10 of the best places to swim with sharks

Maaya Thila, Maldives

Hammerhead, whale, reef and white tip sharks

Photo: Shutterstock.com / Krzysztof Odziomek

The stunning dive site of Maaya Thila, Maldives, is home to a myriad of marine life, including eagle rays, sting rays, long nose hawkfish, octopuses, scorpion fish, eels and, of course, sharks.

Grey reef sharks and small white tips are the most common, but whale and hammerhead sharks can also be spotted drifting over colourful anemones and bush corals in this beautiful spot.

Fish Rock Cave, Australia

Grey Nurse Sharks

Photo: Shutterstock.com / Aquarius Photography

Located off the east coast of Australia, the 125 metre long Fish Rock Cave is home to some of the most sought after marine life in the world.

It is renowned for its high number of grey nurse sharks who reside here all year round, so swimming with these graceful creatures is almost a guarantee.

In the summer months, grey nurse sharks rest in the shallow end of the cave, making for fantastic diving.

Beqa lagoon, Fiji

Bull sharks

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On the edge of the Beqa Lagoon is a section of protected reef known as the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, now home to a bull shark tagging programme that monitors their behaviour and ecology.

The bull sharks share their home with seven other species of shark, including tiger sharks, silvertips and gray reefs, as well as giant groupers and eagle rays.

Tiger Beach, Bahamas

Tiger sharks

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The Bahamas are arguably the shark diving capital of the world. Tiger Beach on Grand Bahama has become a shark swimming hotspot as it is a prime location to see tiger sharks.

The sharks live in the shallow waters over an immense sandbank and come in close proximity to divers.

It is not strictly a natural encounter as the dive instructors use bait to attract them. However, it does offer a great chance to get up close and personal to the 16-foot predators.

Moorea, French Polyneisa

Blacktip reef sharks

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The French Polynesian waters play host to a variety of different species of sharks. The most common are blacktip reef sharks which can be easily identified by the black tips on each fin.

Although curious all the sharks inside the lagoons are predominately non-aggressive unless provoked.

South Mahé, Seychelles

Whale sharks

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If you want to experience swimming with whale sharks then South Mahé in the Seychelles is one of the best places in the world to have the opportunity.

The island is on the migratory path of these majestic beasts. The season usually starts in September and runs until November, with peak sightings during October each year.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Hammerhead sharks

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The Galapagos Islands are synonymous with environmental protection and a plethora of wildlife and this is also the case for its shark population.

Rhode Island, USA

Blue sharks

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As well as boasting some of the best shipwreck dives in the world Rhode Island also offers blue and mako shark expeditions.

Named after their radiant colour, blue sharks migrate thousands of miles each year but in certain areas come close to the shoreline.

Encounters with the sharks usually don’t involve scuba diving kit but a full wetsuit is required along with a hood, gloves, mask, fins and snorkel.

Cocos Islands, Costa Rica

Hammerhead sharks

Photo: Ian Scott/Shutterstock.com

In the waters off the Cocos Islands, which are more than 300 miles from Costa Rica's coastline, you can see scalloped hammerhead sharks in vast numbers.

This experience used to only be open to experienced divers but it is now possible to enjoy the spectacle inside a three man submersible.

The sharks are in the area throughout the year but numbers peak between June and October.

Monad Shoal, Philippines

Thresher sharks

Photo: Nicolas.Voisin44/Shutterstock.com

Thresher sharks normally live in deep water and are nocturnal so can be a difficult spot for divers.

Although they can be found elsewhere Monad Shoal is where they are most regularly sighted.

Monad Shoal was recently made a marine park in order to try and protect them.

The best time to catch a glimpse of these sharks is before sunrise so this experience will require your alarm clock to be set early.

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