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Ever wanted to snorkel with a whale shark? We don’t know many snorkelers who don’t have swimming with whale sharks on the top of their bucket list. These beautiful creatures are the largest fish in the ocean, majestically gliding through the seas usually solo. Humans know very little about their lifespan or habits, and what better way to discover more than by getting up close and personal with one!
Here’s a list of the best places where you can snorkel with whale sharks, and when’s the best time to go. Many of these spots will have licensed tour operators that can take you to the best spots, and some places are so popular with whale sharks that you can see them all year round!
This small secluded fishing village is home to a population of whale sharks that can be spotted all year round. Your best bet for snorkeling with whale sharks in Mozambique is when plankton is blooming, attracting up to 50 whale sharks to the area for feeding. You’ll find plenty of snorkeling tours to take you to the feeding grounds where you can see whale sharks up close.
When to see whale sharks: October – March
This island has the longest whale shark season in the world, meaning you have the most opportunity to snorkel with them. Once a year, the monsoon winds push tonnes of plankton towards this island, attracting lots of whale sharks just minutes from the shores of Kilindoni. You’ll find plenty of whale shark snorkel tours to take you to the feeding grounds to snorkel with them.
When to see whale sharks: October – February
South Ari Atoll, Maldives
Whale sharks are swimming in the waters around the Maldives all year round, but South Ari Atoll is your best bet for snorkeling with them. A marine protected area, this sheltered zone is more frequently visited by whale sharks than other regions.
When to see whale sharks: May – December in the Western side, January – April on the Eastern side.
You can often snorkel with whale sharks around the Chumphon Pinnacle, which is a 15-minute boat ride from Koh Tao. They seem to be spotted here all year round, but it’s all down to luck.
When to see whale sharks: April – June seem to be the most popular times.
Note that word is spreading about local fishermen feeding the whale sharks here, as they do in Oslob in the Philippines. This is dangerous for the life of the whale sharks and done only to attract tourists to the area. For this reason Ninja Shark doesn’t recommend visiting Gorontalo as it only encourages this practice.
When to see whale sharks: December – April