Few animals in the world have such a bad reputation as sharks, and it is probably primarily Hollywood that is behind it. The feeling of not being able to control the environment you are in when you are in the water is there for many. Sharks have evolved over hundreds of millions of years and existed long before the dinosaurs. They have evolved to perfection and are a survivor the likes of which the world has rarely seen. Unfortunately, sharks are becoming more and more rare due to the brutal predation by humans. Also because it is a top predator that stands at the top of the food chain and in that way also accumulates large amounts of environmental toxins.
Nothing could be more wrong than to say that these are killers and brutal beasts that eat everything. Sure, it's a big fish many times and if they want to try, there will be major mechanical damage. However, we humans are definitely not on their menu, so forget everything you've seen on film because it's not true.

Sharks are very careful and watchful animals, they have evolved over a long time. In order to survive so many millions of years, it probably requires some vigilance and caution. Most sharks are small or very small. The smallest, the dwarf flounder, lives at a depth of 3-400 meters and is barely 20 cm long. The pygmy spiny shark does not even reach 30 cm in length as an adult. The largest whale shark, on the other hand, can be over 18 meters long, but still only eats plankton and small fish.

Most sharks are small

What draws many divers is of course the drama and fascination of the larger sharks and on the top list there are usually; hammerhead shark, whale shark, white shark, tiger shark, brugd, bull shark, galapagos shark, thresher shark, yearfin shark, ctiron shark, nurse shark and sand tiger shark but of course there are many many more. There are roughly 500 different known shark species today, of which roughly 200 are completely bottom-dwelling. Just over 200 live both on the bottom and in the open sea. Only about 25 different species live in the open sea alone. Close to 300 of the shark species are no larger than 1 meter, just over 50 species are between 1 and 1,5 meters, 50 of the species are 1,5–3 meters and 25 species are over 3 meters.

So it is often not large animals we are talking about, but of course they are the most impressive and attract the most divers. Nevertheless, it is very fascinating to see small catsharks and epaulette sharks of 40-70 cm in tropical seas. Often on night dives you can see them wandering around on the bottom and in fact several are known as "walking sharks"

All sharks are cartilaginous fish and lack a swim bladder. Cartilage is lighter than bone and with the help of the well-developed fins they can easily glide through the oceans without wasting energy. Many sharks have to keep swimming all the time to oxygenate themselves and when they stop they slowly sink to the bottom. However, many sharks can lie still on the bottom for a long time and pump fresh oxygen-rich water themselves through their gills and do not have to swim at all all the time.

Do sharks lay eggs?

Some sharks lay eggs but they are few in number. Almost all sharks have internal fertilization and give birth to "live" young. That is, they hatch when they are released. Sharks have more senses than humans. They also have a sixth sense that is sometimes called the electrical sense. All living animals send out small electrical impulses. These impulses are sensed by the shark through small pores called ampullae of Lorenzini. They are filled with "jelly" and sit all over the body but mainly in the nose. Through these pores, the shark can sense fish and other animals even though they are out of sight. It helps the sharks when they hunt. It is believed that this electric sense also helps them navigate.

Many shark species are threatened, mainly due to overfishing. In the world's oceans, approximately 120 million sharks are killed annually, while the population has decreased by over 90% since 20 years ago. The public's interest has mostly been directed towards the "dangerousness" of man-eating sharks. The knowledge that there are also sharks that are harmless to humans and also useful has been poor. Now, however, the interest is growing as people are aware that there are endangered species among the sharks. Sharks are high up in the food chain and have a key role in the ecosystem. We as divers therefore have an important role to go and see live sharks in nature and their natural environment. Because a live shark has far more value than one on a plate.

Experience sharks

Welcome to book your shark adventure with us at Scuba Travel. These are truly fascinating, exciting, awe-inspiring animals but in most cases don't even care about us divers. On the contrary, unfortunately they often swim away too quickly and it is therefore important to know where to go to see these incredible animals and learn to interact with them so that you really get to experience them up close.

If you want to read more about the other animals on our BIG 5 list, you can continue here: Turtlesmanta ray,  whale shark,  Dolphins

Travel blog

“…….time to dive with blue sharks. Before we set off, we were given clear instructions by the guides on how to get the best encounter. It took about 20 minutes for the rib boat to come out to the place where we would start baiting the sharks. How long the wait would be depended on the sharks, the currents and the wind. "Shark," cried the captain, pointing down to the surface. A large dorsal fin broke the surface of the water and we saw a large blue shark. The……” Read more from our travel blog HERE (blue shark Azores)

Read more….

Shark diving in the Azores

Shark diving in the Azores


Our top destinations to dive with sharks

There are many places in the world you can see sharks, here we have put together a selection from our various destinations. It is difficult to include all places as there are an incredible number of species and they live all over the world from shallow to deep seas, from cold to warm waters. Some are found over large parts of the world and others live in highly restricted areas. Sharks have always fascinated and there are many who want to see these top predators in their natural environment.

Bahamas Tiger Shark and Hammerhead Shark liveaboard

Bahamas Tiger Shark and Hammerhead Shark liveaboard


Diving with Tiger sharks and great hammerhead sharks + many more in the Bahamas

No other place in the world can probably offer such intense and close encounters with sharks as the Bahamas. Here in the shallow, bright waters, sometimes barely ten meters deep, these top predators of the sea thrive and especially at one place, Tiger Beach, diving is offered with incredibly intense and close contact with sharks. This is for those of you who want to get close, and by close we mean close. Imagine a four meter tiger shark lying in your lap like a large dog or thirty, lemon and reef sharks slowly circling within just a few meters of you.

Many photographers have come here testifying to the scratch marks from teeth in the camera dome ports and yet all of them do it with a big smile. If you want to see and experience sharks and large sharks, this is the number one place in the world for really intense close contact. Tiger shark, nurse shark, lemon shark, Caribbean reef shark, great hammerhead shark and bull shark are all common here. What is exciting is that you can dive next when and as much as you want as it is so shallow and bright, nice conditions. If you want to make it really exciting, night diving with tiger sharks is on the program. Sign up for our incredibly popular shark trips to the Bahamas. It is difficult to get a seat and it is often booked at least a year in advance, sometimes two.

Best time to see sharks: all year round but best in January – March

White sharks in Guadalupe

White sharks in Guadalupe


Liveaboard and white shark in Guadalupe

Guadalupe in the Pacific Ocean is sometimes confused with its Caribbean near namesake but this is “THE” hotspot for great white sharks in the world and away from tropical beaches and palm trees. Nowhere else in the world do you have such good conditions to see white sharks at an affordable price as Guadalupe in Mexico (South Africa is cheaper but has worse visibility and Australia has better visibility but more expensive and not as good conditions).

This remote little rock out in the Pacific just off the middle of the California peninsula is widely known in diving circles for its great white sharks. You go here with a liveaboard and then have a number of days where you dive with them, essentially cage diving is what applies here, but the experience is in no way diminished because these are dramatic encounters. Once the sharks come in, it can be anything from one to seven-eight animals at the same time and they come very, very close to you. Great that the cage is included! This is an experience that beats most in terms of adrenaline rush to meet these giant fish that have such an undeserved bad reputation.

Best time to see sharks: August – November

Sardine Run, Port St Johns

Sardine Run, Port St Johns


Shark populations - South Africa

South Africa is probably the country in the world that can offer the most different encounters with different shark species. With its unique location midway between the cold waters of the Atlantic and the considerably warmer Indian Ocean, South Africa offers enormous wealth below the surface. Nutrient-rich waters and the opportunity for many different animals to thrive create good conditions. Here you can see, for example, silk shark, sand tiger shark, hammerhead shark, tiger shark, bull shark, blue shark, great white shark, mako shark, blunt-nosed sevengill shark, high-finned shark, whale shark, pyjama shark, dog shark, saw shark, red shark, copperhead shark, dusky shark and several others.

Depending on which part of this large country you visit and dive in and which season, there are different sharks to experience. One of the most powerful spectacles you can experience is of course the Sardine run. Then hundreds, maybe thousands of different sharks gather and hunt in the huge shoals of sardines that migrate along the east coast of South Africa.

Best time to see sharks: year round

Galapagos safari Liveaboard

Galapagos safari Liveaboard


Liveaboard and sharks in the Galapagos

The Galapagos is really famous for shark diving and is one of the many things that really draws tourists and divers here. Few places in the world can really offer more or guarantee that you will see a shark. The Galapagos is one of these places. From whitetip reef sharks to silk sharks, galapagos sharks and many others to the ones that many come here for, large shoals of hammerhead sharks and whale sharks. The sharks are found all year round and almost everywhere, but it is precisely the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin that can offer large quantities of them. So common that it's almost guaranteed to be experienced and the only way to get here is with a liveaboard.

Expect a 12-16 hour boat ride from the central islands to get here and you'll understand how remote it really is. When you sit at Wolf Island among the boulders and look out into the blue sea and see shoals of hundreds, maybe thousands of hammerhead sharks mixed with other species, it is a feeling that is very very difficult to describe and can only be experienced.

Best time to see sharks: all year round, whale sharks July – November

the maldives

Travel to the Maldives



Dive with sharks in the Maldives - Liveaboard

One of the world's real diving paradises is the Maldives and here too there are good chances to experience different species of shark. White- and black-tipped reef sharks, gray reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks and whale sharks are frequently seen, but also various small red sharks and nurse sharks are quite common, especially on night dives. The best way to experience sharks in the Maldives is on a liveaboard where you get out to more remote reefs that are not accessible from the islands with resorts and guesthouses although they can offer shark diving also on their day trips and sometimes on their house reefs.

Many places in the Maldives are known for different types of shark and especially early mornings the shark life can be quite intense in some places. If you make trips to the southern parts, there are good chances of seeing many different large shark species, especially during the period February - March. Book your liveaboard and regardless of which tour you choose, the chances are good to see different species of shark.

Best time to see sharks: year round

Tubbataha safari

Tubbataha safari


Sharks in the Philippines

The Philippines has over 7500 islands and moving here between the islands is currently only done by plane or boat, with boat being by far the most common method. The diving centers in the Philippines are many and so are the sharks. There are many places in the Philippines that are famous for shark but there are a few that stand out. Number one would probably have to be Malapascua which is famous for its thresher sharks. These wonderfully beautiful animals can be found in several places, but it is precisely here that they are most common at Kimod Shoal. Early mornings you go here, and by that we mean early. Count on half past five at the latest and then straight out to sea. Once out at the reef, you have to wait a while and almost every day these incomparably beautiful sharks with their big dog eyes come to the reef to be groomed.

An amazing experience that all divers should try. Other sharks that are common besides whale sharks are hammerhead sharks and various species of reef sharks but also tiger sharks and smaller red sharks. Especially at Tubbataha reef in the Sulu Sea, there are plenty of large sharks. The few trips that are made here during the year due to the uncertain weather are usually fully booked well in advance, usually at least two years. Here you will find the Philippines, otherwise perhaps the most exciting destination for sharks, but as I said, there are sharks all over the country.

Best time to see sharks: December – June

Shark diving in French Polynesia

French Polynesia in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, better known perhaps for Tahiti, offers nerve-wracking shark diving. There are many different species here, but perhaps it is the amount of shark that is more exciting. It is not uncommon for hundreds of hammerheads or gray reef sharks to almost eclipse the light or form a wall in front of you where it is impossible to see what is on the other side. Especially the northern parts at Fakarava are known for large numbers of sharks.

There are sharks all over the archipelago, although not in such large shoals as in this particular area. Hammerhead sharks are most commonly seen between January and March and gray reef sharks between May and July. But sharks, rays and whales are here all year round and in such quantities that it is probably unprecedented. Imagine a wall of gray reef sharks where the entire wall is slowly moving against the current and feel your pulse increase as the entire wall turns up and comes right at you. Experience French Polynesia while the abundance of sharks is still around. This is a once-in-a-lifetime-must-do experience

Best time to see sharks: January – July

Diving Elphinstone Brothers Daedalus

Diving Elphinstone Brothers Daedalus


Liveaboard in the Red Sea

The Red Sea, our closest coral sea, is known for encounters with sharks and many different species. Reef sharks of various kinds are common, but perhaps a little more exciting are encounters with hammerhead sharks, whale sharks or tiger sharks. The species that perhaps attracts the most is the infamous and very beautiful yearfin shark. In some places in the southern parts of Egypt it is common to see these top predators. They often swim close to the surface to see what might be there. This is a shark to be respected and it often comes very close when divers are on the surface.

The shark is known to often have a number of pilot fish. Fish that follow closely and made for stunningly beautiful photos of these majestic, exciting and beautiful sharks. Especially in autumn in August – October, they are particularly common to see, but they are found all year round. Many people go here again and again to get really close encounters with these and other shark species. The most common species otherwise are white tipped and gray reef sharks, which can be quite nerve-wracking for those of you looking for your first close contact with a shark.

Best time to see sharks: year round

Sea of ​​Cortez liveaboard and safaris liveaboard

Sea of ​​Cortez liveaboard and safaris liveaboard


Sharks in the Sea of ​​Cortez, Mexico

One of the best places in the world to see large animals in general is in Baja California. Whales and sharks are common here and many species are found all year round. There are many species of shark you can find in this huge bay and many species that are actually small. For example, the Port Jackson shark, but there are also many larger species here. For example, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, silk sharks, blue sharks, mako sharks and the very special angelfish. Sharks are found all year round, but there are generally greater chances of seeing the large shoals of hammerhead sharks during the autumn.

Best time to see sharks: year round

Diving with bull sharks in Mexico

Diving with bull sharks in Mexico


Shark diving in Mexico with a bull shark

Bull sharks are perhaps the most feared of the large sharks. However, it is actually fine to dive with these bastards in controlled forms. In the waters outside the tourist resort of Playa del Carmen, during the months of November to March, a group of large, usually pregnant, bull sharks gather. An encounter with a bull shark is an absolutely incredible experience that you absolutely do not want to miss.

We collaborate with the best operator in the area to be able to offer a good "feeding dive" together with the bull sharks. The guides are experts in this field and all use a special outfit called "chainmail suits". You don't feed the sharks yourself, but you are in the water and can study these beautiful creatures up close as they glide around right next to you.

Best time to see bull shark: November to March