Maldives has been said to be one of the top dive destinations in the world, but do you really know why there’s so much hype about it? Here’s a little insight on why it is so fantastically awesome!
Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean consisting of mainly water, with only 1% of the country being land-based. The land is spread over 1,192 islets, each of which forms a double chain of twenty-six atolls. What is an atoll you ask? Atolls are ring-shaped coral reefs including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. They are only found in warm tropical and subtropical waters. These atolls create perfect habitats for many marine species, which is partly why Maldives is so popular for diving.
Maldives offers different types of dives but all the dives can be categorised by medium to strong currents, making Maldives a destination that allows for beginner divers as well as advanced and experienced ones. The areas that you can dive at are split into 3 categories which are, kandu, thila and lagoon. These are Maldivian terms.
A kandu, which is known as a channel or pass in English, are the diving spots around the border of the atoll. It is at these places that water flows in and out of the atoll during tide changes. Kandus are the perfect place to do drift dives and where you can see big pelagic fish like sharks, tunas and mantas. This also means these sites are more suitable for advanced divers as the currents are strong and the diver needs good buoyancy control to thoroughly enjoy the dive.
A thila is an underwater island which can be small enough dive all the way around or so big that you will only be able to see one side of it when diving. The thilas that are within a kandu are usually the diving spots with the strongest current but also the ones that have the most interesting sea life.
Lagoons are your bay areas which are mostly sandy bottoms and protected from the currents making it the ideal spot for conducting courses, or for beginner divers. The marine life may not be as exciting in these areas, but you will enjoy the amazing viz. You will mostly find shallow reefs and lots of colourful tropical reef fish in these areas.
The visibilty in Maldives is awesome throughout the year, with water clear enough to see passing fish as far as fifty metres away at times. In addition to that, Maldives is home to a marvellous formation of over 3000 coral reefs and the free flowing tides of the monsoons. The result of these perfect conditions have created one of the world’s richest diving coral reef areas.
Over a thousand species of fish and other underwater creatures inhabit Maldivian waters. The monsoon tides of the Indian Ocean create a collection of small marine creatures as well as microscopic plant cells. This in turn creates a hub for all kinds of underwater species who gather in these waters lured by the abundance of food. In Maldives you will get to see almost everything. From admiring the diverse soft and hard corals to macro diving to medium size to predatorial fishes as well super large marine life.
Maldives is like an underwater city at its best, the ocean around Maldives has about 70 different species of colourful coral reefs. More than 700 species of fishes and other aqua marine life form the populace here. Mantas, leaf fish, nudibranchs, clown triggerfish, saddled puffer fish and graceful grey reef sharks greet you as you descend down the waters to the depth of the ocean. For those chasing big game, Maldives offers whale sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, hammerheads and many other marine creatures.
Beautiful coral reef, diverse marine life, dive sites suitable for beginners and the experienced and of course sunny white sandy beaches with palm trees, what more can you ask for from a dive destination?
Enjoy this short clip of a typical dive trip in Maldives (: Check out our upcoming Maldives trip in April/May here.