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Diving with Tiger Sharks

shark under water high definition

Welcome to Where to Dive with 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 fascinating, unique experience that you will cherish forever.

tiger shark

 In my opinion, you can’t compare diving with anything else – whether you encounter sharks or not. It’s easy to forget that there’s a whole universe under the water’s surface that we actually know fairly little about.

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 at where diving with Tiger Sharks is possible.

Key Points

  • Diving with tiger sharks is exciting and generally safe, as they do not see humans as prey.
  • Tiger sharks are the fourth largest shark species and can grow up to 16 feet long.
  • Tiger sharks are at risk due to hunting, by-catches, and population controls, and their fins are highly sought after.
  • Tiger sharks are not known to be dangerous to humans, but they may occasionally do a “test bite.”
  • The best places to dive with tiger sharks can be found in the Bahamas, the Maldives, Fiji, South Africa, Hawaii, North Carolina, and Mexico.

From here, you can quickly jump to see the list of the best places with recommendations on where to dive with tiger sharks. Alternatively, pick your favourite chapter or read this article from beginning to end. Enjoy!

Best Places To Dive With Tiger Sharks

Interesting facts about Tiger Sharks

pictures of tiger sharks
Tiger Shark

The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) is the fourth largest shark in the world after the whale, basking, and great white shark. It can grow to a good five meters long and weigh more than 1,000 kilograms, with females usually being larger than males.

Tiger sharks can probably live to be 50 years old and give birth to a maximum of 82 young at one time. However, after a gestation period of about 13-16 months, the females only have offspring every two to three years. Tiger sharks constantly have to swim. Otherwise, they sink.

An Overview of Tiger Sharks

TraitsTiger Shark
LengthUp to 5 meters
WeightMore than 1,000 kilograms
DietFish, rays, seals, seabirds, sea snakes, dugongs, crabs, lobsters, jellyfish, other sharks, and even sea turtles
HabitatTropical to restrained coast regions, prefers cloudy waters and areas with river inflows, also found near islands and island groups
Geographic RangeWorldwide distribution in tropical and restrained coast regions, including areas like Hawaii, Tahiti, Réunion, and the Galápagos Islands
Level of Danger to HumansLow risk, rare incidents of test bites, dislike the taste of humans
Conservation StatusClassified as potentially endangered by IUCN due to hunting, by-catches, and population controls
LifespanUp to 50 years in the wild
Speed30 km/h
Diving DepthsUp to 350 meters

Endangerment of Tiger Sharks

Tiger-sharks-in-the-water. images of tiger sharks

The tiger shark is not always the hunter but often also the hunted. Their fins, the skin, and the oil of the liver are considered to be very high quality and achieve high sales prices. The demand and the price for shark fins are still high.

In areas in which tiger sharks are hunted purposefully, their stocks have already strongly decreased. In addition, there are losses from by-catches, sport fishing, and population controls, which are designed to reduce shark density in waters used for bathing, surfing, and diving.

The success of such measures is controversial, as most shark attacks are provoked by tourists feeding the sharks. In addition, the freed niches are usually directed by migrating sharks occupied again. Pro Wildlife has therefore been campaigning for years against such population controls, for example, in Australia. Due to the aforementioned threat from fishing, the tiger shark is classified as potentially endangered by IUCN.

If you would like to read more about the 23 most endangered sharks, you can find more information in this blog post. If you would like to read more about other highly endangered animals, then read further in this blog post.

Level of endangerment near threatened

Level of endangerment near threatened.

Are Tiger Sharks Dangerous to Humans?

No. Tiger Sharks are not destined to eat humans – in fact, they actually dislike the taste of humans. Nevertheless, tiger sharks are curious animals and rarely do a so-called test bite. However, as mentioned, these incidents are uncommon. 

The risk of being bitten by a tiger shark is low, as for all other shark accidents, although most shark accidents in the tropics are attributable to tiger sharks. In Hawaiian waters, a region with many tiger sharks, there have been less than four accidents per year on average in recent years, despite the presence of numerous surfers and swimmers in the shark areas.

Comparison Between a Tiger Shark and a Great White Shark

Now, let us take a closer look at the two most giant predatory sharks. We are comparing the tiger shark with the great white shark and the different attributes that set them apart. Have a look at the table below.

What are the differences between tiger sharks and great white sharks?

TraitTiger SharksGreat White Sharks
TailLong top tail finsEven tail fins
Color and PatternBrown-gray with dark stripesDark gray with white bellies
Body ShapeSleekerBulkier
HeadBlunt square-like headsPointed heads
WeightUp to 1,000 kilogramsVaries, can exceed 1,000 kilograms
LengthUp to 5 metersVaries, can exceed 5 meters

If you want to learn more about great whites, take a look at this article of ours.

Geographical Distribution of Tiger Sharks

the tiger-shark occurs worldwide in tropical to restrained coast-regions. It prefers cloudy waters and regions into which rivers flow. However, it is also found near islands and island groups such as Hawaii, Tahiti, Réunion and the Galápagos Islands.

About the behavior of this shark is still very little known. It is twilight or night-active, swims in the evening and at night up to very flat regions and retreats again into larger depths during the day. 

Diet of Tiger Sharks

Their diet is the most varied of all shark species. They eat fish, rays, seals, seabirds, sea snakes, dugongs, crabs, lobsters, jellyfish, but also other sharks. The tiger shark is also the only shark species that hunts sea turtles. The extremely sharp, serrated teeth with laterally omitting tips allow the tiger shark bones and even turtle shells to bite through effortlessly. Any form of carrion is not spurned by the tiger shark.

For example, it has already been observed how tiger sharks share a walkadaver with white sharks or saltwater crocodiles. Unfortunately, it can become the tiger shark also the doom not to be very choosy. Thus, in the bellies of tiger sharks have already found all kinds of waste that people throw into the sea: Plastic, metal, kitchen waste, car tires, number plates, balls, bottles, as well as parts of boats.

Best Places to Dive with Tiger Sharks/ Swimming wth tiger sharks

Diving with tiger sharks is fascinating and generally safe. Their stripes and size attributes them a beauty. Their appearance puts divers on the verge between fear and awe – whichever side you may choose during your tiger shark encounter: We provide you with all information you need.

What are the best places to dive with tiger sharks?

#1 – Tiger Beach, Bahamas 

YouTube video

One of the premier spots for encounters with tiger sharks can be found at Tiger Beach, Bahamas. Known for its crystal clear waters and calm blue colors, Tiger Beach is a destination popular amongst travelers, photographers, and shark lovers.

Not only can you view tiger sharks, but you also have the chance to see other sharks, including Lemon Sharks, Bull Sharks, and more. 

If you want a realistic picture of Tiger Beach, take a look at this video. We love the honesty of LAX Sharks!

Thanks to the Bahamas government, the area has been made into a marine sanctuary in recent years, enabling the introduction of a healthy ecosystem within the area. This means that the reefs nearby have a variety of marine life and corals, making the area exquisite for divers. 

Best timeNovember – May 
Water temperature24-27 Celcius / 75-80 Farenheit
Chance to dive with tiger shark100%
QualificationAt least Open Water Diver or equivalent

Best Diving Schools on Tiger Beach 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):

  1. Epic Diving
  2. Stuart Cove 
  3. Reef Oasis Dive Club 
  4. Sunn Odyssey
  5. Bimini Scuba Center
  6. Caribbean Divers 

#2 – Fuvahmulah, Maldives 

https://www.pinterest.de/pin/294071050645610321/

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.

This underwater paradise did not become accessible to the general public until early 2017 when Fuvahmulah Dive School opened, the first dive center on the island.

Best timeAll year round
Water temperature27-30 Celcius / 74-86 Farenheit
Chance to dive with tiger shark100%
QualificationAt least Open Water Diver or equivalent

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

There is only one diving school that operates in Fuvahmulah, which is Fuvahmulah Diving school. There is also a number of accommodations recommended, which are all situated on this rather large island compared to Maldivian standards.

 #3 – Beqa Island, Fiji

 beqa-isalnd-Fiji

One of the most beautiful hideaways on the planet, Fiji invites divers from all over the world to come close with tiger sharks. Another area that has undergone vast ecosystem developments, 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, and the option of seeing tiger sharks virtually all year round. Additionally, whilst diving, you will be amongst soft and hard corals and other beautiful marine life. 

Best timeAll year around 
Water temperature25-27 Celcius / 77-80 Farenheit
Chance to dive with tiger sharkmore than 80%
QualificationAt 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):

  1. Coral Coast Divers
  2. Bikini Bottom
  3. Aqua Trek
  4. Fiji Shark Dive
  5. Dive Away

#4 – Protea Banks, South Africa 

YouTube video

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 can 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. 

Do you like big animals? We collected some ideas on The best places to see Elephants, or Where to see Giraffes.

Best timeMarch – June 
Water temperature19-24 Celcius / 66-75 Farenheit
Chance to dive with tiger sharkmore than 70%
QualificationAdvanced Open Water Diver or equivalent

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

  1. African Dive Adventures
  2. Aqua Planet

#5 – Hawaii, USA

hawaii-palm-tree

Tiger Sharks are pretty common in warm tropical waters, which is why it is no surprise that you can see and swim with tiger sharks off the coast of Hawaii. Specifically, in the Oahu North Shore area, you are able to deep dive into the depths of the blue Pacific Ocean, where you may encounter such interesting beasts. 

Alongside the opportunity to swim with tiger sharks, Hawaii is known for its beautiful clear ocean waters as well as a rich living reef ecosystem. This is because Hawaii holds more than 7,000 species of marine plants and animal life. Also, Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystem is particularly rich, with about 1,250 unique species which can only be found on Hawaii’s reefs. Thus, traveling to Hawaii and swimming with tiger sharks enables you to not only enjoy the animal but also be amongst other unique species. 

Best timeMay – September
Water temperature24-27Celcius / 77-80Farenheit
Chance to dive with tiger sharkmore than 50%
QualificationAdvanced Open Water Diver or equivalent

Best Diving Schools in Hawaii, USA for Diving with Tiger Sharks

1. One Ocean Diving

2. Hawaii Eco Divers

3. Shark Tours Hawaii

4. CU Diving

#6 – North Carolina, USA

YouTube video

This a potentially surprising entry to the list, but because of the large number of shipwrecks found off the North Carolina coast, there are many hidden spots to dive with tiger sharks in this destination. It is easily accessible and a fun opportunity to dive with all sorts of marine life within various shipwrecks.

These include the sand tiger sharks, as well as stingrays and barracuda. 

Because the sharks prefer more secure, secluded areas of the ocean, many of the shipwrecks become homes for them. The most popular wrecks with sand tiger sharks include the Atlas and the Spar. Knowing this beforehand, means that divers can venture out into such shipwrecks to get up close with these tiger sharks. 

Best timeJune – October 
Water temperature19-25 Celsius / 66-76 Fahrenheit
Chance to dive with tiger shark30%
QualificationAt least Open Water Diver or equivalent

Best Diving Schools in North Carolina, USA Diving with Tiger Sharks

  1. Olympus Diving Center
  2. Blackbeard Scuba
  3. Discovery Diving

#7 – Socorro Island, Mexico

YouTube video

The Socorro Islands are four volcanic islands located about 250 miles off the coast of Baja, California in the Pacific Ocean. Very popular with divers, you can find not only tiger sharks, but also other forms of marine life like giant manta rays as well as blue whales.

All in all, it is a great destination for those seeking that personalized shark diving experience.

In particular, one of the best places in the Socorro Islands to see tiger sharks is the Punta Tosca. Here, there is an increased number of tiger sharks in recent years, so it is your best shot to dive with them! Not only are you able to try and spot the tiger sharks, but these islands are completely isolated, meaning that it feels like an even more special experience. Many conservation organizations are working in this region in order to preserve marine ecology.

Best timeNovember – May 
Water temperature21-28 Celcius / 70-82Farenheit
Chance to dive with tiger sharkmore than 20%
QualificationAdvanced Open Water Diver or equivalent

How and with whom to dive with tiger sharks on the Socorro Islands in Mexico

We recommend having a look at LiveAboards as only these go out to the Socorro Islands. One of the most comprehensive comparisons can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can you dive with tiger sharks?

You can dive with tiger sharks in several places around the world. Some of the most popular locations include the Bahamas, where Tiger Beach is a renowned spot, as well as Fiji’s Shark Reef Marine Reserve and South Africa’s Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks.

How safe is tiger shark diving?

Tiger shark diving can be safe when conducted under controlled conditions, and with the supervision of experienced dive operators. It is important to adhere to safety protocols, such as using a shark cage or staying in groups, and to pay attention to the guidance of dive masters who are familiar with shark behavior.

Are tiger sharks dangerous for humans?

Tiger sharks are considered to be one of the shark species that can be dangerous to humans. They are known for their curiosity and can be aggressive. Though shark attacks are relatively rare, tiger sharks are responsible for a proportion of those that do occur.

What sharks are bigger than tiger sharks?

The whale shark is the largest shark species and is significantly bigger than tiger sharks. While tiger sharks can grow up to around 16 feet in length, whale sharks can reach lengths of over 40 feet.

Summary of Diving with Tiger Sharks

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We hope we were able to increase your urge to go on a dive with tiger sharks. We are certain that you would never forget such an animal encounter and adventure.

Thank you for reading Diving with Tiger Sharks. If you would like to learn about some interesting comparisons between Tiger Sharks and Great White Sharks, you will learn more in this white shark vs tiger shark blog post.

Another Shark species we are sure you would not forget after seeing them is the Great White Shark. We had a look at the best places around the globe to find Great White Sharks or all our other shark articles.

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