MaldivesHow to go swimming with sharks in the Maldives

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How dangerous is it?

Swimming with sharks in the Maldives isn’t as terrifying as you might expect. Banish images of descending into deep, dark waters in the confines of a cage, surrounded by apex predators. Thanks to the coral reefs and rich marine life, 26 species of shark can be found in the Maldives, and most of them are entirely harmless.


What sharks can I see?

With its elongated flat head and cavernous mouth, the whale shark is quite a sight. In fact, the Maldives is the only destination in the world where you can see these gentle giants all year round. You’ll also find schools of hammerheads in Maldivian waters too, as well as graceful, spotted leopard sharks and sinister-looking – though totally harmless – blacktip reef sharks.


When is the best time to swim with sharks?

Shark season is a small window between January and March – this is the Maldives’ dry season when the seas are at their calmest – although some species such as whale sharks occupy the waters all year round.


How to swim with sharks?

The best way to swim with sharks in the Maldives is on a shark safari or private excursion. Experienced divers will take you to remote sites where you can snorkel or scuba dive in the company of whale sharks as they glide peacefully alongside you. Most resorts offer excursions and tours or have their own dive centre.

With Best Dives Maldives at Jumeriah Vittaveli, you can head out from the South Malé Atoll on a traditional wooden dhoni boat to a variety of dive sites, from colourful reefs to submerged shipwrecks, to spot reef sharks and whale sharks. You can also get your PADI diving certification at Best Dives Maldives.


Who can swim with sharks?

Shark snorkelling in shallower waters is for anyone who is a capable swimmer, while deep-sea diving is for experienced divers. Strong currents and deep waters underpin many environments so it’s not advisable for beginners to go shark diving. Check with your diving centre or excursion provider to see what level of proficiency is required.


What should I bear in mind when swimming with sharks?

As tempting as it may be when you’re in the company of a gentle hammerhead, never touch sharks and always keep a respectful distance. Don’t use flash photography either, as it will startle them.


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