SCUBA diving isn't the only way to get up close and personal with marine life. You may not get to go as deep without a tank, but if you know where to dive, a snorkel, mask, and fins are all you need to see the underwater world of coral, fish, and even whales and sharks. The best part: snorkeling requires minimal effort, time, equipment, and no certification. Here are thirteen of the best places in the world to mingle with sea creatures — no training necessary.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa
The vast iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, includes the African continent's largest estuarine system and takes in Sodwana Bay Marine Preserve. There, Adlams Coral Reef hosts more than 80 percent of the world's marine fish species along with rays, eels, dolphins, and whale sharks, all under the excellent visibility of Indian Ocean waters. Humpback whales cavort offshore May to November, and November to January, leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles nest on the beaches. Kosi Bay, in the northern, most remote part of the park, is the site of a nursery reef and on between-snorkel breaks, you'll likely have the white, palm-fringed beach to yourself. Accommodations available in the park, or book an all-inclusive guided excursion with Cape Fox Tours.
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