The whale shark is the largest fish in our oceans and one of the most sought after by divers, who are attracted not only to their size but also their docile and curious nature. Our range of whale shark trips take you to the world’s finest locations for diving or snorkelling with whale sharks.
Why our whale shark diving holidays are so successful
Where to see whale sharks
Displaying a curious nature and great grace despite their huge size, whale sharks represent a highlight of any diving or snorkelling holiday. More closely resembling whales in many aspects, these giants are in fact part of the shark family.
Habitat and biology
Found in tropical waters from Honduras to the Maldives, these huge, docile members of the shark family are characterised by their wide mouths, distinctive blue-grey colouring with white spots and a large, crescent-shaped tail. Primarily plankton feeders and ocean wanderers, whale sharks are also known to eat small fish, even interacting with local fishermen in Cenderawasih Bay in Indonesia.
Whale sharks are the largest fish in our oceans, averaging around 9-10 metres in length, but are thought to reach sizes of up to 18 metres. They are also considered to be one of the most ancient species on our planet, pre-dating the dinosaurs.
Where to encounter whale sharks
Whale sharks can be seen in a number of locations around the world. The Maldives offer some of the most consistent sightings. Depending on the time of year, they visit the eastern or the western side of the atolls, feeding in the plankton in the water. The largest numbers of whale sharks are seen around the Baa Atoll from May to October each year.
Primarily a solitary species, whale sharks are known to aggregate at certain places and certain times around the globe. These aggregations are known to occur in the Galapagos between May and November, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula from June to September, Mafia Island in Tanzania from November to March, and Mozambique’s southern shores from November through to May. Mexico also sees whale sharks around September and October in the Sea of Cortez.
Whale sharks also gather in a number of places in the Philippines. From November to May, large numbers are seen in the waters around Donsol, while Tubbataha offers superb opportunities from March through to May each year. Sightings are also possible in Thailand, Christmas Island, Indonesia and Cuba.
Diving or snorkelling with whale sharks
Diving and snorkelling encounters are possible with whale sharks, however not in every location. Snorkelling can in fact bring some advantages over diving in certain situations. Encounters are often in very shallow waters, while snorkellers are generally able to move faster than divers. Snorkelling with whale sharks is possible in Mafia Island in Tanzania, as well as in the Maldives, Mexico, St Helena and the Philippines. Please contact us for more details.
In other locations, scuba diving represents the better option. In the Galapagos islands, conditions tend to be too challenging for snorkelling and diving is preferable. Sea conditions in Mozambique also lend themselves to diving encounters. In the Maldives, both diving and snorkelling opportunities are hugely rewarding.