Destination Guide

The Travel Well Guide

Shark Watching in the Bahamas

City: Nassau       State: N/A       Country: Bahamas
The Bahamas is one of the few places in the world that still provides a benign habitat for sharks. The sparklingly clean waters of The Bahama Banks are trenched with chasms plunging 4,000 m (13,000 ft) deep. This combination of precipitous drops and calm shallows, coral reefs and sandy shores, warmed by the Gulf Stream currents, creates a fabulous fish metropolis - and a superbly well-stocked snack bar for the sharks to gorge on. Meanwhile, the coastal inlets, mangrove swamps and lagoons are perfect breeding grounds, providing a safe nursery environment for newborn sharks to thrive in. More than 40 species of shark can be found here, the Caribbean Reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) being the most common. These 2-3 m (6.5-10 ft) long sharks hover around the reefs and can move at lightning speed with incredible agility. The sight of a dozen or so miraculously appearing, seemingly out of nowhere, may well be the most exhilarating underwater experience of your life. Sharks, despite their reputation as "killing machines", are wary of humans and will not usually attack unless provoked. However, the growing popularity of shark watching is beginning to affect their natural behaviour. They have started to congregate around the dive areas, waiting for food. It does not take much imagination to see the potential for a feeding frenzy -when the sharks react to over­stimulation by attacking everything, including each other. The tourist interest has proved a mixed blessing. It has raised awareness of the need for conservation. However, it inevitably leads to coastal development and pollution. The sharks are part of a delicate eco-system. There is a very real danger in the Bahamas that human interference will unbalance the marine environment as well as the coastal mangrove swamps, which are vital for the continued survival of the shark.

Climate | When to Visit

The wet season lasts from May to October.
Visit during: November to April

Directions | How to Reach

International airports of Nassau and Freeport with connecting flights from major US cities.

miscellaneous | Important Information

The region is a marine habitat. Group of 700 islands and 2,500 cays surrounded by tropical waters.

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