Everyone has seen Jaws. So everyone knows that sharks come with an iconic soundtrack.
Der de…der de…der de…you know how it goes right? Keep that circling through your mind as Random Vacay presents 10 wild shark experiences that are going to blow your mind.
You’re going to be swimming alongside 5000-pound predators, avoiding the flick of two meter dorsal fins, admiring the razored-teeth of a great white, and probably shitting in your wetsuit. So check out these wild shark experiences.
Great White Sharks in South Africa
Just off the Southern coast of South Africa, a huge colony of seals run a daily gauntlet in search of food. They must dive off Dyer Island and traverse a narrow channel swarming with Great Whites. And who’s there to watch it all? Intrepid tourists of course. You’re in a cage attached to a boat, using just a mask to dip beneath the water and watch the action. Four meter great whites show their teeth barely a meter away, teenage sharks attack, and it’s very common for the sharks to crash their hefty bulk into the side of the cage. So keep your hands inside when you’re taking photos. It’s an experience available all year round.
8 Different Shark Species in Fiji
Swirling around Fiji’s Shark Reef Marine Reserve are eight different shark species, from the relatively common white tip reef sharks to rare tiger sharks. Bull sharks rule the tropical waters as you descend 30 meters onto a reef ledge, the bruising predators revealing pointed gnashers as they consume half the fish. You’ll probably be staring at 50 of them before ascending to less populated waters where silvertip, sicklefin lemon, grey reef, tawny nurse, and black tip reef sharks are there to admire. Then everything vanishes as a solitary tiger shark arrives; this immense predator is quite fond of humans and will even take food from a diver’s hand.
Hammerheads and More on Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Vast hammerhead schools swarm around Cocos Island, just off the Western coast of Costa Rica. They’re not alone; a whole gaggle of other shark species swirl through these waters. This experience is for the serious divers as it’s only really possible with a multi-day live-aboard dive cruise. The $4500+ price tag is softened by jumping into the marine blue and watching hammerheads rip through bait balls…every day. It’s not just one hammerhead. They’re moving in groups numbering over 200 individuals.
Whale Sharks in Ningaloo, West Coast Australia
Swimming with whales sharks features on many bucket lists. Our obsession with the ocean’s largest fish has led to unscrupulous operators teasing whale sharks into bays they can’t escape. For the most authentic encounters with whale sharks it’s best to be in a marine world without boundaries. The whale sharks found off Ningaloo have the whole Indian Ocean to explore, but they arrive with trademark timing to impress the swimmers every April to July. You’re not getting intimate with just one. There’s a whole school to admire.
Tiger Sharks in the Bahamas
Part aquarium experience and part accident waiting to happen, this shark feeding experience in the Bahamas is probably as close as you can get to recreating Jaws. Thousands of inexperienced divers are taken down to the ocean floor and surrounded by a frenzy of chaotic feeding. You don’t know which way to turn as spiky toothed predators swim up from behind and gobble a mouthful of fish. And they’re not sharks you can punch on the nose. Tiger sharks could take you in one bite. One day it’s all going to wrong. But before that happens, make sure you experience arguably the most famous dive in the Caribbean.
Basking Sharks in Scotland
The world’s second largest shark species migrates through Scottish waters from May to September. These friendly giants aren’t predatory, but that doesn’t stop the experience raising adrenalin levels, especially when a two meter dorsal fin slices through the murky water. Go on a snorkeling expedition off the coast of Oban and you’ll be swimming alongside these 10 meter beasts.
Incredible Cheap Snorkeling with Nurse Sharks in Belize
Getting intimate with sharks is not normally cheap, especially when you consider the medical bills associated with losing a leg. In Belize, for just $40, you can snorkel along Shark Ray Alley, a legendary site where nurse sharks appear at the mere sight of a pair of flippers. While they’re not the largest or most impressive shark on this list, you don’t need any diving or even swimming experience. Some Chinese tourists even jump in the water with a life vest and watch the show.
Hammerhead Gangs Around the Galapagos Islands
The hammerheads of the Galapagos are intrigued by divers. They sniff around, poking their nose towards tanks and wondering where these strange ungraceful swimmers came from. Schools of over 100 hammerheads won’t just swim past waving hello. They’ll stop and swarm around divers, inspecting the potential dinner menu and then moving on. At least, that’s what they currently do. Surely you can’t keep tempting predators like this?
A range of Galapagos dive operators offer this trip.
Gray Reef Sharks on Palau
Immense gray reef sharks lounge around the tropical water of Palau, seemingly uninterested in divers but always ready to snap off a bloody tuna corpse that’s floating through the water. A gray reef shark confirms all preconceptions about the ocean’s greatest predator. It’s large, swift, and unpredictable, staring you straight in the eyes and then whipping around to approach from behind. Don’t trust them. Just marvel at their prehistoric beauty before drinking cocktails in coconuts to reduce the heart beat.
Thresher Sharks in the Philippines
Most of this list offers almost guaranteed shark sightings. So let’s finish with something completely offbeat and obscure. Most professional divers will go a lifetime without seeing a thresher shark, and you’ll need to commit for a few days to see their giant hulk in the murky waters of Monad Shoal. Descend to a platform and wait. Keep waiting. Then ascend and come back tomorrow. But this time, pairs of humongous dark eyes dance through the green water and the deep water threshers pass before inspired eyes. They put on a show, gliding around the shallow waters before returning to the depths.