Best scuba diving in the world

best scuba diving in the world I was very lucky that we went on a family vacation in Egypt when I was twelve years old. My dad wanted to do an Open Water Dive course and since he needed a buddy, I gladly filled that vacancy. 5 days later I had my junior open water license. I was hooked right away. It’s such an awesome feeling to feel weightless and be able to breathe under water. Plus, there were soooo many fish to see and the underwater world was so colorful, I was glad I very happy to be amidst of all this. In Egypt, snorkeling is also awesome. At Naama Bay, we could just walk in from the beach, and start snorkeling above corals with almost all the fish you see while scuba diving. But while you are always hovering above the fish like a big shadow, when you are snorkeling, you are really surrounded by that environment when you are scuba diving. It’s as if you belong there, too. In my diving experiences that followed after Egypt, I had to realize that unfortunately not everywhere in the world the corals are still as preserved. In some places I was rather disappointed at how little there was to see because it had already been destroyed or maybe the variety just wasn’t as big there. But here I found the best scuba diving in the world, where I have been so far. (I will add to this list in the future.)


#1 Koh Tao, Thailand

diving in Koh TaoThis was one of the cheapest places I ever dove at but the variety under water was anything but cheap. I had pre-booked a 10 dives/accommodation package with big Blue Diving. During my stay, Koh Tao was extremely busy as it was close to full moon and the distribution of the dive gear was a bit chaotic. Unfortunately, many times I was put into groups with divers who had just finished their OWD course and seemed to be afraid of water. We wasted so much time on the water surface, while other groups were already diving, that I decided that I would have to do an advanced diving course soon. So, that was the annoying part. What we got to see under water was spectacular. I have no words for describing that. I really liked Red Rock. There were so many colorful plants and rocks in different shapes and sizes. Some looked like mushrooms, which made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. And of course there were the usual fish and morays. We swam to a cave and actually dived into it! That was so cool! It was so small that we could only swim one after the other and you needed really good buoyancy in order not to hit anything. We left the cave at a different ending and were in wonderland again. My highlight was when we reached the pinnacle where we would start the ascend because there was a big turtle! Chumpon Pinnacle was also very good. We observed quite a few shrimps and some huge school of fish.


#2 Sharm El Sheik, Naama Bay, Egypt

diving in the red seaAs mentioned above, this is where I did my OWD course. There are so many dives you can do by just walking off the beach and start diving, since the underwater world is very well preserved, that it’s a good place for divers who don’t like to go out with a boat. Plus, the scuba diving courses there are quite cheap. Of course, there are also awesome half day and day-trips you can do on a boat. There are some cool wreck dives but I really recommend staring in awe at the colorful reefs and fish. Some friends of mine just came back from their Advanced Diving Course in Egypt and they also raved about what they saw. I was very glad to hear that nothing had changed much with the beauty under water in the past decade.


#3 Great Barrier Reef, Australia

diving at the great barrier reefI started off in Cairns and had booked a day trip to the outer reef. Like every organized trip in Australia, it was rather expensive (between $150 and $200 but it was totally worth every penny). We drove for about 1,5 hours by boat to a dive spot called Wonderwall. The water here can be quite choppy so don’t forget to bring sea sickness pills if you have a weak stomach. There was only one other certified girl on the boat, so we almost had a private guide. We jumped off the boat into an incredible underwater world. I wished I could have stayed down there forever! The first thing I saw was a HUGE fish. At least 1m high and almost the same length as me. There were weird looking plants, some of them looked like feathers you could put on a hat. So many colorful fishes in colors and patterns I had never seen before. They looked like candy or ice cream. And fish in such an intense blue! Plus, I saw Nemo, his sisters and brothers and cousins and grandparents…There were so many fishes! The best was, I finally got to see a turtle! And what a beauty. Moreover, we saw a second one later, that was still a baby.

So far, everywhere I went diving, everyone would warn us not to touch anything. First of all, because corals can be extremely sharp or poisonous and secondly, it probably damages the wildlife. So I had very mixed feelings when our diving instructor repeatedly encouraged us to touch things, even the turtle in the end. That’s why the Great Barrier Reef only gets #6. The guides should try to protect the reef and encourage the people to do the same. It’s such an amazing world down there! It’s so sad to know that in a few years it won’t look like that anymore. It was one of the best places I have ever dove at. Unfortunately, after 40min we were already back at the surface and made space for the introductory group dives. I jumped back into the water with my snorkel gear on. There were some schools of fish right behind the boat and a big (1,5m) barracuda with scary teeth, that would swim up really close to you because it thinks you will feed it. There were a lot of waves and so even snorkeling could make you feel a bit queasy. Luckily, the beeeeeautiful lunch buffet made you forget about the waves. I want to work on that boat 🙂


#4 Fiji, Mantaray Island

Fiji is not only a holiday destination, it’s an all-around experience. I did my advanced diver course on Nanuya Island at Mantaray Resort and from the moment you step off the boat that brought you from the main island, you will feel included in the island family. Before I even got to get accustomed to the water during daylight, I had to gear up for my first ever night dive (I had to do one for the advanced course). Luckily, there was another couple coming too, who lifted my motivation level to get into the dark, cold water a little. Everybody received a torch and then a small boat brought us a little up the diving in Fijibeach. We dropped into the pitch black water. From then on, diving was pretty much normal, except that you really only saw into the direction you pointed the torch. The dive was amazing! Great visibility in the torch light. I saw big crabs, a yellow moray, shrimp, a puffer fish and other underwater insect like creatures, which I had never seen during the day. At one point, we sat on the sand and hid our torch lights. For a moment, it was really dark but then fluorescent green plankton appeared. It was magical! We surfaced on the beach close to the dive shop. After walking back up there, we really had earned ourselves some dinner (which was a delicious 4-course meal every night. I recommend to try all the fish dishes.) The next morning, I met my group at the dive shop and in a small boat, we drove for about 15min to get to our first dive site, where we would do a deep dive. So, for the first time, I went below 18m and we actually made it down to 35m. It didn’t feel very different except that there were less colors. But it was awesome to basically fly out into the blue and just drop down into the nothingness along a wall filled with corals. We even saw two turtles! After driving back to the beach for a short break, we boarded the boat again to drive to a dive spot called “Shark Reef”. Usually, there should be sharks there, however, now there were none. But it was still a nice dive site and we swam through a few tunnels. On the third and fourth dive we also saw lots of fish and swam  through caves and tunnels. Unfortunately, we also didn’t get to see the manta rays but I did get to see them later, while snorkeling. Then, only my navigation dive was left over in order for me to complete the advanced diving course. We practiced with the compass on land as I had seen so many other people do on different beaches before and after that we geared up and went for a dive at the house reef again. In the beginning, visibility was very bad and I really had no idea whether I was still on the right track to complete my squares and triangles but luckily, I always ended up where I was supposed to. We used the remaining air to just enjoy the dive. I even got to see the shark from the house reef, which they call Bob!! My first shark in nature. He is about 1,5m long and quite fat. So, he really looks like a real shark! But he was quite shy and quickly swam away. Back at the dive shop, we high-fived each other since we had passed the course and from now on hopefully won’t have to dive with people anymore, who are afraid to jump off the boat and shorten our underwater time (this really annoyed me in Thailand).


#5 Aliwal Shoal, South Africa

aliwal shoal south africa best scuba diving in the worldAliwal Shoal is famous because you find the big fish here. I never dove with sharks before but I thought if before I was surfing for a week just 50km south of here, I might just as well go check out what’s actually below the surface at the end of my stay. We reached Ocean Blue dive school by 7am, where I got handed all the gear I needed and after a short briefing, we hopped onto the back of a truck and were transported (including our speed boat) down to the ocean. Making it from the beach past the waves onto the open ocean was an adventure on its own but once that adrenaline rush was over, we could relax a little and try to spot whales (which we did again, far away at the horizon). Right before we rolled backward into the water, a group of dolphins came to visit us as well. Every time I see dolphins here, it’s at least a group of ten and they are nice to watch. Our dive site was called Raggie’s Cave, since there was a big chance of encountering ragged teeth sharks. So, one of the rules I remembered from the briefing, was: keep at least 5m between you and the sharks and look down before you go down, so that you don’t float right on top of one of them. So, we slowly descended down into the blue. Visibility was great and it was easy to spot fish and the shape of the reef and once we were on the same level as the reef, there it was: our first shark. We kind of wanted to just wait behind a coral and watch him but apparently, he was a curious one and slowly started swimming towards us. I wanted to laugh and scream at the same time because I couldn’t decide between being overly excited and scared but since that wouldn’t have been of much use underwater, I just floated there next to my dive buddy with a pounding heart, trying to keep breathing, as to keep breathing is the most important rule of diving, hoping that no sudden current would push us further towards the shark, whose nose was now about one meter from our faces. He then decided that we weren’t that interesting after all and moved away again, while I finally settled on laughing. Then, we could concentrate on the other parts of the beautiful world that surrounded us. We saw some more sharks, a big turtle and lots of colorful fish. Finally, I was in a group of divers who all knew what they were doing and so we could enjoy maximum underwater time. Back up on the small boat, we couldn’t wait to start our second dive. We saw some more sharks, also a white tipped one, swam through caves, saw a huge grouper and other big fish and some big shrimps and in the end looked for lost shark teeth down in the sand, which were lying around like shells at the beach. So, it was definitely worth it to take a detour and come diving. I even wished that I had planned more days here. Plus, I received lots of good tips for dive sites in Mozambique from the other people in my dive group, so I guess I’ll have to add a dive trip to Africa onto my list.


#6 Utila, Honduras

divin in hondurasI had my dives booked with Ecco Diving. Diving is over all very affordable here. Their dive shop is cool with a nice pier where you can snorkel around, sit in the shade or jump from a rope into the sea. Plus, everybody was really friendly. When we drove out onto the water on a small boat the highlight was that a few dolphins followed us for a while. On all the dives the dive masters were spear fishing for lion fish, since they are a plague here.Our second dive was really cool!!! Next to the usual variety of colorful fish, we saw stingrays, a big turtle and crabs. On the second day, we went to a ship wreck that was down on the sand at -30m. Now I could actually use my new advanced diving license. It wasn’t as creepy as I expected it to be. I don’t think anybody had died there. It was actually rather cool because people had put props like bicycles down there to take pictures with. I saw a lobster, a big moray eel, a huge barracuda and all the other small fish. For an entertaining dive, I definitely recommend this one.

If you don’t want to go out on a boat, just walk to the end of the island where Coral View and Neptune hotels are located. Wow, snorkeling there was exactly like going diving, there were so many fish and corals and that as soon as you step into the water.


What’s your favorite picture I this post? Which dive site should I visit and add to this list and why?

Best places to scuba dive

Shark teeth collection from Aliwal Shoal



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