Diving with sharks is one hell of an adrenaline shot. It is unique, beautiful, exhilarating. Here’s where you’ll be able to dive with tiger sharks in their purest, most natural, and vivid habitat. Heads up, the IUCN classifies tiger sharks as near threatened. Don’t worry, these locations offer eco-friendly shark tourism that protects their wildlife.
A quick pros list of eco-friendly shark tourism. Pro: money from swimming with the sharks is pumped into research about the animals. Pro: to keep up tourism, the sharks are protected during dives and the codes of conduct are respected. Pro: ecotourism promotes positive awareness about sharks. Pro: YOU GET TO SWIM WITH SHARKS!
1. Tiger Beach, Bahamas.
You can imagine how it earned its name. The Bahamas do diving right. They are among the special few to ban commercial shark fishing. The water surrounding the islands is a marine sanctuary. Lucky for the sharks, lucky for you. The well-preserved light blues are full of wildlife. The best of it? Diving here is good for the sharks. Keeping up ecotourism means a continuous investment in the wellbeing of its wildlife. Your best shot at diving with a tiger shark at Tiger Beach is between May and October.
2. Protea Banks, South Africa.
The Protea Banks reef in South Africa is a sweet spot for swimming with tiger sharks. They typically hang around the north pinnacle. If they are not around, you'll be surrounded by a plethora of other shark species such as Hammerheads, Zambezi ( bull sharks ), Bronze whalers, and Ragged tooth sharks. Scuba is recommended for this site as the reef is deep ( 30 meters ) and currents are strong. It is also about 7nm out into the middle of the ocean. The open water baited dives are best for shark action. Shark lady extraordinaire Kym Pollard owns and runs AquaPlanet Dive Center. She is your go-to lady for any shark excursion at Protea Banks. They also focus on educating tourists on sharks and shark conservation. Protea Banks has a long way to go in respecting the lives of sharks. Popularising Protea Banks for swimming with sharks is key in encouraging the preservation of its sharks. Tiger sharks will be here between March and May.
3. Beqa Island in Fiji.
They call themselves the ‘best shark dive in the world.’ They might just be right. Fiji’s waters are a protected sanctuary for sharks. It gets better. The Shark Reef Marine Reserve protects the entire underwater ecosystem. Diving with sharks here gives you a chance to see tiger sharks in a pure, raw, wild, protected ocean. You won’t just see tiger sharks though. The Beqa reefs have an easy 8 shark species swimming around. Part of your contribution for dives with these fellas goes right back into the Shark Reef Marine Reserve.
4. O‘ahu, Hawai’i.
Here’s why you should dive with sharks on this little island. You got Kamohoali’i, Kauhuhu, and a couple of other gods of sharks watching over the Hawaiian ocean. This piece of the Pacific ocean has 41 species of shark in its water. Local diving tours focus on ecotourism with minimal impact on its environment. You have a great big chance of swimming with a tiger shark all year round. Check out Hawaii Adventure Diving for a great , eco-friendly shark diving experience on the island of O'ahu.
5. Tahiti, French Polynesia.
Le Valley Blanche is a famous shark congregation site just off the coast of Tahiti. Sharks occur here in naturally large numbers and in a variety of species. Tiger sharks are royalty here, and they are BIG. Avid shark divers from around the world will tell you the Tigers in Le Valley Blanche are among the biggest they’ve ever seen. Sightings are not guaranteed. Your best shot at an encounter with the apex predators is between August and November. The calm environment around the reef means freediving is a possibility here. For the best experience, we recommend going out diving with Moorea Moana Tours.
Written By: Constance Van Rheenen