by Mohamed Rehan
The Maldives is home to some 25 different species of sharks and the most commonly found ones in the country include the Black-Tip, White-Tip and Grey Reef Sharks. In addition to these, many house reefs in local residential islands and tourist resorts are home to Hammerheads, Tiger Sharks and Leopard Sharks as well.
If you are visiting the Maldives on a holiday then one of the best recreational activities for you to indulge in would be to take a dive along the beautiful reefs filled with vibrant colors, jubilant underwater creatures and some sharks, of course.
But where will you spot them and how would you know what are the best locations for you to view these majestic creatures?
The Ayada Maldives is one guaranteed ‘hot spot’ of baby reef sharks found around the shallow waters of the tourist island’s lagoon. More often than not, you would find yourself swimming alongside them as they playfully whisk past you – and do not worry, they are absolutely harmless.
The southernmost atoll of the Maldives is one of the prime locations for you to catch a glimpse of the mighty and beautiful giant Whale Sharks. This area attracts these gentle giants due to being less affected by the monsoonal tides and currents.
Maaya Thila, South Ari Atoll
Situated in the South Ari Atoll of the Maldives, this diving spot is not just a great zone to observe White-Tip Reef Sharks and Nurse Sharks, but it is also considered among one of the best dive sites in the country. Frequent divers to this location are recommended to dip after sundown when the real action begins – when the sharks come out to swim in their full glory.
Sun Island, South Ari Atoll
The tourist resort, also situated in South Ari Atoll, is a major location that attracts Whale Sharks. The southern shore of Sun Island gives way to the Indian Ocean with a plateau of 15 to 30 feet – this makes the location a favorable spot for the spotted giants to cruise by.
Fish Head, North Ari Atoll
The Fish Head is locally known as the ‘Mushimasmingili Thila’ and is considered as one of the best shark dive sites in the Maldives. The pinnacle in this spot reaches down to 120 feet – approximately 35 meters – and includes a number of caves and overhangs. The area is abundant with Grey Reef Sharks and a single dive is enough for you to view them.
Miyaru Kandu, Felidhoo Atoll
The translation of this spot in English literally means “Shark Ocean” and this is your go-to location if you want to see hammerheads in action. The strong currents during the northeast monsoon or locally known as “Hulhangu Monsoon” changes the ocean dynamic as strong currents pull pelagic species into the channel – which in turn attracts the hammerheads.
Banana Reef, North Male’ Atoll
Arguably one of the best and pristine dive locations in the entire country; just a few clicks outside the guesthouse hub of Maafushi in North Male’ Atoll – the Banana Reef is home to several varieties of reef sharks as well as some turtles. This is one reef that has it all; from colorful corals to a wide range of sea creatures.
When in Maldives, one of the best experiences you can have is without a doubt a dive alongside the sharks. Divers take their experiences with them back home that in turn becomes some of their best told tales.
So, if you are one of the thrill seekers wishing to visit the island nation and observe one of nature’s most majestic creatures at its full glory – then do not miss your chance to visit one of these spots where a sighting is guaranteed.