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MALDIVES DIVING

The best Dive holidays!The best Dive holidays!The best Dive holidays!The best Dive holidays!The best Dive holidays!
maldives

DIVING HOLIDAYS IN THE MALDIVES

The Maldives' 26 atolls stretch north to south for hundreds of miles creating a broken barrier to the Indian Ocean's prevailing currents. It's the flow of these currents and local tides through & around the atolls and islands, and the rich planktonic soup they carry, that gives diving in the Maldives its unique flavour. The Maldivian atolls are divided into 21 administrative regions named in order, north to south, by the letters of the Maldivian alphabet. We use a mix of official, 'popular' and traditional names for five broad geographical regions.

Planet suggested tour itineraries in MALDIVES

DIVING THE MALDIVES

The huge variety and abundance of fish life make a holiday diving the Maldives so exciting. Some species are common throughout the Maldives while pelagics, like mantas and whale sharks, move with the season. The Maldives has diving for everyone. Larger channels (Kandus) and mid-channel coral pinnacles (Thilas & Giris) offer the opportunity of exhilarating drift dives with manta cleaning stations adding to the excitement. Complex formations of inner reefs, lagoons and the atolls' outer walls offer diving at a more leisurely pace.

The Maldives are blessed with an incredible variety of marine species throughout the year, but the country is probably most famous for its whale sharks and manta rays - which can very often be seen feeding on plankton blooms and at the cleaning stations.

But, thankfully mantas aren’t the only rays found in the Maldives. Whilst on a dive, you may be closer than you think to eagle rays, devil rays, blue spotted rays even the enormous black spotted rays – so keep an eye out into the blue, as you never know what wonderful creatures may be swimming close by.

For the shark loving divers out there, the Maldives has a fantastic array of species that make for the most incredible of diving experiences. Amongst many other types to be seen roaming Maldive waters, there is a great range of black tip, white tip, leopard shark, and hammerheads – all of which can be viewed up close and personal in their natural habitat.

But it's not just the sharks and rays of the Maldives blue that draw in the diving crowds, as more than 2,000 species of fish have been identified in the waters, with approximately 300 reef fish. Some of the more famous and sought-after fish sightings to be found in the Maldives are of course the varieties of tuna fish, which make great viewing as they hunt smaller prey in large schools.

From the macro critters going about their daily business to the ranging variety of eels to have inhabited the great walls - the visuals of everything going on underwater are a magnificent sight and of course the friendly Napoleon & Maori Wrasse that shadow your every move!

Another firm favourite amongst voyaging divers are the characterful turtles, as the age old creatures are a mascot of your safety stops – lazily lounging around in the sun with just the occasional dip for a munch on the coral!

All in all, the spectacular range of marine life on offer in all corners of the Maldives nigh on guarantee an unforgettable time each time you delve into the waters, as the vast quantities of life and in such great variety ensures every one of your dives is as unforgettably unique as the last. 

 

Follow the link for liveaboard diving in Maldives.

DIVING SEASONS IN THE MALDIVES

The following is written in broad terms as forecasting seasonality in the Maldives is not an exact science. Throughout the Maldives there are, broadly speaking, two seasons: 

Iruvaa: December-April is the North Eastern monsoon when the winds are Northerly, North Eastern or Easterlies, and bring generally dry weather. Average air temperature 25˚C to 30˚C
Hulhagu: April-December, the winds come from the opposite side of the compass carrying with them moister air. Brief storms pass across the Maldives chain and the rest of the day is usually dry, sunny, and hot. 
Seasonal Equinox: Late May or early June and then late October early November are the equinox months marking the transition of the monsoons. With the change in season comes a reversal in currents, which dictates the location of the filter feeding Mantas and Whale sharks, and so influences the choice of dive site at any particular time of year. Average Visibility can vary between 15 to 40m, by their nature the many of the great sites have reduced viz due to waters flowing out of the atolls' interior. During these equinox months currents and surface conditions are changeable and less predictable.
 
The moon phases also affect the type of diving you might expect. New and Full moons, particularly in January and February create strong flowing water, a drift diver's dream. These periods are also times of frenetic activity both on the reef and amongst pelagic species. A few days either side of the new moon is the best time for Manta sightings, especially in Hanifaru (see below); the next best is either side for the full moon.
 
Hanifaru Bay: Between August and October sees the seasonal congregation of Pelagics in Baa Atoll. This is without doubt one of the top places in the world to see mantas and whale sharks. It is the only place on the planet where you can swim with up to 200 manta rays and 20 whale sharks when the plankton-blooms are at their fullest and trapped in Hanifaru Bay, it attracts a great range of life from every corner of the surrounding ocean. This area is now a protected zone and diving is prohibited, but snorkelling with the mantas is, thankfully, still allowed.

MALDIVES DIVE SITES

Diving in the Maldives is characterized by three main types of dive sites:

Maldives Channel Dives:  The currents that flow between atolls attract sharks, large schools of fish and manta rays. These dives can either be exhilarating drift dives, or you can hook into the reef at the mouth of the channel - which allows you to 'hang out' with the larger Pelagics in the current.

Maldives Thila Dives:  The local Dhivehi word for coral bommie is 'thila'. A thila is a large isolated reef, similar to the shape of a mushroom that rises from the ocean floor inside the atoll. Thila dives can be treated almost as round wall dives, starting at the sandy bottom before slowly corkscrewing around the thila until you reach the top for your safety stop. Thilas are microcosms that often contain a myriad of marine life living in various environments - from the sandy ocean floor and the holes of the thila's wall to the sunny pinnacle at the top of the reef.

Maldives Outer Reef Dives:  The outer reefs of the atolls are usually steep drop-offs with caves and overhangs, housing many types of fish seeking protection. Dives along the outer reef of the atolls give divers the opportunity to enjoy a drift dive along a wall - whilst keeping an eye out to the blue for Pelagics passing by, such as sharks, eagle rays, manta rays and whale sharks. The vastly experienced and knowledgeable dive guides will point out the swim-throughs that lead to the inner atolls, amongst many other priceless tips that will make all the difference on your Maldives liveaboard diving holiday.

Some of our favourite scuba diving sites, and recommended by customer reviews include: Lankanfinolhu, Finger Point, Kuda Giri, Maaya Thila, Fish Head, and Secret Manta Spot.

Special shark safaris, whale shark safaris, and manta safaris are available throughout the year on a range of different boats - with many new safaris to uncharted reefs becoming available for advanced divers later in the year.

TRAVEL HEALTH FOR THE MALDIVES

Advise changes from time to time however so we ask that you ask your travel health expert (e.g. GP, practice nurse or travel clinic) to provide you with the most up to date information and vaccines to ensure your travels are safe and enjoyable.

It is vital to ensure that all members of your party have adequate health and travel insurance cover, which includes cover for any ‘higher risk’ activities you are likely to take part in.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR MALDIVES

You will need to ensure you have correct documentation for your holiday including a full passport valid for the minimum period beyond your planned return date. You may also require a visa.

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