Shark tourism is a fun way to help protect sharks. Shark tourism brings money to local areas and encourages shark conservation. There are many types of shark tourism. Most of the time people will dive and snorkel with sharks. These adventures can be costly and are also not for the faint of heart or those with physical limitations.
However, people who cannot dive with sharks can still participate in shark tourism by just going to the beaches near where sharks live and watch for sharks. All over the world there are beaches that are great for shark watching. These beaches provide tourists the ability to see sharks in their natural habitat without having to directly interact with them. Here is a list of the best beaches in the world for shark watching:
1. Sennen Beach, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Sennen Beach is an amazing place for shark watching. The beach is home to hundreds of Basking Sharks who are easily viewed from the beach during the months of May and July when they migrant to the area in search of food. You can easily spot these amazing, docile filter-feeders from the shoreline. If you are looking for something even more comfortable, you can watch them from inside the Land’s End Hotel. The hotel restaurant offers a panoramic view of the ocean and traditional pub fare. So you can even watch sharks feed while you eat.
2. Gansbaai, Western Cape, South Africa
Gansbaai is the “Great White Shark Capital of the World” and is located near the densest concentration of Great Whites in the world known as “Shark Alley.” Thousands of Great White Sharks gather along Gansbaai’s many beaches between April and September. During this time, there is a 99% chance of a tourist spotting a Great White Shark from the comfort of the beach. If you travel out to Shark Alley along Dyer Island and Geyser Rock you can easily spot Great White Sharks and may even see them feeding at the right time of the day.
3. Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama, Bahamas
The beaches lining the Northern Side of the Grand Bahama Island has the largest concentration of Tiger Sharks in the world. Tiger Sharks are often found swimming shallow water, so it is very easy to spot them from any of these beaches. The water around the bahamas is also incredibly clear so even from the beach you can see the beautiful coloration that gives these amazing sharks their name.
4. Kahuna Beach, West Maui, Hawaii, United States
Kahuna Beach is home to 40 species of sharks including Tiger Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Great White Sharks, Bull Sharks, and Whitetip Reef Sharks. This impressive variety of sharks makes shark watching from Kahuna Beach a really unique experience. Tourists can see any number of sharks from the shoreline during a visit. It’s an especially fun place to go if you are interested in shark physiognomy because the diversity of sightings gives you a chance to compare the characteristics of the different sharks you spot.
5. New Smyrna Beach, Florida, United States
New Smyrna Beach is home to dozens of shark species including the easily spotted Tiger, Spinner, and Blacktip Sharks. The best time to see sharks at New Smyrna Beach is in April as they begin their Northern Migration in the late afternoon and early morning. You can also watch sharks at night during the full and new moons because of the tidal pull. During these times, sharks are much more active along the beaches. So it’s a great place for night time shark watching.
6. Bolinas Beach, Marin County, California
Bolinas Beach is a small enclave in Northern California that has a large population of Great White Sharks. Tourists can often see these magnificent sharks hunting and patrolling the beach in small groups and have even seen them breaching. You can watch for Great White Sharks from the shoreline or along the cliffs for a larger view of the ocean. The best time to spot Great White Sharks is between July and November when the sharks come to Bolinas to hunt seals.
7. Bondi Beach, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Bondi Beach is a famous beach for shark sightings. The beach has the highest concentration of shark populations and is home to many shark species including Bull Sharks and Great White Sharks. These sharks visit the beach so frequently there are safety nets to protect visitors. Bondi Beach is also famous for shark photobombs, because they sharks are so prevalent that often times the appear unexpectedly in the background of people’s selfies. So it is a great place for tourists to not only spot sharks but to get some great photographs of them.
8. Topsail Island, North Carolina, United States
A small beach community along the shores of the Atlantic, Topsail Island is home to Sand Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Black Tip Sharks, Bull Sharks, Ocean Whitetip Sharks, and Great White Sharks. One of the rarer sharks you can spot at Topsail Island is the Thresher Shark who will occasionally appear in the late winter and early spring. These sharks can typically be viewed during twilight hours and with so many species migrating through the temperate waters, they can be spotted any time during the year.
9. Recife, Brazil
Recife Brazil is home to the highest concentration of Bull Sharks in the world because of the warm waters and nearby reefs. These sharks are very bold and swim close to the beach shore. Lucky tourists can also spot Tiger Sharks during the winter months. Since both of these sharks will come close to the shore, they are easily spotted from beach. They can also be viewed from the windows of one of the many skyscrapers that line the beach.
10. Reunion Island, Madagascar
This isolated island, located off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean is home to large populations of Tiger Sharks and Bull Sharks. The warm waters and island runoff makes ideal conditions for these sharks to breed and they can be easily spotted in large groups during mating season in late summer and early fall. Though a little out of the way, Reunion Island is one of the best places in the world to sit back on shore and watch for sharks.
So whether or not you can go diving with sharks, you can still participate in shark tourism by going to the places where sharks live and trying to see if you can spot them. There are amazing beaches all over the world where you can watch a variety of unique shark species. So the next time you are planning a beach trip, think about hitting one of these amazing places where you can spot these incredible ocean animals.