TOP SHARK LO­CA­TIONS FOR 2017

Sport Diver - - Best of Breda -

Last year was a great year for shark en­coun­ters and hope­fully 2017 will be even bet­ter. If you are a shark en­thu­si­ast, Re­gal­dive have a great range of hol­i­day op­tions. Here is just a taste of our top shark-div­ing lo­ca­tions: SOUTH AFRICA If you want some great shark ac­tion, what could be bet­ter than the shark hotspots of South Africa and Mozam­bique? Although there’s al­ways plenty to see, in­clud­ing ham­mer­heads, tigers, black­tips and bulls, May is the time that the ragged tooth sharks take up res­i­dence on Ali­wal

Shoals. A shark to im­press your non-div­ing friends as, with their mouth full of big teeth, they look far scarier than they ac­tu­ally are. ‘Rag­gies’ usu­ally stay un­til the end of Novem­ber, so now’s the time to plan your visit.

THE MAL­DIVES

The Mal­dives is a pop­u­lar lo­ca­tion for see­ing a few va­ri­eties of shark, most com­monly whitetips and grey reef sharks. Although the whitetips are usu­ally very calm and lethar­gic dur­ing the day, they cer­tainly get a bit more ac­tive at night. They are of­ten seen dart­ing around the reef, try­ing to beat each other to the next un­sus­pect­ing fish to snack on. Our guests re­turn­ing from Mal­dives live­aboards are giv­ing en­thu­si­as­tic re­ports of a very in­ter­est­ing night dive with nurse sharks. Although one of the most docile of sharks, it turns into a very ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence when you get 40 to 50 swarm­ing all around you! THE BA­HAMAS The Ba­hamas are jus­ti­fi­ably fa­mous for their shark div­ing. Some sharks can be seen very close and per­sonal, mainly Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks and lemon sharks. But oth­ers such as bull sharks,

ham­mer­heads and even oceanic whitetips can all be found, with the waters of Nas­sau and the Ex­uma Cays be­ing the most eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas. A fa­mous lo­ca­tion that is worth a visit from June to Au­gust is Tiger Beach, so called be­cause of the num­bers of tiger sharks that turn up in the warm shal­low wa­ter. Known for com­ing in nice and close, some of the sharks, such as Emma, are fa­mous the world over. With years of ex­pe­ri­ence, the lo­cal op­er­a­tors will pro­vide you with an amaz­ing en­counter. THE GALAPAGOS The seas sur­round­ing the Galapagos sup­port a large con­cen­tra­tion of the ma­rine life that makes it such a su­perb dive des­ti­na­tion. Cer­tainly no dive itin­er­ary to the Galapagos is com­plete with­out a visit to the re­mote out­posts of Wolf and Dar­win to the north, where schools of

ham­mer­heads, as well as dol­phins and rays, make these is­lands a real high­light for divers. The whale­shark ag­gre­ga­tion oc­curs in the warmer wa­ter sur­round­ing these is­lands. Many other shark species also make reg­u­lar ap­pear­ances, as well as species that you are un­likely to see else­where, in­clud­ing the Galapagos shark. RED SEA The Red Sea has al­ways been good for sharks, but the last cou­ple of years have been ex­cep­tional, es­pe­cially on the ‘Sim­ply the Best’ itin­er­ary. Maybe it’s be­cause there are fewer divers about. We are hear­ing feed­back such as “saw ham­mer­heads on ev­ery dive at Daedalus” and “great to get so close to so many oceanic whitetips” from guests on our Red Sea Live­aboard trips. The best time for these en­coun­ters is from June through to Novem­ber.

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