When is the best time to dive Fakarava (French Polynesia Fakarava Atoll)


Best time to dive Fakarava - French Polynesia Fakarava Atoll

Off-the-beaten-track Fakarava Atoll is an untouched environment to scuba dive

If you want to dive somewhere very special, Fakarava Atoll of French Polynesia is one of those places. For the best time to dive Fakarava Atoll, please read on.

There’s no best time to dive Fakarava Atoll French Polynesia as it is an all year-round dive site. But there are times of the year when the temperature may suit you best and when certain special events take place. These special events have been filmed both by Blue Planet II and National Geographic. Experience the largest group of grey reef sharks in one place from anywhere in the world.

The best time to dive Fakarava Atoll

Weather-wise there’s no best time to dive Fakarava Atoll, as it is ideal for all year round diving. It’s arguable that the weather conditions are slightly better between early April and late November.

Weather-wise, as a scuba diver, there are times you may prefer. For example, in the months of January through March it’s the warmest time for air temperature and water temperature. But at this time of year it’s also the most humid time to visit this special Atoll of French Polynesia.

During the months of January through March the water temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 °F). Very pleasant to dive in a very thin protective suit or thin wetsuit.

The dryer months around FakaravaOpens in a new tab. Atoll include July through to November each year. But the water temperature is a bit cooler at this time of year.

The water temperature during this time is around 24 degrees Celsius (75.2 °F). So a bit cooler for scuba divers and may require a slightly thicker wetsuit for protection and warmth.

The best time to dive Fakarava Atoll to see humpback whales

The best time to dive Fakarava Atoll to see humpback whales large

If you want the opportunity to see humpback whales, the best time to dive Fakarava Atoll is during the colder season. Between July and September each year humpback whales are frequently sighted by the liveaboard boats in the region.

But it’s also during this time of year when it’s the best time to see the Marbled Grouper.

Here’s are great video that crams six months of diving in Fakarava into 6 minutes. Well worth a watch and a video of Fakarava to wet your appetite.

The best time to dive Fakarava Atoll to see spawning Marbled Grouper

The best time to dive Fakarava Atoll to see spawning Marbled Grouper

One natural phenomenon that Fakarava Atoll is well known for after Blue Planet II, is the spawning Marbled GroupersOpens in a new tab.. This happens every year between the months of June and July. It takes place when the moon is full and the tides are running at their fastest.

The Marbled Grouper congregate in the Southern Pass of Fakarava Atoll. This is a deep trench that leads into the inner lagoon. It is where the tides run fastest at certain times of the month. It’s at this time when the grouper spawn.

The reason why this is the best time of the year for them to spawn is due to these strong currents. These currents wash their fertilised eggs out into the Pacific Ocean.

This way the fertilised eggs have more of a chance of developing into Adult Marbled Grouper. This is away from the coral fish that would otherwise eat the eggs.

This mass-spawning of the Marbled Grouper is what attracts large numbers of grey reef sharks.

You can also dive the second channel that runs into the central lagoon of Fakarava Atoll. This channel is on the north side of Fakarava and is call the Garuae pass or North Pass.

The best time to dive Fakarava Atoll to see the most grey reef sharks you’ll ever see

The best time to dive Fakarava Atoll to see most grey reef sharks

Grey reef sharks that live nearby Fakarava Atoll live there year round. But it is during the months of June to July when the Marbled Grouper and other fish species are spawning that attract the most sharks.

If you want to experience hundreds of grey reef sharks, the best time to dive Fakarava Atoll is therefore June through July.

Not only will you see grey reef sharks, but you are also likely to see hammerhead sharks, silky sharks, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks too. But Fakarava is also one of the best places around the world to see tiger sharks as well.

Blue Planet II filming of grey reef sharks at Fakarava Atoll French Polonesia

During Blue Planet II they filmed the spawning Marbled Grouper and the grey reef sharks. Here’s a short clip from that episode.

The best time to dive Fakarava Atoll for the best water visibility

Water visibility and diving conditions are excellent all year round at Fakarava Atoll. Great visibility makes for great video and photos of sharks and other sea life in the region.

Video of Fakarava Atoll – wall of grey reef sharks

If you love to scuba dive with sharks, Fakarava Atoll is special place to experience one of the largest group of grey reef sharks ever.

I hope you enjoyed this article about best time to dive Fakarava

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or types of scuba diving (or specifically about best time to dive Fakarava), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.

Have fun and be safe!

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