February is particularly good for shark lovers and is a month with dive highlights around the globe.
Shark fans should head to the Bahamas to enjoy the various species of shark encountered during Bahamas liveaboard diving. The entire archipelago of 700 islands is a shark sanctuary and is particularly well-known for tiger shark dives at Tiger Beach.
Shark diving in the Bahamas. Image courtesy of Aqua Cat.
2. ThailandThailand is also a great February destination, hosting the beginning of the manta ray season in the Andaman Sea. To see these massive fish visit Richelieu Rock or the Similans. At Richelieu Rock you may also be lucky enough to see whale sharks. Two other world class dive sites which are in Thailand which are terrific at this time of year are Hin Daeng and Hin Moung. These seamounts are feeding grounds for pelagic fish.
Giant Manta Ray. Photo credit: Arturo de Frias Marques. CC BY-SA 4.0.
3. South Africa
Another good place to see whale sharks at this time of year is Sodwana Bay in South Africa. The whole area is a National Park, and has been since 1950, with diving permitted in just a relatively small section. The protection has resulted in piles of fish with many resident and visiting species.
Photo credit:Tim Nicholson
Raja Ampat and Komodo in Indonesia are fantastic liveaboard destinations in February, where divers can experience colourful dives and abundant marine life. One of the best things about Komodo is the large number of dive locations that provide opportunities to experience manta rays, Komodo dragons, pygmy seahorses and vibrant coral reefs. Raja Ampat is also spectacular, with over 1500 species of fish and 537 species of coral to enjoy.
5. MicronesiaPalau is renowned for its sharks which are seen in great numbers in February, March and April. As well as its resident fish, large pelagic species like silky shark, manta rays, bigeye tuna, marlin and swordfish also visit.
Silky Shark. Photo credit: Squeeze/Pixabay
by Kathryn Curzon, of liveaboard.com. Additional material by Jill Studholme.
Have you any recommendations for great diving in February? Get in touch.
SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Every month we send out a free newsletter featuring the best diving areas, underwater life, diving book reviews and interviews with authors. To receive this please fill in your e-mail address below. For an archive of previous issues see the SCUBA News page.