Dive Holiday Calendar

This calendar has been put together by our team of experienced dive specialists. Use it as a guide to help you select the optimum time to visit some of the world’s most impressive destinations and enjoy the amazing marine life at its best.

January

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  • The whale-watching season begins in Baja, Mexico and runs until the end of April. You may see fin, minke, bryde’s, orca, pilot, and humpback whales, as well as blue whales – the largest mammal on the planet. There are few places in the world where these large mammals can be viewed so easily, and so close up. Combine diving in the spectacular Sea of Cortez with whale-watching at San Carlos, an easy day trip away.
  • Tahiti is well known for its shark viewing and notably the island of Rangiroa. From January to February large numbers of hammerhead sharks congregate, making this an even more exceptional dive area.
  • The start of the green, and loggerhead turtle hatchling season on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.
  • The beginning of the humpback whale migration in Saba, seen right through until March.
  • Whale sharks can be seen in the Bay of Islands, Honduras from January to April.

February

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  • Whale sharks in the Andaman Sea, Thailand from February to April. Join a liveaboard for the opportunity to see these wonderful creatures.
  • In the Turks and Caicos the humpback whales mating and calving rituals begin at the start of February, when thousands of whales migrate from the colder waters of the North Atlantic and head for the Mouchoir Bank and Silver Bank adjacent to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Around 2,500 whales arrive over several weeks for a stay of up to two months. Spend a week or more diving and whalewatching from the island of Grand Turk.
  • Leatherback, and loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay eggs on the beaches of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.
  • Pilot whales arrive in Kadavu, Fiji and stay until May.
  • A good opportunity in seeing whale sharks off the coast of Zanzibar in February and March.
  • February and March are the best times to find both bull sharks and tiger sharks in the seas around the Bahamas.

March

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  • The world’s largest fish, the whale shark, arrives at Ningaloo Reef following the coral spawning on the Western Australian coast, and stays around these waters until June, offering a unique opportunity to swim with these gentle giants. Why not combine diving in Western Australia with the ultimate outback tour?
  • Large numbers of hammerhead sharks can be seen at Layang Layang, Malaysia.
  • March and April see humpback and grey whales migrating past the Cape Verde Islands.
  • Good time to see stingrays at the Poor Knights, New Zealand.
  • The fascinating jawfish can be found with a mouth full of developing eggs around Lankayan, close to Borneo.
  • Get up close and personal with the humpback whales to be found mating and calving around the Silver Banks in the Caribbean.

April

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  • During the months of April to June, southern Belize offers the opportunity to dive and snorkel with the gentle and curious whale shark. The best time to see these creatures is from three days before the full moon to three days after the last quarter moon. This is when the Cubera snappers spawn attracting the whale sharks. From April to June is also the spawning season for many other species of fish and the mating season for turtles.
  • Although spotted year round, April and May are the best times to see manta rays in Bali, Indonesia.
  • From April until September leatherback turtles arrive on Tobago beaches to lay their eggs.

May

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  • Whale sharks are often spotted in the Galapagos Islands from May through to August. Join a liveaboard to see these spectacular islands where the animals and birds have not yet learned to be afraid of man.
  • Occasional whale shark sightings from May to August as they migrate past Tobago.
  • Head to the east side of the Maldivian atolls from May until November for the best sightings of manta rays; hammerhead sharks are common in the shallower waters.
  • May through July sees whale sharks migrating between Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Head to Rangiroa, Tahiti for good sightings of manta rays.
  • May and June are the only months to seek out the six-gilled shark in the waters around Vancouver.

June

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  • June through August a good time to see oceanic hammerheads in Fiji especially around Kadavu.
  • The annual 'Sardine Run' is an amazing natural spectacle and one not to be missed! Each year around June, huge schools of sardines migrate through the waters of the Indian Ocean near KwaZulu Natal, attracting large numbers of marine predators and sea birds. Spend a week diving at Aliwal Shoal before heading inland to search for those large land predators.
  • Off the northern Queensland coast of Australia, minke whales can be seen from June to August, with the best underwater encounters in June and July. Occasional humpback whale sightings occur from July to September.
  • Humpback whales are seen in June in the Galapagos, and from June through November around Ningaloo Reef, Australia.
  • Nurse sharks breeding in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
  • June through November is the best time to see manta rays in the Yasawa Islands, Fiji.
  • Humpback whales arrive in northern Mozambique.
  • Head to Mexico for a whale shark encounter at Holbox Island.

July

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  • Until September humpback whales nurse their young in the sheltered waters of Isle St. Marie in Madagascar.
  • Humpback whales migrate from their feeding grounds in Antarctica along the New Zealand coast, to the Pacific Islands. In the waters around the islands of Tonga they stay from July to September to court, mate and calve. Take a liveaboard in Tonga, a resort package in Tahiti or island hop in Fiji.
  • July to mid-September you will find green, leatherback, and hawksbill turtles in Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park. Costa Rica above and below the water is a wonderful mixture of eco and adventure experiences.
  • Southern right whales arrive into the bays of both South Africa’s coast and Australia’s south coast to calve, where they stay until October.
  • July to August sees the ragged-tooth (raggies) sharks breeding at Aliwal Shoal, South Africa.
  • Hammerhead sharks most active in the Cocos and Malpelo Islands, as well as the Galapagos Islands, from July through October.
  • The islet-dotted waters of Canada’s west coast is perhaps the best place in the world to see orca whales, they will be here until early September.
  • Head to Tonga from July to October to see the humpback whales.

August

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  • Whale sharks arrive in the Seychelles. Join environmentalists on the whale shark tagging programme with the MCSS.
  • Sipadan is famous for its large population of green turtles, which are there year-round, but the highest concentration is during the August mating season. Combine a week’s diving on this idyllic island with a visit to an orangutan sanctuary and a stay in a river long house.
  • Humpback whales heading south to the Antarctic can be found off the Australian coast from now until the end of October.
  • Eastern Canada’s coast is home to northern right, minke, humpback, and fin whales between now and the end of September.
  • From August to September the Gulf of St. Lawrence is home to a high concentration of blue whales.
  • Humpback whales can be seen off the coast of Tanzania and Zanzibar.
  • Pilot whales are seen off the Northern Vanua Levu coast in Fiji.
  • August to October sees mainly female humpback whales and their young around the island of Rurutu, Tahiti.
  • August through November are the best months to come face to face with the great white sharks off Guadalupe Island in Mexican waters.

September

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  • September sees the coral spawning in Bonaire and a unique opportunity to observe this spectacular phenomenon whilst doing some serious shore diving.
  • The Cook Islands’ whale season is September and October.
  • In Tahiti, Rangiroa large numbers of manta rays are visible right through until October.
  • Green turtles start hatching in Sipadan, Malaysia.
  • The unusual mola-mola, or sun fish can be found in the waters around Bali in Indonesia from September through to November.

October

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  • Hammerhead sharks are seen in the Canary Islands from October to November.
  • Great white sharks seen at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico.

November

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  • Until March there are good sightings of hammerhead and zambezi sharks in Southern Mozambique.
  • Olive ridley, and leatherback turtles may be seen between November and April in Costa Rica’s Tamarindo Bay.
  • Whale sharks off the Kenya coast stay until January.
  • The green, and loggerhead turtle nesting season takes place on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.
  • Bull sharks can be seen in Costa Rica, the Cocos and Malpelo Islands right through until April.
  • From November to June there is a good chance of seeing hammerhead, zambezi, bull, and tiger sharks at Protea Banks, South Africa.
  • Orcas arrive in the fjords of Norway.
  • Yellow-eyed penguins breed and are readily observed from November to May near Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • The extraordinary ‘Squid Run’ takes place off the coast of South Africa.
  • The red crab migration begins on Christmas Island, bringing with it the best chance of whale shark encounters.

December

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  • Large numbers of Pacific green turtles gather off the shores of the Galapagos Islands to mate, socialise and then lay their eggs.
  • In Hawaii the humpback whale season occurs from December to April.
  • Manta rays are found on the west side of the Maldive atolls from December to April.
  • The groupers are spawning in Belize.
  • In Cozumel, Mexico large numbers of eagle rays are found right through until February.
  • December to February sees ideal water temperatures to swim with the gentle manatees in Florida’s Crystal River.
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