You'll have heard of the Maldives as a dreamy vacation spot for fairytale weddings and honeymooners. However has the archipelago of 26 coral-encrusted islands (or atolls) within the Indian Ocean acquired something to supply freedivers?
For those who’re a newbie freediver with out a lot prior reef diving expertise, beware – island hopping within the Maldives will spoil most future freediving explorations.
Coral reefs are the inspiration of the islands, which can be small, however have so much to supply. Beneath probably the most clear shallow waters, consider an explosion of color, the place hundreds of species of tropical fish, manta rays, hammerheads, and whale sharks reside year-round.
Don’t fear, visibility is as much as 20 metres in most locations, which means you gained’t miss a factor!
Need our recommendation? Overlook the over-crowded capital Male and head for these dive websites as an alternative…
Greatest for reef diving
If diving straight off a sun-drenched seashore is your concept of heaven. Fashionable dive websites for freediving embrace the submerged reefs of Ukulhas, home reefs of Rasdhoo, and the almost vertical dropoff at Mahibadhoo.
Prepare for lovely desk corals that stretch far and extensive like touchdown pads for plankton attracting hungry tropical fish, in addition to an array of oddly formed fauna, and faculties of fish frolicking over hanging coral buildings in a set of eye-popping colors.
So far as marine life goes, you gained’t consider the abundance of octopus and eels together with majestic mantas and turtles swimming idly by on virtually all of your dives.
As freediving champion and PADI freediving teacher Mari Kagaya, tells Destinations of the World News,
“Mantas, the most important of the rays, are plentiful within the Maldives and glide by way of the water like birds. I used to be struck how mild and sleek they're once I first noticed them. Having an opportunity to satisfy them whereas within the Maldives is a not-to-miss alternative.”
Close to Rasdhoo, there’s additionally an island the place it’s attainable to dive with hammerhead sharks. However that is reserved for freedivers able to reaching ~30 metres with relative ease to catch a glimpse of them of their pure habitat.
Kagaya tells DeeperBlue, “The Maldives offers the top in freediving journey. Escaping the trimmings of scuba gear, our encounters with sea life are sleek, pure, and deeply private. Freedivers uncover their hidden depths, not solely of their physique but in addition the thoughts.”
Go on – go to the vacation spot that, as of 2019, holds the Guinness World Record (GWR) for the very best variety of freedivers underwater concurrently at one location. Some 523 divers (together with Maldivian President on the time, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih) took the mass plunge, branded as Neyvaa (“breath” within the native Divehi language), on 1 October for “World Tourism Day”.
One factor’s for positive, a freediving vacation to the Maldives might be unforgettable. For PADI freediving centres and resorts, go here.