Where to Go Swimming With Sharks in the Seychelles

Swimming with sharks in the Seychelles is an experience you wont forget
Swimming with sharks in the Seychelles is an experience you won't forget
Sadie Whitelocks

Ever fancied snorkelling or scuba diving with sharks? The Seychelles draws in global visitors with its abundance of species, from whale sharks to the mysterious gulper. In this responsible wildlife spotting guide, Culture Trip details how best to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Keep a lookout for sharks on Culture Trip’s group sailing adventure through the Seychelles, stopping at the pristine Sainte Anne Marine Park and palm-fringed Grande Soeur.

What to know about sharks in the Seychelles

Blacktip reef sharks swim in groups © Nature Picture Library / Alamy

The balmy waters of the Seychelles are a hotspot for sharks. With more than 30 percent of the archipelago designated as a marine protected area, a healthy population of the animals has been allowed to flourish. Whale sharks are among the most popular to spot; these plankton-feeding creatures can grow up to 18m (59ft) in length. A whale shark monitoring and tagging programme has run in the Seychelles since 1996, and they’ve been protected by law since 2003.

Along with whale sharks, there are dozens of other shark species that you can spot, including tawny nurse, scalloped hammerhead, grey reef, lemon and silvertip sharks. The region is also home to a unique species, the Seychelles gulper shark, which is easy to distinguish on account of its enormous, bulbous eyes. However, you’ll have difficulty spotting gulpers, as they live in extremely deep waters.

Where can you see sharks in the Seychelles?

Sharks are never far from your eyeline on the beaches of the Seychelles

Swimming with whale sharks makes for a magical experience, and the Seychelles is one of only a handful of sites around the world where it’s possible to get close to these gentle giants. The animals migrate through the area from August to November. One of the best spots to see them is off the coast of Mahé, the largest island in the archipelago and home to the nation’s characterful capital, Victoria. Head to Beau Vallon Bay, where the clear waters are perfect for spotting these beautiful mammals.

To catch sight of other shark species, head to Alphonse Island – located 400km (250mi) south of Mahé – for hammerheads and nurse sharks. Curieuse Island, just off Praslin, is home to lemon sharks, while Cousine Island is a great place for spotting reef sharks (although these are prevalent throughout the region).

Top tips on swimming with sharks responsibly

Trusted guides will show you the way to see sharks safely and responsibly © Nature Picture Library / Alamy

Swimming and scuba diving with sharks are both thrilling experiences that promise to set your pulse racing. While it might be tempting to swim after or touch these majestic creatures as they slink by, that could lead to injury or spook the animals. Once you’ve spotted a shark, it’s best to remain calm and observe from a good distance. If you’re swimming with a GoPro or underwater camera, avoid pointing the flash directly in their eyes and keep selfie sticks at a respectable distance. Baiting sharks with treats is also not advised, as this could lead to aggressive responses. By practising safe behaviour, the sharks will feel more comfortable and be likely to linger a little longer.

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