The Maldives is full of giant creatures of the deep. From mantas to whalesharks and all variants of sharks, the Maldives has it all.
Types of Dives and What You Will Find:
Manta Cleaning Station: As the name suggests at these types of dive sites you will find manta rays between 3.5m and 6m wide cleaning over a large coral block filled with tiny cleaning wrasse. The mantas gracefully hover over the cleaning station, while the cleaning wrasse swim up and nibble away the unwanted parasites. The ballet can last for up to an hour with up to 20 mantas if one is lucky.
Where & When:
- January - April: Western Side of Ari Atoll with current flowing from the East, flowing out of the atoll.
- June - November: Eastern Side of North & South Male, Baa Atoll and Lhaviyani Atolls with the current flowing from the West out of the atoll.
- May & December: These are transition months when the wind and current are changing. This means that the Mantas are moving from one side of the atoll to the other. MV Orion will dive and hopefully encounter Mantas on both the West and Eastern sides of Ari and North Male Atoll in these months.
Thila/Giri: These are Dhivehi words for pinnacle, which can be described as submerged mountains rising up from the floor of the Atoll between 40m - 25m at the bottom up to between 15m and 1m at the top. If the top of the pinnacle is deeper than 4m it is called a Thila, if its shallower then it is known as a Giri. Due to their sharp incline, Thila's are hotspots for schooling pelagics coming up to hunt for reef-fish. When the currents are running, Thila dives are exhilarating with a concoction of dog-tooth tuna, jacks, eagle rays, grey reef sharks, trevally and thousands of red-tooth trigger fish, blue striped snappers, and fusiliers.
Where & When:
- Year round in Ari Atoll, North Male and South Male Atoll
- June - November: Baa Atoll
Kandu/Channel Dives: The Maldives is made up of 26 Atolls, all except 1 have channels which are breaks in the Atoll's outer reef to allow water to flow in and out. These channels are a hive of activity as they are where Pelagics come in from the ocean to hunt their pray on the reefs of the atolls. The main attractions on Channel dives are the Pelagics such as Eagle Rays, Dog Tooth Tuna, and schooling Grey Reef Sharks. Sometimes the lucky ones may encounter some rarer species such as Sailfish, Dorado, Great Hammerheads, Silky Sharks and Tiger Sharks. Great care should be taken on these dives and the dive guides shopuld be followed as currents can be strong and at times unpredictable.
Where & When:
- December - May: South Male Atoll, Vaavu Atoll, Meemu Atoll, Thaa Atoll, Laamu Atoll and Huvadhoo Atoll