Tired of the continuous rain, cold winters and grey skies? Are you longing for colour, sunshine, blue waters that envelop you in its warmth, white beaches and undiscovered reefs filled with the wonder of nature?
Look no further, as this article will tell you about some of the world’s best, untouched diving spots that are truly unforgettable.
BACUIT ARCHIPELAGO, PALAWAN, Philippines.
Reasons for going there – Shallow waters with coral gardens of every colour and hue. Cabbage, Staghorn and table corals providing hiding places for blue-ribbon eels, gobies, the extraordinarily coloured Nudibranchs, anemone shrimps and other crustaceans. Juvenile fish protected in the hidey-holes of the coral.
GOUBET AL-KHARAB, Republic of Djibouti
Reasons for going there – Home of Whale Sharks. The plankton-rich waters attract whale-sharks in season which is October to February. The waters are also rich with Nurse Sharks, pilot whales, schools of dolphin, snapper and barracuda.
ORO PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Reasons for going there – Best for night diving! Take a large underwater torch with you and see the magnificent transformations of the lichens, sponges, bulging brain coral, whip, and fan take on ethereal beauty. This area plays host to Pygmy seahorses, Hammerhead Sharks and ghost pipefish. Best time to go is April to June or September to December.
GAAFU ALIFU ATOLL, MALDIVES
Reasons for going there – These are virgin dive sites with unspoilt coral. Safe from the devastating El Nino in 1998. Rich in colour and texture with Oriental Sweetlips, green sea turtles, surgeon fish, reef sharks, butterflyfish and parrotfish. This is an all-year-round dive.
RAJA AMPAT – The Coral Triangle of the Indonesian Archipelago.
– Reasons for going there – Four large islands and hundreds of specs make up the most diverse marine habitat on earth. It has ten times the number of coral species found in the Caribbean and you will find marine species here that aren’t found anywhere else on earth. It stretches from the Philippines to Timor and Papua New Guinea. The waters are so clear that you can see the corals laid out like a hand-crafted garden without swimming a stroke.
This is the world, the first divers and those dreaming of diving, think about when they picture the Garden of Eden. Unchanging, unspoilt by tourists, marine life left in their idyllic heaven. This is the place to recharge the batteries and renew one’s spirit. Travel to the southernmost corner of Raja Ampat to the island of Misool. The islands look like pieces of rainforest torn off from the Amazon. This virgin area of the world is home to the best diving anyone could ever wish for.
SIPADAN – MALAYSIA
Reasons for going there – One of the best dive sites in the world. There is so much marine life; it’s like being at Piccadilly Circus on a Saturday night! Turtles, dolphins, sharks, schools of fish of every description, the brightest most colourful coral and every large and small creature in between. There is so much to be seen that it is mind boggling.
Of all the places mentioned in Southeast Asia, Sipadan makes the whole idea of scuba diving and snorkelling well worth the effort to do so. This is the lost world, the paradise that so many long for while dragging oneself through the everyday slog of having to earn a living.
Take your scuba gear, or hire it there and experience the peace that only astronauts experience but with the added attraction of being wrapped in warm water and gently brushed by hundreds of fish just as curious about you as you are about them.