Best Places and Times of Year to Swim with Whale Sharks
Whale sharks are beautiful creatures and what better way to see them than up close swimming alongside these gentle giants. Whale sharks are the biggest fish species in the world and around the world there are lots of special ways you can interact with them by going sightseeing, swimming, snorkeling and also scuba diving. This really is a unique experience and the trip of a lifetime.
You might want to plan your next break away to a destination where you might get to see whale sharks and below we have put together a guide to the best countries and times of year to see them. On our website you can contact travel operators who offer excursions to see whale sharks whilst there are also lots of local operators based in the destinations below who you can arrange this with direct.
Please note times can change depending on climate and migration. Also try to be a responsible tourist, you will be given guiance on safety details on arrival but remember don't get too close or even try to touch the whale sharks. Did you also know you can spend time volunteering with whale sharks.
1. Utila, Honduras
- Best Time: All Year-Round (spottings are usually every month)
We highly recommend Utila Dive Centre who are a well respected scuba diving resort in Honduras. They offer adventure excursions where you can either learn to scuba dive or join a trip out to go scuba diving with whale sharks. The best thing about this region is there are sightings all year round with the most popular period being around March to May.
2. Atoll, Maldives
- Best Time: All Year-Round
If you really would like an experience to remember why not check out our Maldives accommodation section where you can eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at Conrad Underwater Restaurant - spectacular. This has to be seen to be believed. We have some incredibe volunteer programs in Maldives where you can even help whale sharks.
3. Gladden Spit, Belize
- Best Time: April to May
4. Tofo Beach, Mozambique
- Best Time: November through to February
5. Donsol, Philippines
- Best Time: November to May
6. Koh Tao, Thailand
- Best Time: April to June
This tiny island is many peoples favourite places to visit in the Land of Smiles and its easy to see why. Beautiful beaches, nature and also wildlife spotting boat tours. This is one of the best places to go scuba diving in Thailand whilst also lots of tours in Thailand feature whale watching excursions.
7. Western Australia
- Best Time: March to July
WA is a spectacular area of Australia to visit and you might not know it bit the Ningaloo Reef is the biggest coral reef in the region. There are excursions from places like Exmouth.
8. Cocos Island, Costa Rica
- Best Time: June to September
9. Yucatan, Mexico
- Best Time: Mid-July to end of August
A popular tourist region you will find lots of local operators, prices can very so shop around for the best deals.
10. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
- Best Time: August to October
One of the most unspolied and naturally beautiful places in the world.
11. South Mahé, Seychelles
- Best Time: October is probably the best month but you can visit anywhere from August to November.
The Sychelles is a dream travel destination and you can see whale sharks here late in the year.
12. Mafia Island, Tanzania
- Best Time: November to January