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Liveaboard Diving in North Male Atoll
What To Expect On A North Male Atoll Liveaboard
Liveaboard diving to North Male Atoll, Maldives offers a slightly quieter, better-preserved reef ecosystems than some of its southern counterparts . Dive cruises in the area are treated to a good representation of the Maldives' best underwater scenes - the sharks, mantas, and corals that first established the country as a SCUBA mecca. In North Male's capital city Thulusdhoo, there's also a burgeoning surfing community for those who want to ride the waves. Though North Male is accustomed to tourists, there are still local fishing villages and slow-paced island lifestyles to be found. A number of our Maldives liveaboards offer itineraries throughout the Maldives which may include North Male Atoll.
North Male Atoll Underwater
From your North Male liveaboard's dive dhoni, you should expect to take the plunge in a wide variety of reef ecosystems; North Male's underwater topography includes drop-offs, caves, coral gardens, an even some artificial reefs that have bloomed on shipwrecks in its shipping channel. In North Male, a couple reefs showcase pristine hard coral coverage, and mantas and sharks can be reliably seen in large numbers.
Dive Sites Of North Male Atoll
Below is a selection of some of the dive sites that your liveaboard may visit during the cruise itinerary;
Girifushi Thila (Rainbow Reef) is recognized as one of the top sites for Maldives dive tours. Itís an all-around beautiful dive, with swaying carpets of vibrant soft corals complementing the high-intensity fish activity surrounding the pinnacle. The shallowest point of Girifushi Thila is down at 12 meters, and the current is strong, given the thilaís location away from the shore of Himmafushi Island. There are plenty of cracks and overhangs to explore in the contour of the thila, some of which provide a welcome refuge from the current; try to find one to rest in as you watch the blue water for reef sharks, eagle rays, tuna, and schools of jacks.
Victory Wreck, a 100 meter long Singaporean cargo ship that sank in 1981 while carrying tourist goods to the Maldives. The chance to see an entire shipwreck in good visibility, at recreational diving depths, is a special treat. Thirty years of colonization by creatures of the sea have made the Victory into a vibrant artificial reef, with corals growing over its bow and a variety of big fish and macro-critters calling it home. When you dive there, look for ghost pipefish, large groupers, nudibranchs, and puffers, among many others. The current can be strong, so make sure to hold the descent/ascent line tightly at the beginning and end of your dive. North Male Atoll dive cruises will almost definitely visit this dive site.
Manta Point - In the world of Maldives liveaboard diving, this site is a must-do for any North Male itinerary. Its name speaks for itself- when you visit, itís very likely that youíll see more mantas than you can remember, waiting in line above a shallow coral reef where cleaner wrasses offer parasite-removal services. If you can remember to look away from the mantas, you may find reef sharks, eels, and critters in the slope below you. Napoleon wrasse even pass by, and the area is also frequented by turtles.
Banana Reef is one of the best-loved and first-discovered North Male Atoll dive sites, and thickets of pristine branching corals are only part of its appeal. Along the curve of this banana-shaped reef, giant groupers and morays can be found amongst soft corals and large sea fans. Farther along, your dive guide will usually take you to explore some memorable caverns and overhangs. Toward the eastern end of the site, a huge school of bannerfish hangs in the current, which is best viewed from a distance; itís referred to as the Washing Machine for a reason.
Top Tips For Divers
In the Maldives, a new Green Tax of 6 USD per person per night applies for every tourist in the country. The official language is Maldivian, also called Dhivehi.
Gear to bring includes your own mask, booties, fins, and dive computer. These are personalized pieces of equipment which we donít recommend renting. An ill-fitting mask or pair of fins can make diving virtually impossible, and a dive computer is your most-important piece of safety equipment.
Getting To North Male Atoll
Like anywhere in the Maldives, North Male Atoll is best dived by liveaboard so your dive dhoni can hop between dive sites with the least hassle, and your cruise can sail from North Male to other destinations. The length of liveaboard itineraries in North Male Atoll usually ranges from 7 to 10 nights, with a budget from a bit over 200 to 350 euros per night. North Male Atoll liveaboards often commit to a northern or southern loop to fit in a bit more of Ari and Baa (to the north), or Vaavu and Meemu (to the south).
Male is the main Maldives liveaboard departure location for North Male liveaboards, accessible by direct flights from Dubai, Singapore, and Colombo. Longer international flights from Europe, America, China, India, and Australia often connect through the regional airports mentioned above.
Diving North Male Atoll is possible all year round, but the northeast monsoon from December to May allows the calmest surface conditions and the least rain. The water temperature usually stays between 26 and 29 C, and visibility between 15 and 30 meters.
North Male Atoll Diving Reviews
- 9.5 Exceptional
- 23 Verified Reviews
Challenging currents but very good. Visibility of 30 meters or so.
Diving North Male Atoll in May on the Blue Force One
Mediocre coral reef condition, guide mentioned it's still recovering from 2016's El Nino event. Plenty of fish, sharks, Jacks, Trevally, Tuna and occasional rays. Water visibility ranged approx. 10-15m.
Diving North Male Atoll in February on the Emperor Leo
Not the best visibility but still worth diving with different experience with sharks and some current.
Diving North Male Atoll in February on the Scubaspa Yang
Tuna Factory dive site was a highlight for me here, so much to see!
Diving North Male Atoll in January on the Blue Force One
Lovely start to the week with some epic dives, including mantas
Diving North Male Atoll in September on the Blue Force One
Manta cleaning station, other than that a little boring under water. But beautiful islands above water.
Diving North Male Atoll in June on the Emperor Voyager
Maagiri reef was very nice and colourful with a good diversity of marine life. North Ari Atoll at Fish head was also remarkable in terms of fish life 🐠🐠🐠
Diving North Male Atoll in May on the Scubaspa Yang