Posts Tagged 'Whale shark'

Study Abroad meets Jaws

Da Dum!

Da Dum!

For those who watch a decent amount of TV, this week is Shark Week, an annual ode to human fear and fascination.  I tune in every year.  Thanks to the immortal writings of Peter Benchley, I am both inimitably interested in and uncharacteristically unafraid of sharks.  Particularly big ones.  Particularly ones that look like Jaws.  And so, a few years back I decided that my next major vacation (outside of visiting family overseas) would be a trip to either Australia or South Africa for a shark diving bonanza.  All of my friends are interested in Australia or South Africa, but in the sharks . . . not so much.  As our study abroad readership may already realize, three major shark diving destinations – Mexico, South Africa, and Australia – are all major study abroad destinations as well.  So if there are other shark-lovers out there, this post is for you.

Mexico:

Isla Guadalupe, 150 miles off the west coast of the Baja Peninsula, is a Great White haven.  Many tours will pick you up from the mainland, even as far up as San Diego.  Check out Cage Diver, Great White Adventures, and Shark Diver.  If you are looking for something less intense, you can swim with Whale Sharks on the eastern coast of Mexico, near Cancun.  Every year, hundreds of people head to the Whale Shark Festival on Isla Mujeres to swim the gentle giants.

Yes, I want to go in the water with that.

Yes, I want to go in the water with that.

South Africa:

I’m very interested in South Africa, because this is where the Great Whites famously leap out of the water pursuing seals.  Some tours will take you cage diving, show you shark breaching, or both!  Boats leave from Gansbaai and head to Dyer Island and Shark Alley.  Check out the White Shark Diving Company, White Shark Ecoventures, Shark Cage Diving, and Africa Shark Dive Safaris.

Australia:

The Neptune Islands off the coast of southern Australia continue to be one of the best places in the world to see Great Whites.  If you are a certified SCUBA diver, with Rodney Fox Expeditions you can avoid the surface cage and go down to the ocean floor in a fully submersible cage.  Calypso Star Charters has a one day expedition that sounds perfect for shorter trips.  Whale Sharks also pass by Australia via the Ningaloo Reef in western Australia.  The Whale Sharks are a huge draw, but the reef is so close to the shore that there are tons of other things to see.

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