, peninsula Yucatan, Mexico

bull sharks at Playa del Carmen

From November until March it’s the season for bull sharks at Playa del Carmen. Female sharks use the shallow waters in front of the coast as breeding grounds in winter.

Morning dives tend to be the best for encountering bull sharks within the waters. You can book your trip with a dive center in Playa that will take you to the best locations for viewing the sharks. Dive depths range from approximately 25 meters (82 ft) to shallower dives amidst coral reef systems.

Check out the following dive shops:

3.      Santa Lucia, Cuba

Santa Lucia is located on the northern coast of Cuba. There you can dive with bull sharks while the sharks are hand-fed by an instructor. This occasion arises in the time span from mid-August/early September to the end of November. Reservations for those trips are made on a short term basis only, as departures depend on local conditions.

Operators:

4.      Bat Island, Costa Rica

diving bull shark in costa rica

The Costa Rican Pacific has a lot to offer. National parks such as Manuel Antonio, with lush rainforests, world-class beaches, volcanoes and a rich flora and fauna that is second to none, or the Santa Rosa National Park, on whose western tip lie the Islas Murcielagos (Bat Islands).

The Bat Islands are a diver’s paradise, where you can not only see bull sharks and giant mantas, but also eels and squid, rich coral reefs and many other underwater creatures.

As this is a protected area, all islands are uninhabited. However, there is a national park station that can be visited and a nearby hill is the ideal place to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the islands and the mainland and take pictures.

Especially at the dive site Big Scare you can have a tête-à-tête with bull sharks, which can be up to 3 meters long.

In general, the variety of creatures in the Bat Islands is simply fascinating. There are various species of rays that glide through the water in groups, or various moray eels, such as the zebra (Gymnomuraena zebra), the jewel (Muraena lentiginosa), the white-mouth (Gymnothorax meleagris) and the star-spotted moray eels (Echidna nebulosa) that snake through the breath-taking coral reef. You can also encounter seahorses, squids, frogfish, Pacific swordfish, tunas and schools of lady fish (Elopidae), spade fish (Ephippidae), spear fish (Istiophoridae) and fan or sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) as well as turtles that pass by.

The most popular diving center to offer bull shark diving on the Bat Islands are:

5.      Great Blue Hole, Belize

belize great blue hole shark dives

The Blue Hole is an almost perfect circle with a diameter of 274 and a depth of 125 meters.

When the Blue Hole was formed about 15,000 years ago, it was still above water. This is evidenced by the beautiful stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the bell.

The dive into the cave is serious and should not be taken lightly. The attractions of the Blue Hole lie deep under the overhangs in the middle of stalactites, and the diver has to stay at a considerable depth above a Blue Water Drop Off “of a few meters”: definitely not a dive for inexperienced divers! The dive starts on a slightly sloping sandy slope leading to the edge of the cave. At a depth of about twelve meters, it will be clarified if the dive will be continued.

With a bit of luck the divers will be examined during the dive by the inhabitants of the Blue Hole – the bull sharks.

The most popular diving centers to offer bull shark diving and tours to the great blue hole in Belize are:

5.      Whale Sharks

dive with whale sharks

“If you ever have a chance to swim with whale sharks, you will never forget this magical experience. You will become an ambassador for the protection of these majestic animals for the rest of your life.” – Volker Bassen

It is guaranteed to be one of the most unforgettable experiences in life to swim side by side in the sea with whale sharks. Undoubtedly, it is high on the list of many outdoor fans, adventurers, nature and sea lovers.

Fortunately, there are a handful of destinations in the world where whale sharks are almost guaranteed to be spotted in specific seasons. You just have to know when and where. We also believe that some degree of knowledge about whale sharks helps you appreciate them even more.

Conservation of Whale Sharks

The whale shark is classified as endangered on the Red List of Endangered Species. It is estimated that the population has been decimated by more than half in recent years. The main reason for this is direct fishing. 

Although the hunting of whale sharks is now forbidden in many places, they are still fished today due to the high profits.

If curiosity is so great, these sea giants deserve respect. So: keep your distance and try to not touch them – like everything under water – and don’t photograph with flashlight. 

Please help protecting these mesmerizing creatures by observing them and sharing your love for them.

Whale Shark Quick Facts

  • The whale shark is not a mixture of whale and shark but rather a shark the size of a whale! Whale sharks are record holders as the largest fish in the world.
  • Whale sharks were first scientifically described in 1828, but they are still a big mystery for researchers. Even the information on size, lifespan and weight vary widely.
  • The knowledge about origin, behavior and travel-routes is even more miserable. But it is estimated that the animals can grow up to 20 meters long, weigh more than 34 tons and live to be over 100 years old.
  • Despite typically being bigger than a double-decker bus, the elusive whale shark has only tiny, almost useless teeth.

The Best Places to Dive with Whale Sharks


Swimming with whale sharks is a dream of many underwater enthusiasts. The following places help you to maximize your chances to see whale sharks.

1.      Isla Holbox and Cancun, Mexico

Whale Shark

The number one place on the list of Best Places to Swim With Whale Sharks is Mexico.

Key statistics to swimming with whale sharks in Cancun, Mexico:

Best time to dive with whale sharks Daily from June to September, when the whale sharks come to mate
Chances to encounter whale sharks 90%
Water Temperature 24 C – 28 C

Best Diving Schools near Cancun and Playa del Carmen for snorkelling with Whale Sharks:

Multiple diving schools are offering whale shark encounters. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

2.      Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, Western Australia

Whale Sharks off Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Whale Sharks watched by tourists off the coast on April 22, 2012 in Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

Australia’s largest and easily accessible coral reef is not the Great Barrier Reef but actually Ningaloo.

This fantastic reef is located about 1,200 kilometres north of the capital Perth on the west coast. The 300km long area is home to over 500 species of fish and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

Key statistics to swimming with whale sharks near Exmouth at the Ningaloo reef, Australia

Best time to dive with whale sharks Mid March – July
Chances to encounter whale sharks 90%
Water Temperature 27°C – 31°C (81°F – 88°F)

Best Diving Schools in Exmouth at the Ningaloo Reef for swimming with Whale Sharks:

Multiple diving schools are offering whale shark encounters. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

3.      Utila, Honduras (Whaleshark paradise)

The small backpacker’s paradise off the Caribbean coast of Honduras is one of the cheapest destinations in the world to get your diving license. It is also one of only a few whale shark research centers in the world.

Key statistics to swimming with whale sharks in Utila, Honduras:

Best time to dive with whale sharks Daily from June to September, when the whale sharks come to mate
Chances to encounter whale sharks 75%
Water Temperature 27°C – 31°C (81°F – 88°F)

Best Diving Schools in the Honduras for swimming with Whale Sharks:

Multiple diving schools are offering whale shark encounters. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

4.      Gladden Spit, Belize

Swim with whale sharks in Gladden Spit, Belize

A massive fish spawn between March and June attracts whale sharks to Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve (GSSCMR).

The fascinating sanctuary covers an area of about 100 square kilometers and is located 40 kilometers from the southeastern coastal city of Placencia in central Belize.

Key statistics to swimming with whale sharks in Belize at Gladden Spit:

Best time to dive with whale sharks April and May
Chances to encounter whale sharks 70%
Water Temperature 27°C – 29°C (81°F – 84°F)

Best Diving Schools in Belize near Gladden Spit for swimming with Whale Sharks:

Multiple diving schools are offering whale shark encounters. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

5.      South Mahé, Seychelles

Some of the first scientific whale shark records come from the Seychelles, where the peaceful animals are well protected. Mahé is the largest island in the Indian Ocean archipelago and the best place to discover it.

Key statistics to swimming with whale sharks in South Mahé, Seychelles:

Best time to dive with whale sharks August – November
Chances to encounter whale sharks 90%
Water Temperature 27°C – 31°C (81°F – 88°F)

Best Diving Schools in South Mahé, Seychelles for swimming with Whale Sharks:

Multiple diving schools are offering whale shark encounters. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

6.      Great White Sharks

where to dive with great white

Have you ever wondered how it is to dive with one of the most popular sharks in the world? We collected where you need to go and what to expect from Great White Shark Diving. 

Conservation of Great White Sharks

The great white shark is the most protected shark species in the world – and still highly endangered. The World Conservation Union IUCN classified the Great White Shark as “vulnerable” on the Red List of Threatened Species

In Australia and the north-eastern USA, the Great White Shark has been a much sought-after trophy among sport fishermen since the 1950s and, at the latest, since the success of the feature film “The Great White Shark” in the 1970s.

The great white shark is not relevant for large commercial fisheries as it is too rare. Until recently, however, it was often landed as a bycatch in longline and trawl fisheries. 

Especially in the Mediterranean Sea, the Great White Shark suffers greatly from habitat change. The populations here are particularly affected by water pollution and the decline in tuna stocks, which are their main prey.

Great White Shark Quick Facts

  • The three sharks most likely to attack a human are bull sharks, great white sharks and tiger sharks, according to the portal Travel and Leisure. 
  • Great White Sharks are often wrongly associated with various shark attacks at it looks similar to the bull shark and is widely known in the public.

Where to Dive with Great White Sharks

Depending on the season, the probability of encountering the giant varies. But there is never a guarantee. 

We have put together an overview for you, so that you know in which countries you can dive with the sharks at which time of the year and with a high probability of seeing them.

1.      Port Lincoln, Australia 

The enchanting Port Lincoln on the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia is famous for diving with great white sharks.

Have you ever thought about whether you would like to be face to face with great white sharks? Protected in a cage or dry in a glass aqua-sub to get close to these unjustly disreputable, beautiful creatures of the sea. 

In Port Lincoln there are three operators that have diving with great white sharks in their program. 

There is Rodney Fox, who offer boat tours of several days with dives and cage diving. However, the costs for such a 3-4 day liveaboard are around $2,000 – $3,000. In contrast to the other two providers, the cages are left on the seafloor, which requires a diving license.

The other providers for day trips are Calypso Star and Adventure Bay Charters. Compared to Rodney Fox expeditions you don’t need a diving license for these trips. 

Key statistics to diving with Great White Sharks in Port Lincoln, Australia:

Best Time All year round
Water Temperature 10 – 25°C / 55 – 77°F
Visibility Usually 30+ metres
Chance to encounter great white sharks Higher than 70%
Qualification No Diving Qualification needed (just for Rodney Fox)

Best Great White Shark Diving Operators in Port Lincoln:

Multiple diving schools are offering great white shark cage diving. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

2.      Guadalupe, Mexico

where to dive with great white

When we think of diving with great white sharks, we think – at least in the Pacific – of the top spot: Guadalupe Island off the coast of Mexico.

From San Diego you need one day by boat to Guadeloupe. The island was populated by colonists with goats, who destroyed all the vegetation, which is why it is now bare and protected.

Its beaches are inhabited by different kinds of seals, which are hunted by the great white sharks, which is why you will meet more great white sharks near Guadeloupe than in South Africa. Up to 150 great white sharks are said to live near the island.

It is important to know that both certified divers and non-divers can participate in the Great White Shark Diving near Guadalupe Island. Non-divers must use a water pipe system and stay in a cage on the surface. Certified divers may use diving equipment while the cage is diving at 10 meters.

Key statistics to diving with  Great White Sharks in Guadalupe, Mexico:

Best Time August to October
Water Temperature 20 – 22°C / 68 – 72°F
Visibility Usually 30+ metres
Chance to encountergreat white sharks Higher than 90%
Qualification Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent (some exceptions with no qualification)

Best Great White Shark Diving Operators in Guadalupe:

Multiple diving schools are offering great white shark cage diving. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

3.      Gansbaai, South Africa

gansbaai gansbay shark diving

There are three places in South Africa where you can do cage diving. The first and most famous place is Gansbaai, a small town located 165 kilometres southeast of Cape Town.

Gansbaai near Cape Town in South Africa offers shark diving between the Indian & Atlantic Ocean where dives can be combined with shark tours. Just as the lion dominates the savannah of Africa, the Great White Shark is the king of all predators in our oceans. 

Key statistics to diving with Great White Sharks in Gansbaai, South Africa:

Best Time Beginning of March to September
Water Temperature 16 – 23°C / 61 – 73°F
Visibility Usually 5+ metres
Chance to encounterblue sharks Higher than 90%
Qualification No Diving Qualification needed

Best Great White Shark Diving Operators in Gansbaai:

Multiple diving schools are offering great white shark cage diving. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

4.      Mossel Bay, South Africa

Mossel Bay is a small town by the sea, which lies directly on the Garden Route. Due to the fact that the water temperature here is higher than at other locations, the place is known worldwide for the largest occurrence of great white sharks along the South African coast!

You will not only find the great white shark in Mossel Bay, but also many other species of sharks and rays that have found a new home in this area.

Of course, many other species of animals, such as dolphins or whales, can also be seen at certain times of the year.

Key statistics to diving with Great White Sharks in Mossel Bay, South Africa:

Best Time Beginning of May to September
Water Temperature 16 – 23°C / 61 – 73°F
Visibility Usually 5+ metres
Chance to encounterblue sharks Higher than 90%
Qualification No Diving Qualification needed

Best Great White Shark Diving Operators in Mossel Bay:

Multiple diving schools are offering great white shark cage diving. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

5.      False Bay, South Africa

shark diving in false bay

https://ultimate-animals.com/types-of-sharks-in-false-bay/

To the east of the Cape of Good Hope the False Bay.

The bay got its name in sailing times because of its sheer size, when sailing ships already confused False Bay with the Atlantic Ocean, but they only reached it after sailing around the Cape of Good Hope. 

Close to Seal Island, a small island in the middle of the bay, which serves as a resting place for seals, the great white sharks are especially fond of making their tracks. The animals are a preferred hunting ground for the sharks, which is why they are in large numbers in these waters. 

Adventurous people can test their courage here and undertake Shark Cage Diving tours with various providers and get particularly close to the Great White Sharks, protected only by a cage.

Key statistics to diving with Great White Sharks in False Bay, South Africa:

Best Time Beginning of May to September
Water Temperature 17 – 22°C / 60 – 71°F
Visibility Usually 5+ metres
Chance to encounterblue sharks Higher than 90%
Qualification No Diving Qualification needed

Best Great White Shark Diving Operators in False Bay:

Multiple diving schools are offering great white shark cage diving. Here are the most reliable ones (Rated on Google Maps and Trip Advisor):

Visit CapeRADD for marine courses and expeditions in the cape.

Summary

There are many different types of sharks that swim in our oceans. This article shows you all you need to know about Blue Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks, Whale Sharks and the majestic Great White Sharks.

If you ever need to know when the best time is to go diving with these sharks, what you will need or who to contact, then look no further! This article gives the best overview, and we have written individual articles for each shark if you want to take a deeper dive into finding out more about them.

There are places all over the world where you can encounter sharks in the wild. So get ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime!

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