Swimming with the largest fish in the world is a lifetime experience. It is definitely something to do once. The average size of whale shark is 7.6 meters and its average weight is 9 tones and the largest ever recorded had a length of 12.65 meters and a weight of approximately 21.5 metric tons . Some people are afraid of sharks due to its large size and sharp teeth but in reality whale sharks are one of the most peaceful, friendly and gentle giant fish. They don’t bother swimmers. Some whale sharks play with divers and also allow them to catch a ride.
Here are some best dives in the world for swimming with whale sharks.
1: Ningaloo Reef region, Australia.
Ningaloo Reef is located in Western Australia. It’s a dream place for snorkelers and divers. It is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef, covers an area of more than 600,000 hectares. Ningaloo Reef is awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011. It is the only place in Australia where you can swim with the Whale Sharks. Best time to visit Ningaloo Reef is mid-March to end of July.
2: Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Isla Mujeres is located just 20 minute ferry ride away from Cancun, Maxico. It covers an area of seven kilometers long and less than one kilometer wide. Best time to visit this island is May to September when Whale sharks provide an outstanding tourist attraction for Mexico. Scuba and touching the animals is not allowed here. Underwater photography without flash is allowed.
3: Donsol Bay, Philippines
Donsol Bay is located in Luzon in the north of the Philippines, is definitely one of the best places to see especially in a peak season. Donsol is one of the few places in the world where whale sharks can be seen daily in winters close to the shore. Best time to visit Donsol is November to June. February to April is its peak season. Snorkelers can see as many as 25 on one trip.
4: Mahe, Seychelles
Mahe is the largest island of the Seychelles, lying in the north east of the nation. Best time to visit Mahe is August to November. October is a peak time when smaller sharks, black and white tips can be openly seen from the beach. Be careful in choosing your dive guide. If your guide is expert, he will already know where to spot Whale sharks, probably in between Mahe and Silouette Island.
5: Koh Tao, Thailand
Koh Tao is a beautiful island located in Thailand, famous for scuba diving and snorkeling. Dive sites like Southwest Pinnacle and Chumphon Pinnacle at 45 minutes by boat from Ko Tao, are most popular places of whale sharks to be found. At Koh Tao Island, if you are lucky enough whale shark can be spotted throughout the year but the best time to spot one would be during the months of March, April, May, September and October.
6: Ari and Baa Atolls, Maldives
Ari and Baa Atolls is the most popular diving destination in Maldives, which is famous for whales, whale sharks, manta rays or sharks that visit the area. You can see Aggregation of Manta and feeding dance at Baa atoll, on the other, you may encounter whale Shark at Ari atoll. The best time to go Ari and Baa Atolls is between May and December on the western side and December and April on the eastern side.
7: Utila, Honduras
Utila is located on approximately 18 miles from the Honduras mainland port of La Ceiba. It is famous for the cheapest place in the world to obtain your scuba diving certification. Utila is one of the few places in the world where whale sharks can be spotted all year round but March to April and August to September is its peak seasons.
8: Tofo, Mozambique
Tofo is a small town located in southeastern Mozambique, Africa. Tofo is one of the best destinations for divers to see whale sharks. November to march is the best season to see them. During this time you can see up to 25 sharks at a time.
9: Gladden Spit, Belize
Gladden Spit is located in the central part of Belize’s Barrier Reef. It covers an area of approximately 25,980 acres. The best months for whale shark diving are April and May. Snorkelers are required to keep a ten foot distance from whale sharks. Flash photography is not allowed here.
10: Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos islands are located some 1000 km west of Ecuador, in the Pacific Ocean. Puerto Ayora is a town in central Galápagos, on the island of Santa Cruz. The best time to see whale sharks is from May to November. July is its peak month.