Whale & Dolphin Snorkel & Photography
March 2023 & 2024
The Maldives is rightly famous for its huge expanses of coral reefs, manta rays and sharks - something scuba divers and snorkelers alike can experience. However, in 2015 & 2016, sea temperature rises led to widespread bleaching of coral reefs in the Maldives, as well as many other parts of the world. Since then, we have put a lot of time into studying Reef Check surveys and first-hand accounts of the health of reefs throughout this vast archipelago.
Our portfolio of Maldives Island Based Holidays focuses on locations where house reefs and surrounding coral areas are healthiest, especially those close to Hope Spots. Coral Reef Hope Spots are areas where at the height of damage, there was less than 45% incidence of coral bleaching and more than 25% live coral cover.
Scuba diving by liveaboard is another way to find the healthiest of the Maldives coral reefs - especially on our liveaboard itineraries to the Deep South. Corals have, on average, fared best in the south of the island chain.
We can scuba with sharks on all of our diving itineraries - especially amongst coral pinnacles locally known as thilas; and in the channels where currents move water between the open ocean and atoll lagoons. Our In Search of Sharks Dive Liveaboards specifically target these kind of locations; whilst our Deep South Dive Liveaboards, heading to Fuvahmulah and Addu Atolls, can often encounter reef sharks, with possibilities too for tiger sharks, hammerheads, leopard sharks and even thresher sharks. Addu is the most southerly atoll in the Maldives and is known as one of the few places where manta rays can usually be found year-round.
Manta Rays are another feature found throughout the Maldives, but we can target locations where seasonally they feed, or aggregate at 'cleaning stations'. Cleaning stations are places where manta rays call upon the services of certain species of wrasse and other fish, who make their living by eating parasites that manta rays can't otherwise remove. For advice on where to go and when to see manta rays, whether for scuba diving or snorkelling, get in touch with one of AQUA-FIRMA's marine scientists and professional divers.
Blue Whales + Best of Above & Below Water Travel
For some terra firma, consider combining the Maldives with one of private wildlife, cultural, birdwatching or adventure safaris in Sri Lanka. Each March, you can also combine the Maldives with our Blue Whale Snorkelling & Photography experiences in Sri Lanka.