South Malé Atoll / Maldives

Batfish © Moosa Hassan
        South Male Atoll is 36km/22mi long and 19km/11mi wide. It consists of 30 islands, 10 of which are inhabited and 17 – resorts. A 4.5km/2mi wide channel separates atoll from Malé. Most of the southern diving safaris start here.
6 coral reefs at the east and 12 channels at the west are perfect for long drift dives. However, the currents can be rather strong. The peculiar features of this atoll are two long reefs on the East.
      There are many places that can drive the divers’ attention. Velassaru caves are located at the north of the atoll at 15-32m/49-104ft depth inside a vertical wall. Some of them have a sandy bottom with a huge amount of marine dwellers. Embudhoo kandu is a marine reserve at the northern-east of the atoll. Its south wall is an excellent spot for drift diving. Dhigu thila is a long shallow inside the channel that is a part of the reserve. Kandooma thila is one of the most exciting dive sites of this atoll, impetuous drift along the shallow surface will carry the divers to the cleaning point of reef sharks that can be observed in abundance nearby. Gudaidhoo corner is excellent for observing sea predators. Ranikan at the outer side of the south-western edge of the atoll has caves at 23m/75ft depth.
Location: the northern part of the Maldives
What to see: pelagic fish, napoleon fish, snappers, rays, various sharks (nurse, whitetip, hammerhead and reef sharks), turtles, mantas, groupers, various corals.
Depth: 5-40m/16-131ft
Currents: 1-3 knots
Visibility: 10-30m/32-98ft
Season for diving: All year long, but the most preferable period is from December to May.
The average temperature is 26-29C/78-84F


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