Rhincodon Typus, roughly translated as ‘Awesome Big Spotty Shark’ can be found right there at the top of any Divers Bucket List…What’s that? Oh I do apologize, those funny words are ‘Whale Shark’ in Latin… I bet that was Steve fooling around with my research.
Steve was that you?… Michelle! I highly doubt it… sure blame the temp, typical Steve antics!
So I was talking about the Rhinco… the Whale Shark… put a stop to this Latin nonsense right now! As I was saying Divers Love these magnificent decorative plankton-eating filter-faces so much I have put together a little something for you; the best place to spot a Whale Shark any time of the year!
Let’s start this month because there’s an overlap around Christmas and it’ll look all messy;
JUNE AND JULY – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Lining the southerly entrance to the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea, Playa Del Carmen has long been thought of as a large-than-average aquatic animal hot-spot, but the diverse ecosystem draws in an impressive amount migratory visitors. The waters surrounding Playa Del Carmen have become a favorite stop off for Whale Sharks on their annual migration.
Over 85% of Whale Shark sightings in the Gulf occur between June and October, with a best viewing time landing in Mid July!
AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER – South Ari Atoll, Maldives
Whale sharks are year-round tenants of the Maldives, peaking at Late August and Early September. Lage groups are more commonly sighted in the western side of the Indian Ocean archipelago from May to December, then heading East in the lead up to April.
South Ari Atoll is a Marine Protected Area the regulations are in place that affect fishermen, dive schools and divers so it is recommended to contact your Dive Center in advance.
OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER – Tofo Beach, Mozambique
400km north of the capital, Maputo is a backpacking scuba divers mecca and home to one of the greatest gatherings of whale sharks in Africa because of a constant supply of tiny fish.
Sightings of 50-strong collections are more than possible from October to March.
DECEMBER AND JANUARY – Cabo San Sebastian, Mozambique
As the Whale Sharks head around the coat gathering members on their migratory route, December finds them in Cabo San Sebastian.
Most encounters with the whale sharks here happen at the surface where our magnificent friends filter krill. Cabo San Sebastian’s reefs are a hot-spot for sightings with many specimens around 30 feet long.
FEBRUARY AND MARCH – Honda Bay, Palawan, Philippines
You may have heard of Donsol Bay, but we urge you to check out Honda Bay on your trip to the Philippines.
Whale Sharks are found months either side but for the calmest seas and ideal conditions grace this area in February or March.
APRIL AND MAY – Cheer Spit, Belize
Three days either side of the full moon gives you a perfect window for seeing the mammoth fish. In this area divers and snorkelers are obliged to keep up at least 10-foot away from the Whale Sharks. Flash photography isn’t permitted and some other rules are in place to secure the Whale Sharks comfort.
Why April and May? It’s Red Snapper spawning season and Whale Sharks love it!
Weeell that’s it… the full year of where to go and what to see. Now get out there and love your life, you crazy diver you!