Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 48-hours, you already know that Shark Week is upon us. Practically a national holiday and arguably the best week of the entire year, Shark Week is a pop culture phenomenon that has viewers in a complete frenzy.
Programming kicked off Sunday night on the Discover Channel, garnishing the highest ratings in franchise history. Viewers aren’t just tuning in, they’re engaging; overall on Sunday, “Shark Week” was the topic of nearly a million tweets! With all of this shark business flooding your news feed, it’s going to be difficult to know just how hot it is outside, or what everyone is having for lunch today, but we think you’ll survive.
“Swimmin’ with the Fishes”
If you’re the type of daring individual who is looking to go beyond the social media hype and get up close and personal with these creatures, here’s your chance to “one up” everyone at home on the couch. For true fin-atics, there are places in the world where you can go to see these powerful predators in their natural habitats, dive with them and even swim with them. It’s important to keep in mind that getting in the water with any kind of shark is an inherently dangerous activity, but steel cages and experienced shark professionals help minimize the risk.
Gansbaai, South Africa is considered to be the Great White Shark capital of the world and the infamous Shark Alley is rumored to have more Great Whites in one stretch of ocean than anywhere else on the planet. Pick up a rental car at the Cape Town International Airport and drive to Gansbaai, where arrangements can be made to get on a dive boat. There are numerous dive operations in this area that give travelers the opportunity to actually see sharks from an underwater viewing cage, even if they’re not certified divers.
Holbox Island, Mexico
If you’re in the process of planning an upcoming trip to Cancun, pencil in a day to explore Holbox Island. This tropical paradise is only a few hours away and is one of the best places in the world to see the largest and most mild mannered shark in the ocean, the Whale Shark. When accompanied by a licensed guide, snorkelers are able to swim alongside these docile creatures, which locals have affectionately nicknamed, “Dominos” due to the distinctive white spots on their backs.
Hawaii’s warm waters are home to a kaleidoscope of colorful fish and more than 40 different shark species, ranging in size from the small deep water Pygmy Shark to the bus-sized Whale Shark. Oahu’s North Shore has one of the highest concentrations of shark sightings in Hawaii and is just a short drive from Honolulu. From the safety of a cage outfitted with polyglass siding, divers are able to rub noses with Reef Sharks, Sand Sharks and even Hammerheads.
Red Sea, Egypt
Roughly a four hour drive from Cairo is the Red Sea, a world renowned dive destination boasting some of the clearest waters in the world. Most tour operators are very strict and require all divers to be certified, as they use closed-circuit re-breathers, which allow participants to be silent and discrete. Feeding and baiting are also completely prohibited in this area, creating an organic dive experience. Instructors say that natural dive environments create unforgettable close encounters and are also an essential part of shark conservation. By eliminating the use of bait in their tours, operators say that sharks in this area are totally unaffected by tourist habits and do not associate humans with food.
Rhode Island, USA
If you’re looking for an excursion a little closer to home, Coastal Rhode Island is only a few hours away from JFK International Airport in New York. Spielberg’s “Jaws” was actually inspired by a string of real life shark attacks that happened along the New Jersey shoreline during the summer of 1916, but nowadays, travelers are far more likely to find Eastern Seaboard sharks off the coast of Rhode Island. Blue Sharks seem to be the most common, but divers are also able to encounter Makos, Threshers and even Great Whites.
Don’t be chum on your next trip–be sure to book a car rental with Auto Europe! (Yes, that just happened.) We have been partnering with the most reputable suppliers within the car rental industry for nearly 60 years in order to provide our clients with reliable vehicles in destinations around the world. So, no matter what your vacation has in store, we can help get you there! Reservations can be made online, or contact us toll-free 24/7 at 1-888-223-5555.