MARINE PROTECTED AREA -Banana Reef, named after its shape when viewed from the air, was one of the first dive sites to be discovered in the Maldives. The best diving is at the north eastern end where there are big spectacular rocks, caves, deep gutters and precipitous overhangs. The scenery is amazing and around these big rocks predatory fish like barracuda, trevally and black snapper converge. Here also are large morays that entwine themselves in green coral trees. The caves have several species of grouper, some puffer fish and many smaller species of wrasse. Cleaner wrasse are common, often swimming well out from the reef and into schools of dark-banded fusilier. At the west end a semi-circular wall drops steeply to 25 meters. There is a big cave here between 10 and 15 meters with crimson soldierfish and shadow-fin soldierfish. Many swim upside down and all have big eyes to see in the dark. A little deeper is a small cave at 20 meters with morays and groupers inside. On the reef top is some very beautiful natural cover and on cliffs and ledges between three and 10 meters is colourful sponge and coral.

Location:                     Inside Kuda Kalhi                                

Highlights:                    Excellent coral growth and fish life / overhangs                   

Depth:                         3 – 30 meters

Experience:                  All level of Divers

Distance:                     45 minutes

 

BANANA REEF

Kuda Haa is a small thila with two main pinnacles, one that starts at 6m and the other one at 11 meters. On the reef top there are many diverse species of damselfish and parrotfish, and swimming around schools of basslet and blue striped snapper. Scorpionfish can be found on the top as well. At the end of the north side there is a cave at 25 - 30 meters deep that is full with black coral trees covered by oyster shells. Next to the cave there is a sandy bottom with lots of shrimp goby. These goby’s guard the hole while the shrimp makes it bigger making it a worth to see scene. Current can be strong and there are not many covered places to shelter

Location:                     Giraavaru Area                                  

Highlights:                    seafans / reef fish / pelagics / eagle rays                   

Depth:                         9 – 27 meters

Experience:                  All level of Divers

Distance:                     50 minutes

 

KUDA HAA

Manta Point has a wide reputation as one of the most consistent sites for attracting large numbers of big manta rays. In 15 meters depth on the south east corner of Lankanfinolhu reef are several large coral rocks which mark the point where mantas converge during the south-west monsoon season. Mantas have been photographed here as early as April and as late as November. These rocks are one giant cleaner station for the mantas. Cleaner wrasses can be observed swimming out to the hovering mantas to remove old skin and parasites. The mantas circle the rocks awaiting their turn to be cleaned and when they are finished they swim gracefully up and down the reef feeding on plankton in the shallow water. Sometimes mantas come so close you can almost touch them, however divers are asked not to chase or harass mantas as they are easily frightened and less inclined to return in the future. Do not hold the top of the coral rocks or the mantas may think the cleaning station is occupied. On a sandy section at 20 meters are a number of white tip reef sharks and near the southern tip of Lankanfinolhu reef is Lankan Caves. A long section of overhangs and caves between five and 15 meters where many parrotfish, surgeon, trevally and emperor fish can be seen.

Location:                     Outside Reef of Lankan Finolhu                                  

Highlights:                    Manta Rays / Napoleons / Turtles / schooling jacks, etc                   

Depth:                         5 – 30 meters

Experience:                  For all level Divers

Distance:                     One hour

 

LANKAN MANTA POINT

Nassimo Thila is located to the southeastern side of North Male Atoll and is a Marine Protected Area. Wedged between the islands of Furana and Lankanfinolhu in the Bodu Kalhi Channel, Nassimo Thila in Maldives has array of peaks off the reef to the northeast region. Various caves and overhangs are located to the east side of reef filled with soft corals and colorful aquatic species. With a top of the reef at 9 meters, the eastern side of the reef is subjected to mild tidal currents.
Nassimo Thila in Maldives has been rated as good dive spot with profuse coral formation, wide spectrum of colorful fishes and an average visibility of 20-30 meters. The overhangs are covered with superb delicate corals and sponges. Caves are lusciously decked up with sea fans and colorful corals.
Scuba diving is a perfect way to unfold the mystery of the realm of underwater. The reef resides big divers-friendly napoleon wrasse. Big eye trevallies, sharks and tunas are found commonly swimming in the reef. Watch the schooling of snappers and soldier fish. Nassimo Thila houses innumerable varieties of aquatic species in varying sizes, shapes and colors like gray reef sharks, white tip sharks, manta rays, fusiliers, jack fish, oriental sweetlips, squirrel fishes, fairy basslets, turtle, butterfly fish and scorpion fish.

Location:                     1.5km west of Lankan Finolhu                         

Highlights:                    Pelagics / soft corals / Napoleons / eagle rays / sea fans                 

Depth:                         10 – 30 meters

Experience:                  All level of Divers

Distance:                     One Hour

 

NASSIMO THILA

Entire Embudhu Channel is declared as a Marine Protected Area. South side of the channel is an exhilarating two km long drift known as Embudhu Express. Just around the corner close to Embudhu the experienced diver can expect a deep and short action-drift-dive. Descending directly at the edge of the reef we dive diagonal to the current into the middle of the channel where we hold on at the drop off at a depth of about 30m. As an exception to the rule the reef isn’t very beautiful there. But in front out in the blue-water we get a collection of big-fish playing with the current; impressive and thrilling in a way you are often not able to realize what really has happened till you’re back on the boat. What a diver dreams of his whole dive-life through can become reality down at the Embudhu Express: eagle-rays in formation (up to 20 and maybe more, huge stingrays, schools of jack fish and barracudas, big groupers and of course a countless number of sharks. To see all these sharks playing with the current is simply fantastic - watching them turn off and then come quite close again playfully swimming against the strong current whilst we hang on a coral block and try not to be swept off. After this overload of impressions we drift with the current into the channel following the Thilas and later surface in the blue-water.

Due to the depth, strong current, fast descent and surfacing in the blue-water this dive is only for experienced divers - Embudhu Express isn’t just one of our highlights here it is also one of the best dives in the world! Only dived under special current conditions NOT recommended for inexperienced divers

 

Location:                     First channel south of Embudhu Finolhu resort

Depth:                         4 to 36 meters

Highlights:                  Pelagics / Grey Reef sharks / Napoleons / Eagle    rays / Overhangs

Experience:                  Advanced Experience Divers

Distance:                     One hour

 

Embudhu Express

 

Embudhu Canyon

 

One of the most impressive underwater landscapes is the “Canyon” - an inlet at the reef giving home to countless animals. In former days a part of the reef broke off and built a huge block next to the outside reef. Swimming through the Canyon offers a view into the underwater variety here in the Maldives. A lot of small caves and overhangs to explore and a look up to the surface makes your diving heart laugh - the sunbeam is reflected at all the edges and corners and lightens the Canyon itself - don’t forget your u/w camera! This dive site also provides us with blue water animals: just after the Canyon at a coral block at about 30m depth sometimes grey-reef sharks are playing or big napoleons are crossing our way. A dive-site famous all over the Maldives, a highlight to remember.

 

Location:                     North side of Embudhu Finolhu                                  

Depth:                         3 – 30 meters

Highlights:                    Pelagics / Reef sharks/ Napoleons / eagle rays / excellent fish life

Experience:                  For all level Divers

Distance:                     One hour

 

KUDA GIRI WRECK

The Kuda Giri wreck is an interesting dive site in South Male in the Maldives, which includes both a small wreck and pinnacle. They create an artificial reef full of marine life. It is possible to penetrate the wreck in a few places, and the bow section is located quite shallow. There is hardly any current around here

Divers can dive in the warm waters of the Kuda Giri wreck are throughout the year, but the period from December to May has more favorable conditions. The southwest monsoon causes more rain and waves between June and November. The average water temperature is 26-29C/79-84F, while the average air temperature is about 28-30C/82-86F.

The Kuda Giri wreck features numerous small creatures among its colorful sponges, tube corals, and orange cup corals. Batfish, glassfish, gobies, shrimp, and triggerfish are common residents of this dive site. There is a good chance of spotting turtles, wrasses, eels, octopus and sometimes even a guitar shark.

Location:                     south west side of a small reef, west of Dhigufinolhu                         

Highlights:                    wreck with a small giri excellent fish life and overhangs                   

Depth:                         3 – 35 meters (wreck is at 20 – 35 meters in depth)

Experience:                  Advanced Divers

Distance:                     Full Day Trip

 

FURANA NORTH

The Kuda Giri wreck is an interesting dive site in South Male in the Maldives, which includes both a small wreck and pinnacle. They create an artificial reef full of marine life. It is possible to penetrate the wreck in a few places, and the bow section is located quite shallow. There is hardly any current around here

Divers can dive in the warm waters of the Kuda Giri wreck are throughout the year, but the period from December to May has more favorable conditions. The southwest monsoon causes more rain and waves between June and November. The average water temperature is 26-29C/79-84F, while the average air temperature is about 28-30C/82-86F.

The Kuda Giri wreck features numerous small creatures among its colorful sponges, tube corals, and orange cup corals. Batfish, glassfish, gobies, shrimp, and triggerfish are common residents of this dive site. There is a good chance of spotting turtles, wrasses, eels, octopus and sometimes even a guitar shark.

Location:                     south west side of a small reef, west of Dhigufinolhu                         

Highlights:                    wreck with a small giri excellent fish life and overhangs                   

Depth:                         3 – 35 meters (wreck is at 20 – 35 meters in depth)

Experience:                  Advanced Divers

Distance:                     Full Day Trip

 

OKOBE THILA

Okobe Thila features an abundance of edges, overhangs and caves with brilliant soft corals. Green tree coral and even black coral can be found. This site consists of three main pinnacle sections ranging from 10 metres/30 feet to 50 metres/165 feet in length. Because there is always some current, you normally spiral up and around. Fish life include many scorpion fish, large Moray eels, Napoleon wrasse and schools of barracuda. Occasional bat fish can be spotted as well as white tip reef sharks, tuna and banner fish in addition to the healthy coral. A favourite amongst photographers.

Location:                     South East of Thulhaagiri                                

Highlights:                    Pelagics / Grey Reef sharks / Napoleons / eagle rays           

Depth:                         10 – 30 meters

Experience:                  Advanced Divers

Distance:                     One Hour 10 minutes

© 2017 by Moodhu Bulhaa.

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