The Top 5 Scuba Diving Destinations in April15th March 2018 | Sarah Morlock
Looking to get away in April? You’ve picked a great month. Tiger sharks are active in the Bahamas, whale sharks grace the shores of Belize and Australia, and Sipadan in Malaysia is at its best. You’ll have the opportunity to swim with large marine life and over gorgeous coral reefs. Just keep in mind that April is one of the busiest travel months thanks to spring breaks and the Easter holiday. So book your trip early to get the best deals.
If you’re ready to dive into April, check out the top 5 scuba diving destinations for the fourth month of the year.
1. Tiger Beach, Bahamas
The Bahamas is known as one of the world’s best shark diving destinations. You can swim with reef sharks, hammerheads and oceanic whitetips around these tropical islands, but one of the best shark diving sites is known as Tiger Beach. Here you are nearly guaranteed safe encounters with tiger sharks.
Every day, several, large tiger sharks show up to be fed by local divers. As a visitor, you’ll wait in groups on the sandy bottom as the sharks circle around you. On your trip, you might also see lemon sharks, reef sharks and nurse sharks.
The absolute best time to dive Tiger Beach is during early April. During these weeks, the sharks are the most active, putting on spectacular shows for scuba divers.
Several dive operators offer tours to the area, but diving the Bahamas by liveaboard is the best way to go. Many of the boats include this shark dive and others while providing all inclusive meal and drink options.
Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Bahamas Aggressor
Representing the heart of the Caribbean, Belize is spectacular. Crystal clear waters, the second largest barrier reef in the world and unique interactions with marine life make this a wonderland for scuba divers. There are sea turtles, rays and reef sharks around the Lighthouse Reef, Half Moon Caye and Turneffe Reef, all popular destinations for divers and non-divers alike.
In addition, whale sharks can be found at Gladden Spit. With about 26,000 acres and 22 miles of coastline, Gladden Spit and the neighboring Silk Cayes are part of a protected marine area (GSSCMR) in Belize. As a protected area, Gladden Spit is rich in marine life, offering an excellent environment for whale sharks.
The best time of year to swim with whale sharks in Belize and Gladden Spit is between March and June. This corresponds with the reproduction cycle of two fish, the mutton snapper and the grouper. The eggs produced are a special treat for whale sharks.
In addition, Belize is a wonderful liveaboard destination. While most sites can be reached from land, there’s nothing better than living on the high seas and exploring dive sites at will. Plus, most of the sites are suitable for beginners, making this an excellent choice for your first liveaboard experience.
Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: Belize Aggressor IV
3. Tubbataha Reef, Philippines
Home to 600 species of fish, 300 species of coral, 11 species of shark and 13 species of whales and dolphins, Tubbataha Reef Natural Park is a UNESCO World heritage Site. It’s located 93 miles (150 kilometers) southeast of Puerto Princesa in the Philippines.
The only way to reach this shallow coral reef is by liveaboard. Thanks to the pristine environment, Tubbataha is one of the best liveaboard destinations in the world. The dive sites range from shallow look-arounds to sheer drop-offs. Amos Rock is a particularly beautiful site. Plus, there are two atolls to explore, meaning you’ll need at least a week to see everything.
In order to increase the conservation of the area, liveaboards are only permitted to visit Tubbataha Reef from March to June. This makes April the middle of the season and one of the best months to visit.
There’s a good mix of dive sites in the Philippines and Tubbataha Reef, meaning there is a liveaboard for every level of diver. Some may require advanced certifications while other are suitable for beginners.
Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: SY Philippine Siren
4. Sipadan, Malaysia
One of the world’s best and most protected dives, Sipadan is a wonder to explore. Like many other places in Asia, you can dive this part of Malaysia year round. However, dry season stretches from March to October. The beginning of the dry season has spectacular conditions, but also offers the chance of great deals as resorts and liveaboards introduce new staff and compete to fill up their schedules.
During the month of April, visibility can reach 160 feet (50 meters). You’ll see reef sharks, turtles and plenty of barracudas. There’s also a great muck diving destination nearby at Kapalai Island.
We should also note that liveaboard diving is growing in popularity around the region. This option will allow you to see the best of Sipadan over multiple days along with Kapalai and Mabul. It also clears up any confusion about reserving permits for the island.
Editor’s Recommended Liveaboard: MV Celebes Explorer
5. Ningaloo Reef, Australia
You’ve heard of the Great Barrier Reef, but did you know Australia is home to another of the world’s most epic diving areas? Ningaloo Reef is found in Western Australia and is out of this world. At this coral reef, you can swim with whale sharks, manta rays and even dolphins.
Ningaloo Reef extends for 160 miles (260 km) along the west coast, and is home to 500 species of fish, 300 species of coral, 600 species of mollusks and many other marine invertebrates.
From March to June each year, you might encounter whale sharks swimming up and down the shore. This is also a great season for spotting the region’s famous dolphins. Common and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins love to play around Rockingham’s bays and islands with large pods to be found in Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park.
Unfortunately, however, April falls outside of the manta ray season. From June to November, you can take a trip to Coral Bay in order to go swimming with the area’s 500 manta rays.
Editor’s Recommended Dive Center: Ningaloo Reef Dive
Looking for the perfect scuba diving holiday for April? Contact one of our scuba diving experts via chat, email or telephone so that we can help you pick the right destination for you.