Some are humongous while others are little; some look terrifying with their great big teeth, whereas others are ever so gentle – yes, our beloved sharks come in all shapes and forms, but we love them all the same. If you haven’t seen your favourites in the flesh (or maybe you have but just can’t get enough of them), it’s about time you hit up these dive destinations.
Looking for: Whale sharks
Go to: Tubbataha, Philippines
This protected UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Philippines is a good place to see large pelagics, especially the slow-moving filter feeding whale shark. What’s great is that there’s a programme in place that helps researchers and scientists working with the Large Marine Vertebrates Project (LAMAVE) keep track of the number of these animals, and you can help by simply sending in your photos and stills for ID purposes.
Looking for: Bull sharks (and tiger sharks)
Go to: Pacific Harbour, Fiji
Get up close and personal with tigers and bulls in the waters of this South Pacific island. And no, there’s none of that funny cage diving business here. Get to Pacific Harbour in Viti Levu and descend into the depths of the Shark Reef Marine Reserve to swim with these majestic free-roaming animals.
Looking for: Hammerhead sharks
Go to: The Ring of Fire
A trip to this remote area won’t be cheap, and the journey isn’t exactly easy, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find another destination in Asia Pacific that’s home to this many hammerheads. The Ring of Fire is a massive zone so what you need to do is book a spot on a liveaboard and let the crew take you to the right places.
Dive with: White Manta
Looking for: Sand tiger sharks
Go to: Sydney, Australia
One of the best places to see the sand tiger shark (aka grey nurse shark) is the Magic Point dive site in Sydney. These guys move quite slowly and are a lot more active at night, so don’t expect them to be zipping around you and, as with every other shark, respect their space.
Dive with: Dive Centre Manly
Looking for: Wobbegong sharks
Go to: Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Flattened body, “frills” around the mouth, and totally adorable – wobbegongs (aka carpet sharks) may be tough to spot because they blend so well into their environment, but they’re hard to miss in a place like Raja Ampat, where they’re virtually everywhere.
Looking for: Thresher sharks
Go to: Malapascua, Philippines
Malapascua has been synonymous with thresher sharks for the longest time. On this island in the Philippines, you have to wake up around 4am and head out on the water in hope of spotting the mighty threshers in the Visayan Sea.