One of the most coral-rich regions in the world, Maldives is home to an enormous wealth of marine biodiversity.
From the Sanskrit word, “Maldive”, which means “realm of the thousand islands”, Maldives is located about eight hundred kilometres to the southwest of Sri Lanka. These islands stretch in a narrow line of atolls with more than one thousand islands, subdivided among nineteen atolls that form this country; only two hundred of these islands, however are inhabited. One of the most coral-rich regions in the world, Maldives is home to an enormous wealth of marine biodiversity.
Diving in the Maldives is organized in the most exemplary of fashions. Taking a diving cruise is certainly the best way to experience the allure of this marvelous archipelago, since it allows one to explore the most unspoiled of seabeds, which cannot be reached from the tourist villages. Maldives being a well-developed destination, has a range of great boats that are at least twenty metres in length, with well-ventilated cabins, private bathrooms and plenty of living room. These boats, usually known as liveaboards, are accompanied by a diving boat, known as a Dhoni, which is equipped with compressor, tanks, and weights, which means the separation of living and leisure space from diving space completely, delivering the safest and most comfortable way to scuba dive. There are three categories of diving, dives done inside an atoll, outside an atoll, and inside the channels.
What Our Trip Leader Have to Say:
The marine life in Maldives will leave you in awe. With 100% sightings of reef sharks, giant trevallies and tuna, you will find yourself having too many things to focus on during every dive. Oh, did I mention, our group managed to snorkel right beside a baby Whale Shark too! That was one of the highlight of my trip; getting the chance to swim alongside the gentle giant. The Guitar Shark was just as amazing!
Another MUST-GO dive would be the Manta Night Dive. It’s an optional night dive which is chargeable only if you see the manta during the dive. We descended to about 10 metres and that's where the “Manta Movie” started. All we did was kneel at the sandy bottom with our torches, the mantas came shortly and danced around us, occasionally even bumping into us!
- Mitch Chong, OWSI
Dive Sites At a Glance:
On the list of almost every diver, the Maldives offers the closest to a submerged utopia as you can get. Visibility ranges from 15m – 50m (pretty much as far as the eye can see) & the water temperature is a mild 26 degree celsius – 29 degree celsius.
Ari Atoll: Dive sites here boast a dominance of Pelagics & Schooling Fish – Whale Sharks, Mantas, Hammerheads, Eagle Rays, Grey Reef & White Tip Sharks, Napoleon Wrasse & Cyclones of Blacktail Barracuda & Batfish are common sights while diving in this area.
At the Donkalo dive site here, a Manta cleaning station offers the opportunity to witness Pilot Fish grooming their large counterparts.
Vaayu Atoll: Deep channels & fast currents ideal for Sharks & their choice of menu – Tuna! Trevallies, Unicornfish, Snappers, Triggerfish, Eagle Rays, Manta Rays & Groupers also live in & around this Southern atoll. Arguably the best dive site, with its swim-throughs, overhangs & mysterious caves is Fotteyo Kandu, the crown jewel of Maldives.
North Male Atoll: Home to sites such as Banana Reef, the topography is amazing. Caves, steep drop-offs, out-of-this-world rock formations & sheer overhangs host Sharks, Mantas, Trevally, Black Snappers, Groupers, Schooling Bannerfish, Moray Eels, Squirrelfish, Soldierfish & native Maldivian Grubfish.