Sri Lanka is amongst one of the most amazing places on Earth and we’re not just talking about above the water. Below the water line in the crystal clear seas, the ocean is brimming with amazing spots for scuba divers. Here’s out five favourite dive sites in Sri Lanka.
The British Sergeant Wreck
Just off the East Coast of Sri Lanka lies a British shipwreck known as British Sergeant. This was a Merchant Navy vessel built in 1922. After a Japanese bomb attack sank a number of British Allied vessels, the British Sergeant was missing and was feared amongst them. It was, in fact, only fairly recently that the vessel was discovered lying 24m underwater of Sri Lanka’s East coast. This is a small vessel, by comparison to modern ones. But it’s still a big site for divers to enjoy and you can get inside too. This is one you’ll want to take your camera for. You’ll find the wreck has been inhabited by large shoals of blue snapper fish.
The Gorgonian Garden dive site lies just off the coast of Colombo and is out of this world. One of my personal all time favourite dive sites, the Gorgonian Gardens offer up a spectacular host of sea fans. At around 35m in depth, the colours make this site extra special.
One thing to note about this site though, it lies on a reef known for its exposed position and winds. Strong currents affect the reef almost every single day. But nonetheless, it’s worth braving the currents for some incredibly photography opportunities.
HMS Hermes Aircraft Carrier
HMS Hermes was the very first purpose built aircraft carrier. Scuba divers will be well aware of the fact that there are very few aircraft carrier wrecks that are reachable so this one is pretty special for that reason alone. But its sheer size and fact it was the first vessel of its kinds adds another layer of magic.
Sunk by a Japanese bomb attack, it was only at the end of the more recent civil was that this wreck became truly accessible. At 53 metres, this is a great technical dive for those with some wreck experience.
Great Basses Reef
At just 15 metres in depth just off the coast of Kirinda, this is a really great recreational dive in Sri Lanka.
What you get at Basses Reef is reasonable visibility, beautiful scenery and an array of marine life that it’s worth taking your Go Pro for!
Another site just off the coast of Sri Lanka’s capital, Barracuda Reef lies at 23 metres. You won’t be surprised to hear that this place is teeming with Barracuda. But its array of marine life goes way beyond just that. Dive here and you will find yourself immersed in kilometres of reef boasting fusiliers, dwarf spotted groupers and rabbitfish and lion fish amongst others. This is a straightforward dive suitable for those with an Open Water qualification.
Scuba Diving in Sri Lanka – What You Should Know
The waters of Sri Lanka are incredibly warm. In winter, you can expect temperatures of some 25 degrees Celsius and in summer up to 30! If you’re diving here in winter, you will want to pack a 2 or 3 mm wetsuit. Those going scuba diving in Sri Lanka in winter will need a 5mm wetsuit.
In terms of the marine life you can find in Sri Lanka, perhaps the most impressive is the blue whale, which can be found in the waters of Sri Lanka typically between January and March.
Sperm whales and sea turtles are also amongst the vast array of marine life you could encounter when scuba diving in Sri Lanka.