Anyone who has seen Jaws knows that the first thing that you’re supposed to do when you see a shark in the water is get to the safety of land. Even those who haven’t seen the movie would instinctually know to get away from a shark that they encountered in the ocean. But some people do everything in their power to fight their human instincts in order to experience incredible events that the rest of the human population hasn’t had the opportunity to experience. Swimming with sharks is one of those experiences. Most of us wouldn’t do it but a small (and growing) population of travellers have taken a strong interest in finding the most beautiful waters in the world to test the fates by swimming with sharks. Here’s where they’re doing it.
Bahamas: If you want to encounter more than just one type of shark, the Bahamas is your place to do it because it’s got the best diversity of any other shark diving location. Sharks here range from the Great White down to the smallest runts in the shark litter. You’ll be swimming cage free on the tours that are given here; just wait for the tour guide to toss some bait into the water and then join the sharks for their food fest. Try not to get mistaken for the meal! West End, Grand Bahama is a favourite place for many people who are seeking to swim with Tiger Sharks but the tours in that area do require cages.
Cocos Island: Costa Rica is a terrific destination even if you’re not going to swim with sharks but it’s also top-rated for that specific adventure activity. The favourite animal that you can swim with in these waters is the unique hammerhead shark. In addition to the pleasure of that, you’ll be swimming in and around waterfalls. Cocos Island is renowned as one of the best shark diving locations in the world!
False Bay: This is a relatively new place for shark diving and one that regular divers have taken a strong interest in. It’s preferred by experienced divers because it tends to get less crowded with tourists than some of the other nearby popular diving spots. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see here, though; Great White sharks abound in the area ready to satiate your need to see them feed.
Farallon Islands: People who live in or are visiting San Francisco might find themselves itching for even more adventure than the city itself can offer. A boat out to the Farallon Islands to swim with the Great White Sharks might do the trick. It is said that the Great Whites here are some of the largest in the world. The trip here is different from many because there is a focus on preserving the nature of the area. Whereas other tours will throw food in the water (called chum) to get the sharks to feed, the goal here is actually to watch the sharks feed naturally on the seals of the area. Now that’s some animal adventure up close!
Florida: Every year there are headlines about shark attacks somewhere off the coast of Florida and parents urge their kids to be vigilant in the water. And every year, a set of stubborn folks challenges those parents’ fears and dive into the water to swim with the sharks. There are multiple places throughout Florida where you can enjoy guided tours for the local shark population.
Galapagos Islands: People head to these South American islands to enjoy a luxurious holiday. Most of them go no further than to wade in the waters by the shore and to observe the iguanas and turtles that can be found on the beach. However, a few brave people will go out in the water with a guide and find some sharks to swim around with.
Gansbaai: Head out into the water and keep an eye out for the seals that are hanging around the island shores here. They’re the bait for a swarm of great white sharks in this part of the world that shark swimming travellers regularly trek to enjoy. The area is called The World’s Great White Shark Capital because it’s got the densest population of these babies out of anywhere in the world. The part of the water that you’ll be swimming in is known as Shark Alley; it’s one alley you don’t want to meet a stranger in! It’s dangerous enough that you’ll have to swim inside of a cage if you’re going to try out this adventure.
Great Barrier Reef: There aren’t too many places in the world that are better known for the beauty of their coastline than Australia. If you get the chance to travel to the amazing Great Barrier Reef, challenge yourself to dive into that water with the sharks that love the location as much as you will.
Hin Mu Sang: This is a place where experienced SCUBA divers can go to get away from the guided shark tours into waters where it’s fairly safe to swim with sharks. The sharks that you’ll find here are mostly leopard sharks.