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Liveaboard Diving in Rasdhoo Atoll
What To Expect On A Rasdhoo Atoll Liveaboard
A liveaboard cruise to Rasdhoo Atoll is the highlight of many divers' Maldives dive trip. To see why, you'll probably have to board your dive dhoni at dawn and speed toward the atoll's outer edge. What deserves this early morning wake-up? Schooling scalloped hammerhead sharks. However, Rasdhoo Atoll actually offers a great deal more than just hammerheads (as if they werenít enough). Whilst only a small atoll just northeast of Ari Atoll in the Central Atolls, Rasdhoo's small area is graced with a bounty of world-class dive sites, frequented by heavy-hitters like reef sharks, mantas, and big pelagic fish.
Rasdhoo Atoll Underwater
The topography at Rasdhoo consists of walls, thilas, and kandus. Some dives contain interesting combinations of the above, such as channels with the wall of an island on one side, a sandy bottom in the middle, and thilas on the other side, beyond which lies the deep-water drop-off. Rasdhoo's marine life ticks all the boxes, even for seasoned Maldives divers, offering manta rays, eagle rays, and big stingrays, whitetip, blacktip, and grey reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse, schools of pelagic hunters, and big reef fish. Overhangs and caverns (and currents) make the dives challenging and engaging. The area is not known for colorful corals, though a couple sites do have notable patches of healthy coral cover.
Dive Sites Of Rasdhoo Atoll
Hammerhead Point is a given on Central Atolls liveaboard dive tours. Here, on the outside corner of Madivaru Island, the blue water holds an unparalleled sight, but divers must be prepared to wake up before dawn to catch it. As around 6 AM, schools of scalloped hammerheads rise from the deep, and if youíre just a bit lucky and wait quietly in the right place, you stand a good chance of seeing them glide past you. The ridge at Hammerhead Point can be explored for interesting reef life, but remember to keep one eye on the blue, since tuna and other impressive pelagics may join the hammerheads for a visit.
Manta Block in North Channel gives divers a very good chance to observe manta rays hanging out at a shallow cleaning station (about 13 meters down). Other areas of North Channel are also frequented by mantas, as well as by schools of jacks, Napoleon wrasse, sharks, and a variety of reef fish.
Rasdhoo Channel is an underwater crossing from one island to another; hopping from thila to thila, divers often find sharks, pelagic rays, and big fish.
Madivaru is a crescent-shaped reef off Madivaru Island that offers good hard coral, along with the incredible fish life common to Rasdhoo.
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 Rasdhoo Atoll
Rasdhoo Atoll is best dived by Maldives liveaboard, so it can be combined with other world-class dive sites in the Central Atolls and beyond. The length of liveaboard cruises visiting Rasdhoo usually ranges from 7 to 11 nights, with a budget from a bit under 200 to 400 euros per night. Liveaboards often spend at least one morning in Rasdhoo on itineraries including Ari, Male, Vaavu, and sometimes the Northern or Deep South Atolls as well.
Male is the main liveaboard departure location for Rasdhoo Atoll 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 Rasdhoo 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. Manta-lovers should note that the manta season runs from November through April.
Rasdhoo Atoll Diving Reviews
- 9.2 Superb
- 33 Verified Reviews
It was fantastic to see a manta, whitetip sharks, a napoleonfish.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in September on the Emperor Serenity
excellent visibility, good water temperature, sighting of whale shark and nurse sharks
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in December on the Emperor Voyager
Rasdhoo was the northern point for our dives. We encountered some rain but the diving was still exceptional.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in June on the Emperor Leo
Saw sting rays and white tip sharks. Saw a really big silver tip shark. This was also a negative entry current but it surprised us how little current we ran into because our dive instructor was very knowledgeable on how to keep us in the protected area so we didn’t exhaust ourselves fighting against.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in January on the Maldives Aggressor II
Channel dives were nice. Drifting through channels good. Reef at last dive was very pretty.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in January on the Emperor Serenity
Best of the bunch, some living coral and lots of shoaling fish.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in June on the Emperor Voyager
If you love diving, this is where you want to Dive.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in November on the Emperor Orion
Excellent again... also amongst favourite dives.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in November on the Carpe Novo Liveaboard
Nice landscape. Enjoyed the mantas. No chance to see any hammer head shark.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in April on the Orion
Rasdhoo Madiraru ×2 Many fishes. Bautiful sight.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in August on the Emperor Voyager
We did not dive the Rasdhoo Atoll. We instead did the Vaavu Atoll. Here we found some of the most beautiful soft corals on the planet. Every color imaginable. Visibility was also amazing here.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in April on the Emperor Serenity
A great dive area with close encounters with silver tip and grey reef sharks.
Diving Rasdhoo Atoll in February on the Emperor Voyager