One of the dimensions of travel is adventure. Apart from the desire to learn and understand the cultures, one of the reasons why people travel is to hold on to some excitement and thrill. Today, we introduce you to one such thrill that will cross the pinnacle of adventure -Swimming alongside the largest fish in the sea, the whale. Yes, you are right in what you have read. If you want to extend the domain of your adventure, then there are certain destinations around the world where in you can swim along with the whale. However, do not forget to keep a decent distance from these gentle giants.
1. Ulita, Honduras
Image Source: Scubaben/flickr.com
Considered to be the ultimate destination for your rendezvous with the whales! The Honduras' Caribbean coast also boasts one of the worlds few year-round whale shark research centres that can offer you proper guidance and knowledge about the behaviour of such mammals.
When to Go: Visit this place in the time between March to April when the highest concentration of Whales arrives.
Where to Stay: You can find good accommodation in dive hostels which offer you with all the equipments to go underwater as well.
2. Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
Image Source: Julie Edgley/flickr.com
Ningaloo Reef is Australias most easily accessible coral reef and houses more than 500 species of fish. This place is 1200 km north to Perth and has been declared as a World Heritage site in 2011.
When to go: Between March to July is the time when whales appear on the surface here following a mass coral sprawling.
Where to stay: In order to enjoy the maximum proximity, you can stay at Exmouth from where the tours depart.
3. Isla Holbox, Mexico
Image Source: SF Brit/flickr.com
A well kept secret not known to many Mexicans outside of the Yucatan - Isla Holbox was settled by pirates who intermarried with local Mayans living in the area. You can reach this place with a 25-minute boat ride from the mainland of Mexico.
When to go: The best time to meet the whales and sharks here would be between June to September, when they arrive to feed and mate.
Where to stay: Stay at Holbox which offers you the best proximity to your adventure. Its not a great alternative to the main tourist commercial centres.
4. Gladden Spit, Belize
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Gladden spit reserve contains some of the healthiest parts of the reef system due to its elevation and good water quality. The whale sharkswho come to feed on the eggs here are sighted in large numbers. It is the only place worldwide where this activity is known to occur.
When to go: April and May are the most consistent months for sightings. You can find most of the Whales and sharks a few days after the full moon.
Where to stay: Stay at the Pleasant Point, that offers a handful of affordable cabana-style accommodation.
5. Tofo Beach, Mozambique
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Although Tofo Beach is a tiny place, yet it is considered to be the travellers haven and a scuba Mecca. The sea water here is home to one of the largest concentrations of whale sharks in Africa as a result of the never-ending supply of plankton.
When to go: Between October to March is the best time to spot whales here.
Where to stay : There are a number of options here to stay such as the backpacker lodges or the more comfortable B&Bs.
6. Donsol, Philippines
Image Source: Flickr.com
Donsol, in the northern Philippines, is one of the best kept secrets in diving. It is home to possibly the largest congregation of whale sharks in the world. At any given time, a large number of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, known locally as Butanding are seen off Donsol town, in Sorsogon province in the Philippines. These are the world's largest fish that can attain a length of 12-15 meters and weigh up to 20 tons. These gentle giants feed on tiny organisms such as plankton, krill and small fish.
When to go: whale sharks her generally arrive between November and June with the peak months from February to April.
Where to stay: Donsol is still a quaint town with a handful of places to stay. However, today you can get good resorts over here to stay.
7. South Mah, Seychelles
Image Source: Pixabay.com
In the Seychelles waters, whale sharks are a CITES protected species with sightings on the increase over the past few years. The Underwater Centre Seychelles is closely involved with the Whale Shark Monitoring programme of the Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles.
When to go: Whale sharks appear in Mah between August and November, October being the best time to visit Seychelles for those who want to swim with the whales.
Where to stay: The Four Seasons Seychelles Dive Centre collaborates with the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles to provide snorkelling trips during October with the help of a microlight aircraft.
8. Koh Tao, Thailand
Image Source: Pixabay.com
The favourite hang outs of whale sharks on Ko Tao in Thailand seem to be Southwest Pinnacle and Chumphon Pinnacle. These sites lie around 45 minutes by boat from Ko Tao in almost opposite north and south directions. You must be a certified open water diver at a minimum to dive here yet these sites are best enjoyed as an advanced diver. This will give you the flexibility of depth and enable you to fully enjoy the sites and its inhabitants regardless of whether one of those big spotty leviathans appears out of the blue.
When to go: whale shark appear here randomly year-round but the best between April to June.
Where to stay: prices drop if you sign up for a scuba course at comfortable dive lodges like Bans or Big Blue.
Enter the world of underwater and swim with the creatures that reign supreme here.