With modern-day travel more accessible than ever, it might be time to treat yoself to that bucket-list-once-in-a-lifetime vacation you”ve been spacing out over.
Fortunately, that YOLO mantra can be tailored into a trip made just for you, thanks to Original Diving. Comprised of seasoned divers and travelers, Original Diving combines the right amounts of adventure and luxury to ensure you have the kind of trip that ends up inside a coffee table book.
Diving and sea questing not your thing? That”s perfectly fine, because the company doesn”t just specialize in underwater adventures. The team takes your requests and customizes a trip that tickles your fancy.
Neill Ghosh heads up the diving division of OD, loves sharks (a lot), and knows his way around the world (literally. look at his areas of “expertise”). Here, Ghosh reveals his favorite holiday spots:
- –Raja Ampat in remote West Papua has been described as the epicentre of marine biodiversity. More fish and coral species have been found at the heart of the Coral Triangle than anywhere else on Earth.
- –Komodo National Park is best accessed by stunning liveaboard dive boat. It”s home to not only some of the world’s best diving, but also the famous Komodo Dragons!
- -If you”re diving in Bali, go in hunt of the elusive sunfish (giant mola mola) between July and October. Happily, this is also the time for manta rays, so you are in for a marine life treat. Not much of a diver? Spend your time on land exploring cultural sites like Ubud.
-If you want the quintessential private island experience with white sand and turquoise water, then there really is nowhere better than the Maldives.
-From a diving perspective, the coral is patchy, and not what it used to be. However, the marine life is still world-class, particularly the big stuff – sharks, mantas, whale sharks…
-Tip: Travel out of season when prices are slashed. Just be forewarned that weather patterns are erratic then (it can rain a lot when it’s meant to be sunny and vice versa). Additionally, the rainy season can be the best time for marine life. From June to October, you are virtually guaranteed large numbers of mantas and (fingers crossed) some whale sharks in Baa Atoll.
Papua New Guinea
-The Highlands, an interior section of the island, was thought to be uninhabited until three Australian brothers went looking for gold in the 1930s. There, they found 1 million people still living in the stone age!
-There are over 800 active languages spoken due to the tribal history of the country; more than any other country on Earth.
-Your diving options include world-class shark diving in Kavieng, world-class coral in Kimbe Bay, world-class macro in Tawali…lots of world-class, basically!
[Image via Wade Imaging]
- -Original Diving will soon offer the country’s only liveaboard dive trip to explore the untouched reefs and marine life offshore – watch this space!
-The Quirimbas Archipelago in the remote north of the country is home to Neptune”s Arm, what is possibly our favourite dive to be found anywhere on earth. An epic dive – you need to be advanced, it but it’s worth it. Add in the fact that you would be staying at the beautiful Vamizi Island Lodge to access it, and you”ve arrived in paradise.
-Formed by the run-off from the Limpopo River, the Bazaruto Archipelago feels like the desert but in the middle of the sea. Some of the scenery, especially the vast sand dunes, is spectacular.
-The area around Tofo in the South of the country is a hotspot for mantas and whale sharks, as well as humpback whales migrating along the coast.
-Generally regarded as the world’s soft coral capital. Soft coral thrives on current that brings nutrients rushing through and Fiji certainly has ripping currents in certain areas!
-Laucala Island off Taveuni is, in our opinion, one of the world’s top island resorts (if not the top). Owned by the founder of Redbull, it nudges perfection from all angles! You are within reach of famed diving site, Somosomo Strait.
-Head to the south and the area around Beqa Lagoon for one of the world’s great shark dives where you can encounter over eight species of sharks on one dive. It’s not for everyone but if you like sharks…
-Home to the Great Blue Hole, a perfectly round collapsed sinkhole. You”ll find giant groupers and curious black tip reef sharks round those parts.
-Head to the southern mainland coast between March and June and coordinate your trip around the cycles of the full moon. This will up your chances of getting in the water with the elusive whale shark.
And these places are just the tip of OD”s iceberg. They also offer trips to Europe, North Africa, the Caribbean and India, to name a few destinations.