Top 10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Maldives
Finally thinking about seriously diving the Maldives? Great! Below is a list of our top 10 things that you probably did not know about the Maldives. If you are among the lucky ones out there who have already made a trip to this fantastic destination, some of these may sound familiar to you, whilst others might just tempt you to go back (you’ve been warned)!
1. The Maldives is made up of around 1,190 islands.
It might sound pretty wild, but what is even more amazing is that every single luxury resort situated there is actually on its own unique island!
2. Visibility is AMAZING!!
Scuba diving in the Maldives is well known for its crystal clear water with amazing visibility. Due to the coral reefs and phytoplankton in the water, as well as its temperature (up to 29°C/84°F), visibility in the Maldives is incredible. Expect a range of about 40 meters on average, with spikes of up to 60 meters around November. It’s among the clearest waters in the world, and is understandably what attracts most of the tourists. Who wouldn’t love to see the view of the sea bed clearly even from the surface? It is truly a diver’s paradise.
The warm, clear, calm waters of the Maldives offer a fantastic opportunity to observe wrecks. Coral reefs grow over the hulls of wrecked ships, creating a magical home for local marine flora and fauna. Take the Fesdu Wreck, which was originally a 30 meter steel fishing boat. The wreck is located in a spot where tidal currents run through a couple of times a day, causing it to be fully covered with hard and soft corals. On the side of the wreck, longnose hawkfish hide in the black bushes of coral.
On the small hammer-shaped reef next to the wreck you can spot frogfish. If you’re lucky, mantas might be using it as a cleaning station. The lagoon next to the Fesdu wreck is a safe anchoring place for safari boats. Their lights attract plankton which in turn attracts mantas, so there is always a chance you can do a night dive with feeding mantas. This alone is reason enough to drop whatever it is you’re doing and book a trip right away.
4. The Maldives is the world’s lowest country
That’s right scuba fans, this well known dive hot spot is soon going to be underwater, so don’t wait around! The Maldives has a height of 1.5 meters above sea level for most of the islands, with the highest point only being around 2.4 meters high (or 7ft 10 inches if you prefer imperial).
5. Coral Atolls
Atolls are essentially giant rings of coral that developed around the shorelines of islands. Only found in the (sub)tropics, their giant natural structures grow slowly over time, offering a home to an insanely diverse range of ocean life. The Maldives are home to arguably the best 26 atolls in the world, spread out over an area of over 90,000 square kilometers.
6. Maldives is one of the richest places in the world to dive with marine life.
In the Maldives you get so much more! The Maldives boasts some of the most sought after marine species, from the gentle giant whale shark to hundreds of manta rays (between June and November). Add to that calm, clear lagoons to learn some new skills in and some of the most luxurious private islands to spend your surface intervals on and you’re left with an ideal dive experience. Even better, for an intergalactic experience, paddle in the shore after dark and see the waves shimmer as bioluminescent plankton light up like stars in the night sky.
7. You can visit neighboring countries like India and Sri Lanka.
The waters of Sri Lanka are home to an incredible range of marine creatures, from massive blue whales all the way through to tiny nudibranch. Sri Lanka has an abundance of great sites to discover, including great wrecks which are scattered off the coast. Local divers are still discovering new wrecks as they explore the waters of this island nation. Many of the wrecks are covered in marine life, soft corals, macro critters and large aggregations of schooling fish.
Above the surface, Sri Lanka also boasts wildlife reserves, which protect native species such as leopards, porcupines and anteaters. It is also famous for its unique foods and amazing teas, which should be sampled as part of any dive trip if you, like us, can’t say no to a good brew!. Where you dive in Sri Lanka depends on when you plan to visit, because the monsoon seasons vary from one end of the island to the other. October to May is the high season for diving the west and south-west coast, and May to October is the best time to dive the northeast coast. With incredible diving, friendly locals, amazing food and top side treasures, Sri Lanka truly offers it all.
8. The Maldives has great weather all year around
From November until April, a higher number of manta rays can be spotted on the western side of the atolls and from May to October they are on the east, due to higher plankton concentrations. Tropical humid temperatures of around 22-33 degrees centigrade occur year around, and although the monsoon brings significant rainfall, the two monsoon seasons mean that there is always a good place with great weather to go diving.
9. Bargain deals after April!
The monsoon brings significant rainfall between April and October, especially around April – July. Make your travel plans after April with particular focus on June and October to get the best deals with most travel agencies.
10. Maldives offer knowledgeable guides
With dive sites such as Maaya Thila, there is very little reason to be nervous about diving the Maldives as a beginner. The area offers some of the most knowledgeable dive guides who rely on ancestral knowledge to take you to wherever you want to go.
To conclude, the Maldives offer diving for all experience levels and with such a plethora of dive sites to choose from, and incredible pelagic wildlife there is never a better time to go! But hurry, the islands are slowly sinking into the water and it is estimated that by 2045 the Maldives will be completely submerged! So what are you waiting for!