Fans of large marine life are in for a treat this month. It’s one of the best months of the year for spotting Mola mola and the Guadalupe great white shark season is underway. You can also experience a well-kept Indonesian dive secret at Raja Ampat or dive with hundreds of manta rays at the Maldives. Find out more in our 4 must-see dive destinations for August.
We’ve got a well-kept Indonesia dive secret for you this month; Raja Ampat’s shark season.
Whilst now isn’t the traditional Raja Ampat high season, it’s actually a great time of year to dive there and experience amazing visibility and shark action.
Raja Ampat really has two dive seasons:
● October to April, the main Raja Ampat season, with numerous manta rays
● May to September, the lesser-known Raja Ampat shark season
Now is the best time to visit Raja Ampat to truly appreciate the underwater landscapes, as the water visibility stretches into the distance. It’s a perfect time of year to photograph Raja Ampat’s marine life and experience diving with sharks in clear water.
Added to that, many liveaboards leave the area for Komodo, meaning you can enjoy peaceful dive sites as you explore. The Epica liveaboard is one of the few liveaboards that remains at Raja Ampat year-round. Dive there and experience the best of Raja Ampat before the world catches on.
We are including another Indonesian dive highlight this month and for good reason. Komodo is not to be missed for your chance to swim with huge Mola mola.
The Southern part of the Komodo National Park is one of the world’s best places for Mola mola encounters, especially during August. Go diving there and you can swim with these ocean giants at Nusa Penida’s Crystal Bay, where they are commonly seen at cleaning stations. The nutrient-rich waters and trenches of Nusa Penida attract a variety of other marine life, including mantas and a variety of sharks.
Look closely and you can spot bamboo sharks, wobbegongs, sleepy nurse sharks and reef sharks patrolling dive sites. There is exhilarating wall diving on offer at Toyapakeh, where you can drift along past schools of trevallies, barracuda and huge shoals of other fish.
As Nusa Penida is often visited as part of Komodo liveaboard safaris, you can also explore the best of this renowned national park whilst you’re there. The Tiare liveaboard offers Nusa Penida and Komodo safaris at this time of year. As a luxurious phinisi catering for just 12 guests, she’s a great choice for intimate dive safaris.
Shark fans are in for a treat in August; it’s the start of Guadalupe great white shark season.
Made famous by Discovery’s Channel’s Shark Week programmes, Guadalupe Island is a premier shark cage diving destination where you can get up close and personal with great white sharks.
The island is known for having crystal-clear waters, unlike many other cage shark diving destinations, and relatively warm waters – meaning you can enjoy more time in the cage and take stunning photographs with ease.
August is an ideal time to visit to enjoy high numbers of sharks at the island, including the active younger sharks. As the season progresses, these younger boisterous sharks are replaced by the larger, relaxed females.
Guadalupe safaris can be expensive but the MV Horizon is a budget-friendly option for divers and non-divers alike. This liveaboard has been offering Guadalupe safaris since 2000 and you can enjoy 11-18 hours in the water per trip.
Baa Atoll is an excellent choice for scuba diving in the Maldives at this time of year and offers one of nature’s true spectacles within this peaceful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Go diving at Baa Atoll this August and you can witness hundreds of mantas congregating and feeding at world-famous Hanifaru Bay.
The mantas arrive in their hundreds and feed in the bay, exhibiting a unique behaviour called cyclone feeding. You can snorkel with the rays, watching them barrel-roll and swim around you in their feeding frenzies.
As well as mantas, Baa Atoll has diverse marine life and an array of dive sites to explore around its 75 islands. There are colourful underwater coral landscapes at Maavaru Kandu, plus numerous thilas to dive. Dhonfanu Thila is one of the most popular and has numerous grey reef sharks, eagle rays and schools of pelagic fish.
The Eco Blue has Baa Atoll & Hanifaru Bay safaris during July and August, including a special Manta Trust research expedition you can join.