July is all about sharks, with Shark Week returning on 22nd July, Shark Awareness Day, and the popular SharkCon event starting on 14th July. It’s a great time of year for divers to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of sharks, both at home and in the water. With shark dives suitable for all experience levels, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Tiger Sharks, Tiger Beach

Where is it?

This shallow sand flat is an hour off the coast of the West End of Grand Bahama Island and is one of the best places in the Bahamas to dive with tiger sharks.

What makes it special?

The shallow waters allow for great photographic opportunities of tiger sharks and lemon sharks. The water visibility is fantastic and there is almost no current.

What experience level is needed?

Some dive companies require divers to have Open Water certification and at least 30 logged dives to dive at Tiger Beach. However, there are liveaboards that require an Open Water certification and don’t have a requirement for a minimum number of logged dives. The Bahamas Aggressor requires Open Water certification with no minimum logged dives and offers Bahamas Tiger Beach safaris.

When is the best time to visit?

The tiger sharks are present all year at Tiger Beach, although October to January are the best months as it is their breeding season. There are fewer sharks present during July and August than other months.

Great White Sharks, Guadalupe Island

Where is it?

In the eastern Pacific Ocean, Guadalupe Island is a small volcanic island and one of the best places in the world for great white shark cage diving. This volcanic island is a biosphere reserve and there is minimal chumming allowed, ensuring the natural behaviors and environment of the sharks are preserved.

What makes it special?

There are two great reasons that Guadalupe liveaboard diving is so sought after; the relatively warm water and great visibility. The water temperature during shark season is 19 to 22 °C (66 to 71 °F) and the visibility ranges from 42 to 50 meters (137 to 164 feet). Such great conditions make it easy to spend plenty of time in the water without getting cold and offer the best chance to see the sharks clearly from afar.

This destination is perfect for underwater shark photography and divers can spend hours in the water; at depth or at the surface depending on their experience level and preference.

What experience level is needed?

Participants don’t need to have any previous experience of scuba diving to go cage diving with great whites. Surface cage dives are suitable for non-divers and there are options for qualified divers to dive at depth in the cage.

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit depends on which sharks you want to dive with. The energetic male sharks visit during July and August each year, whereas the huge females that Guadalupe is famous for arriving in October and November. There are a variety of liveaboards that offer cage diving safaris to Guadalupe from July to November each year, including the Solmar V.

Whales Sharks, Ningaloo Reef

Where is it?

Ningaloo Reef is on the west coast of Australia and offers abundant marine life and whale shark encounters.

What makes it special?

The dive sites of Ningaloo are uncrowded and the marine life is plentiful and colorful. The main attraction for shark fans is, of course, the chance to snorkel with whale sharks, but there is also the chance to see humpback whales, turtles, dolphins, dugongs and manta rays.

What experience level is needed?

There is no prior dive experience required to snorkel with whale sharks at Ningaloo and liveaboards offer sailing, snorkeling and dive safaris throughout the reef.

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to see whale sharks is from mid-March to July.

There are also other great destinations to swim with whale sharks; including Djibouti, the Maldives and Cenderawasih Bay in Indonesia.

Great Hammerhead Sharks, Bimini

Where is it?

The Bimini Islands is the westernmost island group of the Bahamas and sits to the southwest of Grand Bahama Island.

What makes it special?

There are numerous dive sites at Bimini, including walls, reefs, wrecks, and caverns. The main draw for shark fans is the chance to dive with great hammerhead sharks and also bull sharks. There is also the chance to see humpback and sperm whales, whale sharks, dolphins, eagle rays, and turtles.

What experience level is needed?

Different liveaboard operators have different experience requirements to the dive the Bahamas. The Bahamas Master offers hammerhead shark safaris that require Open Water certification and just 4 logged dives.

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit for hammerhead and bull sharks is from January to March. The best time to see whales and whale sharks is during the spring months. Eagle rays and turtles are present all year.

Nurse Sharks, Turks & Caicos

Where is it?

This lesser-known Caribbean destination is an archipelago of over 40 islands southeast of the Bahamas and is known for sheer coral walls that drop over 2000 meters and beautiful white-sand beaches. It also happens to be a great shark diving destination.

What makes it special?

Turks and Caicos are ideal for experiencing numerous relaxed nurse sharks in tranquil waters whilst coral reef diving. These easy-going sharks are great for new divers and can be found at various dive sites in the area. One of the best experiences on offer is night diving with nurse sharks. This destination is also well worth visiting to dive with abundant reef sharks, eagle rays, sea turtles, jacks, and grouper. Blacktips, tiger sharks, hammerheads and manta rays are also seen in the area.

What experience level is needed?

The calm waters and great visibility make this destination suitable for all experience levels. Liveaboard operators typically require an Open Water certification with no minimum logged dives.

When is the best time to visit?

Turks and Caicos is a year-round dive destination. The peak season is from December to March and migrating humpback whales can be seen from January to March. Those wanting to make the most of lower prices and fewer tourist should consider visiting during April and May.

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