All around Ellaidhoo
Ellaidhoo has one of the most beautiful house reefs in the Maldives. The south side is a steep wall with plenty of big overhangs full with sea fans, gorgonians and black corals. The north side is a slope. All kinds of reef fish, moray eels and crustaceans can be found along the reef as well as White tip reef sharks, Stingrays, Eagle Rays, Napoleon and big schools of Bannerfish, Snappers, Travellys and sharks.
As Ellaidhoo lies in a channel the current can sometimes be very strong, even to the point where it is not Diveable anymore. With a medium to strong current you have the possibility to hide in the big overhangs of the south site.
We have 7 different entry and exit points all around Ellaidhoo which are marked with ropes that lead you from the shallow lagoon to the edge of the reef. Underwater buoys will make sure that you do not miss the exit points during your dive. On the north side they are at the rooms 225, 334 and 319. On the south site you will find the gap to the out reef by the Dive-Centre and the rooms 207 and 308 and there is another point at the Waterbungalows at the west corner of the island, which however, is extremely shallow. Before you start planning your dive, go and check the current at the Jetty. Take a small amount of wet sand, and let it fall into the water. You can see in which direction the sand drifts but also how fast!. All along the wall at the south side are big overhangs to dive a maximum depth of 18 meters. If you wish to dive to the wreck which is situated in front of the jetty at 30 meters, watch out for the blue striped Snappers to help you locate it. The slope and wall of the north site has fewer overhangs but still is a very nice dive. With only a small current and if your air consumption is good, you can also dive the west and east corner. You will meet up with huge swarms of fishes and their hunters in the up-current of these corners. But also eagle-rays and sharks are frequent visitors.
We will bring your equipment to your chosen entry point and of course you will leave your tanks at your exit point.
10 minutes north behind Ellaidhoo in the channel
Big nice overhangs full with Gorgonian Fans and black Coral bushes, which give this dive some nice colours. The macro world is just amazing here. White tip reef sharks and Stingrays are crossing the top reef. You can find Nurse Sharks in either the overhangs or beneath one of the blocks on the top reef.
Sometimes the current can make it difficult. Just always remember to make a quick descent. Most of the time once you’re over the reef edge and along the side you can easily manage this dive.
The best way to explore all the overhangs and crevasses is with a small east current. We will drop you on the east edge of the Thila. Make your way down along the overhangs. You can explore the deeper ones first and then make your way up to the shallower caves. You will find a very nice ‘landscape’. Carry on your dive with the reef on your right shoulder, best at about 14 meters. Some more overhangs will appear as you go along. As you get to the end of your dive time explore the top reef. The corals are not so nice but you will be amazed with what you can find between the blocks. If you have to dive the Thila from the west side first, follow it with your left shoulder in mid depth, until the first Overhangs are appearing, and then make your way along them. You will also be finishing your dive on the edge of the top reef.
Ca. 15 minutes in western direction from Ellaidhoo.
Ellaidhoo Giri is a large, oval shaped Reef. Its very shallow reef top starts in depth of only 1 metre. Gentle slops and steep drop-offs form a very various landscape at the south side of Ellaidhoo Giri. In the centre of the reef we will find a sandy Bay that leads down to 25m. This Giri excites you with its many small animals, such as frogfishes, nudibranch, mantis shrimps, different kind of crabs and other small interesting creatures. This is a heaven for marco photographers. But also turtles, napoleon, sting rays, nurse- and white tip reef sharks can be seen here. During the crossing period of the mantas we have a good chance to meet up with these majestic rays at Ellaidhoo Giri.
This is a dive site for all experience levels. An easy dive due to the long formation of the reef even with a strong current. A shallow dive profile is possible too.
Depending on the current we will start our dive either on the west side with the reef left shoulder or the other way around. Take your time to search for the small critters but do not forget to have a look into the blue water too, where rays and whitetip reef sharks might cruise around. We drift with the current until we reach the Bay. If you want to photograph, you can then continue your dive in shallow water to use the perfect light conditions to make some good underwater shots.
Ca. 30 minutes in south direction from Ellaidhoo
Kuna Gaa is a very long reef with an outer reef at the east side and a wall at the south side that faces the channel. The east corner is nose shaped and slopes down to more than 30 m. Here we find the split point if the current runs IN and we have a good chance to see bigger fish, such as sharks, tunas and eagle rays as well as schooling fish. Right behind the corner at the south side we find a small bay with a nice overhang at 12 m. After the bay a wall drops down to the sandy bottom of the channel at levels from 22 to more than 30 m. All along this wall we find numerous small caves and overhangs that are nicely covered with corals and home for many reef fish and smallish creatures. Stingrays often rest at the sand bottom of the overhangs and turtles feed the leather corals. There are some single blocks at levels from 22 to 24 m that are worth a visit. The shallow reef top is only 4 to 5 m below the surface and good for a very long safety stop. You will find big coral blocks and many cleaning stations that attract all type of fish at the reef top.
Even with a very strong current this is an easy dive site. In this case, just jump into the water, drift with the current and enjoy the flight. A shallow dive profile is also possible.
If the current runs IN (from east) we will start our dive either at the outer reef or directly at the corner. We spend some time at the split point to wait for big fish. There is the likelihood to see sharks and eagle rays cruising around. We continue with the reef on the right shoulder until we reach the wall where we explore the numerous caves and overhangs. See what’s behind the glass fish, often a moray-eel or other interesting creatures will curiously glance at you. Nevertheless, do not forget to have a look into the blue water now and then. Big tunas, napoleon and white tip reef sharks can be seen there. If you like to dive a deeper profile, do not miss to visit the blocks at 22 to 24 m. If the current runs OUT we dive just the other way around.
About 15 minutes in south direction from Ellaidhoo
The east side of this long reef formation is the outer reef and the south is located in the channel. The reef top is shallow with only 5 to 8 m and has many big coral blocks with fascinating fish life. The east corner slopes down to terraces greater than 30 m and will impress you with nice overhangs. Big tunas and jack fish hunt the swarm of fusiliers, red tooth trigger fishes and snappers, but also sharks and eagle rays often be seen. The south side forms a steep slope with small caves and overhangs in depths between 12 and 20 m. There you will meet up with a lot of colourful reef fish, turtles, stingrays, moray eels, lobster and many small creatures like branches and crabs.
Maaga Corner is an easy dive for all levels, even with a strong current. We just drift along the long reef. A shallow dive profile is possible. Sometimes if the current is very strong from the east (IN running) there might be a backwash at the corner.
With an IN going current we start our dive at the outer reef close to the corner and spend a while at the split point. Have a look into the blue water and wait for the big stuff to pass by. After that we continue our dive right shoulder to discover the south side. Do not forget to explore the caves and overhangs that are home to many small creatures. Spend your safety stop at the shallow reef top and enjoy the rich fish life and the big coral blocks. If the current runs OUT, we start at the south side and end close to the east corner.
15 minutes south from Ellaidhoo, in the channel next to Maaga Island
One of the prettiest Reefs around this area. You will feel like you’re swimming in a big aquarium. Very nice coral formations, Sea fan, Gorgonians, Soft coral trees, Table corals and big black coral bushes are all along the Reef. Long, big overhangs give good shelter if we have current. On this dive spot you have everything. Lots of small inhabitants, schools of snappers, fusiliers, groups of sweet lips, yellow trumpet fish and of course you can also find some white tip reef sharks.
This dive site can be demanding if the current is strong.
With an east current, depending on how strong it is, we will drop you either in the blue, away from the Thila, so you have enough time to make your descent and reach the edge with no problem. With a little current we can start straight at the Thila. The reef should be on your left shoulder. There is a finger that stretches out into the channel. For experienced divers you can explore the deeper part and you might be lucky and find a Guitar shark. But bear in mind you have to swim back against the current to the main reef. Back at the Thila you will pass a saddle like area with lots of sea grass. Stop there and search for Ghost pipe fish. Carry on and you will reach the Aquarium like area. Lots and Lots of colours, all different kinds of corals and many species you can find here. Pass the canyon which stretches up to 5m depth and cross another open area until you will finally reach the big overhangs. The sunrays will be shining through the small gaps, very nice for photo or videoing. If after the overhangs you still have enough no decompression time and air left, you can follow the top reef which is at 14m. Schools of blue striped snappers and White tip reef sharks are balancing in the current. Take some time also to explore the shallow part of the top reef as it is really nice and colourful.
With a west current, you will start the dive on the finger at 14meters. Go along with the reef on your right shoulder. Explore first the two big overhangs until you get to the area with the canyon. Carry on and try to find the Grass ghost pipefish in the saddle. You can now go back around the nice coral block where there are many anemones and up the canyon so you can finish your dive on the top reef.
5 minutes south-west of Ellaidhoo by the Maaga Faru
A highlight for all macro lovers. The smaller the better, if you love to discover all the macro life on a reef than you should not miss this dive. Also it is a protected area so if we have current all around Ellaidhoo, here you will still be able to have a gentle dive. Swim throughs, overhangs and a nice wall makes this dive site even more interesting than it already is.
An easy dive for all levels.
We prefer to start this dive with the reef on our right shoulder, at the corner before it turns to the south side. Just in the beginning at 18 meters you will find a nice swim through which in the summer months, is full with glass fish. Don’t be scared, just put your hand out and you will see that they start to open the way for you. Along the wall we recommend a depth of about 15 meters. Very nice cleaning stations with lots of cleaner shrimps are waiting to pamper you with a manicure. You might have to wait if someone else is already booked in…..
When you get to the big bay, dive first around the coral block which is forming a small canyon. A big Grouper is normally hiding under the blocks and a large group of red snappers are cruising in the blue. Afterwards make your way up to the shallower part where very often we can find turtles searching for food. A school of black snappers together with some other reef fish are giving a nice finish for this dive.
If we start on the north corner, before you explore the big bay, you can swim out to the blue direction west. A pinnacle rises out from about 40 meters. The top is about 22meters. A big school of blue striped snappers, big Emperors and if the season is right also Mantas Rays are sharing this area. Unfortunately it is too deep to completely discover the whole area. Only swim out there if your air consumption is good and if the current is not taking you away from the main reef, because you have to come back.
35 minutes south of Ellaidhoo.
We call it fish soup!!!!! All kinds of Maldivian reef fish in big numbers can be seen. A few nice overhangs and some blocks with a nice coral growth, distributed in the sand.
An easy dive for the whole family.
We normally only dive the south side of the Giri. Either we start on the west side or if we have incoming current we will start our dive on the east side of the Giri. On the east side you will descend through a big school of banner fish mixed up with fusiliers, snappers and other reef fish. On the west side you will have first a few overhangs. As you go along the wall you will reach a place where hundreds of blue striped snappers are standing in the current. This is the place to spend some time exploring. Swim around all the coral blocks, look for stone fish, scorpion fish and much more. Back at the Giri wall you can finish your dive at 5 meters where for sure a turtle will say good bye to you.
25 minutes south of Ellaidhoo (channel entry)
A very long wall with lots of sea fans, gorgonians, and big overhangs. Take a torch so you are able to find all the Lobsters hiding in the deeper caves. Big schools of fusiliers, hump head snappers and turtles are giving this wall a nice touch. As it is a channel entry dive, larger fish can frequently been seen.
This dive is perfect when we have strong current. Just jump in to the water, get your buoyancy right and enjoy the drift. A dive for all levels.
Depending on the current, we either dive from west to east or east to west. In a stronger current you can find shelter in one of the big overhangs situated more towards the east part of the wall. The wall goes down to 30meters, where sometimes stingrays are sleeping or eating in the sand. At the top edge you can find all kinds of reef fish families and turtles.
Ca. 30 minutes south from Elaidhoo
Fushi Faru is a long reef formation with an outer reef at the east and inner reefs that are facing the channel. The top of the reef is shallow, only 2 to 4 m deep. Some of the big blocks reach the water surface during low tide. Depending on the current, we dive the east corner and the south side of this Faru. If the current runs IN, we normally meet at the east corner with some Napoleons and big swarms of batfishes that often like to guide you for a while. The south side forms a slope that leads down to the sandy channel bottom at 20 to 25 m. Small caves and overhangs are home to many small creatures, like different kind of shrimps, worms and nudibranch. This is a good place for macro photographers. Frequent visitors are also turtles and stingrays. However, the outer reef is not far away therefore do not forget to have a look into the blue water, where you might see big tunas, jacks and eagle rays.
This long Faru is an easy dive site even with a strong current. Just find your neutral buoyancy and enjoy the flight. A shallow dive profile is also possible.
With an IN current we will start our dive either at the east corner or close behind the corner with the right shoulder on the reefs and we continue along the south side. If the current runs OUT we will dive the place left shoulder on the reefs and we end the dive close to the east corner. Since the top of the reef is so shallow, you will spend your safety-stop watching fishes.
The Thila lies 30 minutes south of Ellaidhoo passing the island Dhoni Minghili or also known by the older name Mushimasmingili.
The fish life on this Thila is just amazing. A family of Napoleon will welcome you as soon as you’re descending through the big School of Fusiliers and blue striped snappers which are circled by giant Travellys and tunas. Pause a while and observe how the Travellys and the Tunas are gathering the fusiliers together until the right moment has come where they shoot in to this big ball of fish and try to catch one. An amazing spectacle to watch. In greater depths or if the current is stronger also shallow you can see Gray- White-and sometimes even the Oceanic White tip Sharks.
On the top reef or hidden in an overhang you can also find one of the 4 turtles who live around this reef. Moray eels, scorpion fish, lionfish and all their other reef friends make this reef very spectacular.
Strong current makes it sometimes difficult. But with a quick descent this dive is suitable for everybody. So give it a try.
With a west- or east current you will start your dive mostly on the south side of the Thila. Depending on the strength of the current, you can try to stay in the blue water just a few meters away from the Thila and enjoy all the fusiliers around you. You can either follow the reef on your right or left shoulder. It is a small Thila so you will probably, depending on how strong the current is, make your way once around it. If you dive the north-west first, (right shoulder) you will pass some nice, big overhangs which sometimes you can find a sleeping turtle inside. On the last overhang you should come up to about 15 meters where the open plateau starts. Hereby it is sometimes difficult to swim against the current, but well worth it, as you will reach a small canyon. In front you can find 3 red anemones. As you go through the canyon have a look under the overhang. This is a famous place for big groupers. In strong current, go to the edge of the top reef, and if you’re lucky there are some big fish in the blue water. If you decide to dive the other side (left shoulder) first, you will reach a sloping terraces where on the corner is a nice overhang with a big school of blue striped snappers. As you go around you will reach the canyon from the other side, but you must stay at no deeper then 18 meters otherwise you will miss it. After the canyon cross over the open plateau and dive in to the overhangs until you come back to the terrace. You will end up your dive by zigzagging over the top reef.
45 minutes by Dhoni in south direction from Ellaidhoo.
This is a big sized Thila and is not far away from the Faru, called Kubalady. The location is in a channel and it is part of 3 Miniatoll reefs with the character of an outside reef. Depending on the current it is possible to swim easily around the Thila. On the north side you can find a big overhang, which is partly cracked and lying on front of the Thila, creating a nice contrast. But also on the east and south side you can see a few overhangs. The Thila itself falls down more or less to 30 metres, where it will end on the sand. Also on the north and east side you can see several blocks surrounding the Thila. The reef top comes up to about 4metres. On the west side you can also dive a small Thila, which is in 18m of depth and connected to the main Thila. At the up-current sides you will see schools of fusiliers, red-tooth-trigger-fish, tuna, barracuda or jackfish. Also many groupers can bee seen over there, as well as sharks.
Because the Thila is located in a channel and close to the atoll edge, often you have to face some currents and waves as well.
We will start our dive in the up-current. Since this Thila is relatively big there are several possibilities to dive it. Depending on the current your guide will plan a most interesting route for you.
Ca. 65 minutes in south direction from Ellaidhoo, located in a channel close to the outer reef.
Atavaru Thila is a small, oval shaped thila. Its top reef is between 6 to 10 m deep and has a number of beautiful, bigger blocks that you have to explore. The west and south side forms a drop of, whilst the north and east side slopes down in single steps. These terraces offer some single blocks and overhangs in levels from 10 to ca. 23 m. You will find all type of reef fish at this thila. Have a look into the overhangs where moray eels and various creatures hide. Swarms of fusiliers, snappers and jack fishes stand in the current. Napoleons and white-tips protect their hunting area. But we will also meet up with a lot of small beauties, like mantis shrimps, cleaner shrimps, crabs and branches
With a strong current a more demanding dive site, since the place is small and we have to swim around the thila against the current. With a small or medium current Atavaru Thila matches all levels.
We will start our dive in the up-current, either at the east corner if the current runs IN or at the west corner with an OUT running current. Due to the small size of the thila one could round it at least once during the dive and it does not matter if you start right or left shoulder. We will have much time to explore the overhangs and blocks at the north/east side. We recommend you spend the last 10 to 15 minutes on the top reef, where we will search for scorpion fishes, octopus and baby-sharks that rest under the blocks.
1.20 hour south of Ellaidhoo, in the middle of the Channel behind the Local Island Hanghghaamedho.
This reef has one of the most interesting landscapes. Large Overhangs provide nice shelter in a current situation. In there you can find all kind of different reef inhabitants: Nudibranchs, Moray Eels, Lionfish, Groupers and many cleaning stations full with different shrimps. Around the whole Thila and the two coral blocks east of it, you can enjoy big numbers of reef fish. Hundreds of blue-pinkish small sea fans, which are very special for this region, are giving this Dive site a special touch. Not to forget this Thila is lying in the Channel so there is a big chance for Eagle Rays, Sharks, Tuna fish and if the Season is right, there may also be some Manta rays.
For all levels, even in stronger current there is always a way of diving this place.
With an east Current we will drop you either in the blue (if strong current) or just on the east side of the Thila so you can easily see the top reef. First you should explore the deeper two blocks. In little current you can easily forget the time and actually swim around this area for the whole dive. There is so much to see and the beauty of these two rocks is breath taking. Carry on with the reef on your right shoulder, (south side). Pass by the small overhangs until you reach the sloping Terrace. There you can come shallower over a very nice hard coral garden where a big school of Blue striped Snappers are performing figures along the reef edge. If you still have enough air and time, carry on to the west side and you will reach a big overhang. But if you’re not on Nitrox you may not have enough no decompression time left! To finish your dive take more than only 5 minutes for the top reef as it is very rich and there is a lot to see.
With a west Current you will start the dive on the west side of the Thila. You can choose to dive it with the reef on your right shoulder (north side) so you will have bigger Overhangs in the beginning, but also with the left shoulder, (south side) along the nice terrace in to the smaller overhangs. If you still have air and no decompression time left try to have a look around the two blocks east of the Thila, or just save the air and time to finish on the beautiful top reef.
50 min west of Ellaidhoo
A small Thila with an amazing rich underwater life. The highlights are definitely the blue, red and orange frogfish and it is not unusual to see them swimming across the reef top. So keep your video ready. But also the reef gives you plenty of other interesting things to discover. A large group of batfish are normally following you during the whole dive. Stone, scorpion, and lion fish together with all the common reef fish are making this a fantastic dive.
as it’s situated in the middle of the Ari atoll next to a big Faru, normally the Thila is quite protected. However if there is a current you will always have a sheltered side. So this is an easy dive for all levels.
You can dive the Thila as you like. For sure you will dive one time around it. At the east side you will find a coral block connected through a saddle with the main reef. Around this block you can find a lot of black cheek moray eels, but be careful where you put your hands as they are very aggressive and sometimes even bite you. You should finish your dive at the top reef on the Westside. You will find a big ‘PAVONAS CLAVUS’ or as we call it, a potato coral. Inside and around this coral block are several Stonefish hiding. Just take your time and for sure you can find them.
55 minutes west of Ellaidhoo close by the Tourist Island Fesdu
Nineteen years ago Fesdu Island sank the boat for diving purposes,
but there is much more than only a wreck to see. Close by is a beautiful Thila presenting the opportunity to make “2 dives in one”. Both the wreck and the Thila are covered with lots of sea fans, black corals, soft coral trees and anemones. Around the wreck in the sand, garden eels are dancing to the rhythm of the current.
For Open Water Divers the wreck is not really suitable as its starts only at 20 meters. However you can still have a good look over the whole wreck and than make your way over to the Thila which goes up to 7 meters.
We will tie a rope from our dive dhoni direct to the Wreck so even in strong current you will be able to make a slow descent down to 20 meters and you will find yourself on the top of the Fesdu wreck. Make your way around the wreck as you like. Don’t forget to check your no decompression time frequently as your average depth is 20 meters or deeper. When you have seen enough or when your computer is telling you to go to shallower depth, go to the bow and you will see on the west side the beginning of the Thila. If the current allows you to finish on the top reef, you will be surrounded with lots of anemones. On the south-west side of the Thila and the wreck, there is a big Faru which in strong current provides a wall to explore whilst finishing the dive.
50 minutes west of Ellaidhoo close to the Island Maayafushi.
Surely you must have heard about the richness of the underwater life at this famous Thila. The reef top is at 7 metres and all around drops down to about 40 metres. There are large overhangs with big black coral bushes where you can search for the Long Nose Hawk Fish and if you’re lucky you might even find a Ghost pipefish. If we have the right current you can find yourself in the middle of a big school of Fusiliers, Batfish, Big eye Soldier fish and of course some Gray and White tip Reef sharks. But also you can go and search for the yellow Leaf fish, and find most times two to three Octopi playing around on the top reef. Always have one eye in the blue and you might see the big giant Barracuda, or the little “one fin” Eagle ray.
A dive for all levels.
East- or west Current, we will drop you on either side. It is small enough to get one time around, so therefore you will have to swim against the current on one side. If you start on the southeast side and the current is not so strong try to stay up current, a little away from the reef and just wait and see what comes along. Follow the reef to your left side until a saddle crosses over to a very nice pinnacle. The top is about 18 metres and very rich with life, so try to swim around the deeper part and circle it up to the shallower part. Back at the main Thila you will reach a big overhang. Follow along the wall until you reach the overhang, which looks like a nose. Normally it is now time to explore the top reef, or to go out in the blue and watch for bigger creatures once more.
If you plan to go reef on your right shoulder, you will find by the Nose-Overhang a block at about 22meters. Big Black coral bushes surrounded by many blue striped Snappers and a school of batfish make the effort to go there well worth it. Back at the main Thila you follow the wall where you will pass by a few more overhangs until you will see the saddle that brings you to the pinnacle on the left side. But watch your no decompression time you might not have enough time left to explore it. Don’t worry just explore the top reef and you will be amazed how much you can find there.
55 minutes north of Ellaidhoo by the picnic island Madivaru
A big Thila which connects the out reef together with the island. On one side of the Thila it looks more like a wall, where white tip reef sharks, eagle rays, big tunas and all the other kinds of blue water fish can be seen. However the inner side of the Thila should also not been missed. Very nice coral formations surrounded by lots of reef fish in big schools. Sleeping white tip sharks and feeding eagle rays are often seen in the sandy bottom.
In general an easy dive.
An interesting reef formation gives this dive site the opportunity to dive it in many ways. With an east current we will drop you just at the edge where the corner from the out reef stops and the Thila starts. There is NO need to go straight down to 30 meters. We recommend you stay for the first few minutes along the top reef of the big main Thila. Have a look on both sides. The south side looks more like a wall, where you might see some bigger fish including sharks swimming up current. However the north side, which in this case will be the protected side from the current, is very rich as well. You can discover how much more this dive site is giving instead of just the big things. At the last Thila, you will find lots of leather corals growing over it. After you have dived around it go back to the main big Thila and head towards north-west so you will get to the outside of the Lagoon and end your dive at the house reef wall of the Island, direction west.
If you are at the south side of the Thila and the current is not too strong, you can cross into the Lagoon as well. Just stay fairly shallow, 10 to 13 meters and you will recognise a gap in the wall. Here there is always a big school of Snappers at the top of the Thila to help you recognise the place. You are now on the end of the big Thila just in front of the block with the many leather corals.
The large Thila (about 400m long) lies in a channel 50 minutes north of Ellaidhoo.
The Thila heads in a west – east direction. The top reef is as shallow as 3 to 5 m in den middle and 10 to 12 m in the west. The eastside is deeper an ends at a plateau in 18 m that bends to the south. At the east and southsite of the Thila you will find caves and overhangs at a level from 22 to 26 meter. Depending on the current, we will meet whitetip reefsharks as well as stingrays sleeping on the sand bottom in the up-current. Some Napoleons call this Thila their home and we have the chance to meet up with nurse sharks. With only a bit of good luck eagle-rays gliding through the blue water and if the current was stronger we have a good chance to see a swarm of barracudas. If the current allows us to dive the pinnacles at the west corner, which are at a level of 20 to 30m and about 70 to 100m away from the main reef, we have a good chance to see also grey reef sharks.
For all levels; the long Thila is easy to dive even with a strong currant. A shallow dive profil is possible too. To dive the west-corner-pinnacles is a bit more challening and recommended for the more experienced diver.
If the current runs IN we will start the dive at the east corner where we will spend some time to obeserve sting-rays and whitetip sharks that rest on the sandy bottom. Big swarms of fusiliers, jackfishes and tuna will hang around if the current was stronger. We continue our dive reef right schoulder until we reach a big overhang that is full with reef fish, sea-fans and sponges. Now follow the reef and pass by a single block at ca. 25m until we reach the next attraction. That is a wide chimney that starts in an overhang at 19m and has its opening at 11m. We often see napoleons and occasionally a nurs-shark in this area. There are several nishes and plenty of fish in the chimney. Please be aware that you will have to continue your dive in shallow water to avoid a JoJo-dive profil if you swim through the chimney. In this case it is worth wile to explore the shallow reef top. There are three big blocks that are home of nurse-sharks. Also scorpio-fishes, big morey-eels and other marine life can be found at the top of the reef. If you stay at deeper levels, follow the reef contour along the south side in direction to the west corner. You will pass by some overhangs at 20 to 14m. Finish your dive also at the shallow reef top. If the current runs OUT we will start either at the west-corner or at the pinnacles and we will continue left schoulder.
45 minutes north of Ellaidhoo, in the channel.
A dive not to be missed! A variety of fish like on no other dive site. This is why it was declared as national park in 1998.
Big tunas and jacks are hunting the big schools of Fusiliers. Grey reef and white tip reef sharks are usually seen swimming up and down the outer edge, past a school of Barracudas forming their circle in the blue. But not only the fish life is great, also the variety of corals in all different stages and forms are growing along the Thila. Big Stamp corals and amazing black coral bushes are giving a good shelter for all the smaller reef inhabitants.
As this dive site can be dived in many different ways, there is always a solution even in strong current. A quick descent is always a good way to start the dive. Once at the reef, you can easily find your way either to the sheltered side or into the current where most of the activity will be. So all in all a dive for everybody.
It all depends on how strong, and where the current is hitting the reef. The best way to explore all the overhangs and crevasses is, if we drop you at the south- west end of the Thila. In a medium current you can swim out in to the blue and enjoy the spectacle between the Tunas and the Fusiliers. If the current is from west, you might want to stay on the inside of the Thila, as this is the up current side in this case. You can swim north, reef on your right, but don’t get confused when you cross a very dead area. Just carry on and you will come to the reef again. If the current is too strong, just turn around and take the reef on your left. You will reach a very nice area with many overhangs and beautiful corals. Around the corner you are now on the outside (east) of the Thila. This is the place if we have east current where normally we will start the dive. In this case here will be the up current side, so therefore all the big fish will be here. To finish your dive you can just drift along the reef and end up on the north end side. Explore the big coral blocks in the shallow water which will give this dive a very nice finish.
35min north of Ellaidhoo in the channel between Bathala Island and the next Faru.
Very spectacular landscape, with terraces and overhangs. But also the fish life is exceptionally rich on this Thila. It is possible to see big schools of fusiliers performing different figures, together with the blue striped snappers, and the glass fish which are just gathering together around the coral blocks. Along the terraces you can find Nudibranchs, Flatworms, many different kinds of Moray Eel, Scorpion fish and all the other Reef inhabitants. Big Black coral bushes and Gorgonians are sheltered in the Overhangs.
Not Diveable in strong current. But otherwise an easy dive for everybody. Definitely not to be missed.
West- or east current we will drop you at the south side. As it is a small Thila, you will face the current one way. At the south side you have three terraces, which will reach down to 25meters. If the current allows you, start with the deeper ones first and make your way up slowly. You will see that in this area you can easily spend nearly the whole dive. Carry on to the north side of the Thila where you can find some small coral blocks spread along the slope. Try also to stay some time around the top reef and you will be surrounded by hundreds of Fusiliers. In the summer months, you can watch the spectacle of the thousands of glass fish. Every second they performing a different figure.
35 min North-west of Ellaidhoo close by the Tourist Island Halaveli
The Halaveli Wreck is a 39 meter cargo vessel which was sunk in 1991 by the diving school on Halaveli.
There are some black coral bushes, some soft coral trees and very small table corals along the wreck, but in general rather a poor coral growth. A big school of Travellys are always interested in the divers and come quite close by to have a good look. Moray eels and a family of puffer fish have made this wreck their new home. Frequently we do see manta rays and mobulas just passing by in the blue.
Not diveable in very strong current. But otherwise for all levels suitable
Follow down the rope which is tied on to the bow of the wreck. Even in a medium to strong current, you can manage to dive here. Between the bridge and the bow you will find good shelter in case of a current. Have a good look into the few big holes which are sometimes providing good hiding places for turtles.
Make your way either along the sides, or sometimes in stronger current, better along the top to the front. Again you can shelter down by the stern as the structure is protecting you. It is quite fun to look over the edge. It feels like you are really on a boat which is sailing away.
Also on this dive have a good look at your non decompression time!! You can finish the dive at the Faru which lies nearby, on the west side of the Wreck.
35 minutes boat trip north from Ellaidhoo directly in front of the Tourist Island Bathala. The Thila lies just at the edge of the atoll.
A must for all fish lovers. Blue striped snappers, batfish, surgeon fish, red snappers and not to forget all the fusiliers are building a big group. A big school of banner fish can usually be seen on the current side. Sometimes you do not want to move away. If you have a video camera and the light is correct this can be your best dive for the fish life. White tip reef sharks are sleeping on the sandy bottom, or hunting on the top reef. Go closer to the reef, to find nearly everything you can find in a fish book. Nudibranchs, different shrimps, moray eels, octopus, scorpion fish and if you lucky, the nurse shark will be sleeping in his usual place. In the right season this is also a place where Manta rays seem to hang around. All in all a must dive!!!
This dive can sometimes be a little difficult, depending on the current. Just try to descend quickly enough, so you make it over the edge of the Thila and do not get swept away. Once you’re down you will always have a protected side. Suitable for all levels.
With an east current, depending on how strong it will be, we will drop you away from the Reef in the blue water, or just on the east side of the Thila. In the winter months when we normally have west current, we will drop you on the north-west side of the Thila. Both ways, try to descend quickly to reach the side of the Thila and so not to get swept over to the other side. If you can manage to stay up current you will be amazed with all the fish life. You can dive the reef on either side, left- or right shoulder. When you get to the north part you will again find some overhangs in all depths as well at the south corner. With good visibility you can see the House reef of Bathala on the north-north/west side. If you dive with an east current and it is too strong to dive the top reef, from there you can drift over to the house reef and dive it with your left shoulder. Otherwise try to spend some time on the top reef, as you can find a lot of species.
Ca. 30 minutes by Dhoni south of Ellaidhoo
This very long reef has a shallow top reef with depths between 1 and 3 metres and it is covered with big coral blocks. The east side is the outer reef and the southwest side faces the channel. There are very nice overhangs and caves in 20 to 30 m depth at the east corner. The southwest side has different landscapes and offers small drop offs and slopes with terraces. Along the complete southwest side you will find overhangs starting as shallow as 8m and leading down to 30m.
This long Faru is a comfortable and easy dive for all levels of experience, even with a strong current. Just drift and enjoy the under water world.
With a current that runs IN we will start our dive at the east corner and we continue along the right shoulder. If you want to make a deeper dive profile, we recommend you explore the deeper overhangs at the corner before you follow the reef to the southwest side. However, Bathala Maaga Faru is also conductive for shallow dive profiles. There are caves and overhangs at all levels which are nicely covered with sponges, whip corals and gorgonias. Different kinds of reef fishes live in the caves. Please have an eye for the small things too. Shrimps, crabs, worms and nudibranch can be found as well and with some good luck we will meet up with a stingray resting on the sandy bottom of a cave. Do not forget to look into the blue water, especially if the current is strong. Big tunas and eagle rays might pass by. With a current that runs OUT we will dive the spot left shoulder and we start at the southwest side.
30min north of Ellaidhoo, on the edge of Maaga Kandu
As it is a reef which lies on the edge of the Kandu (channel), there is a good chance for all the big sea inhabitants. Silver tip, White tip, and Grey Reef Sharks can been seen in big numbers. Eagle rays, schools of Barracudas, big Tunas and millions of fusiliers are swimming up and down the edge. The Thila itself does not have particularly nice coral growth, but the fish life is more than making up for it. In the shallower part you can see Oriental Sweetlips in big groups as well as Hump head snappers. Turtles and Napoleons are often seen making their way along the top reef.
In general a very easy dive, as you can start in the shallow part and make your way down along the edge. However bear in mind, that in a strong current, some current dive skills are necessary. A quick descent is one of these.
Best is with an Incoming current, which means from the East side. If everybody is experienced and happy with a quick descent to 18 meters in the current, that’s the best way to start. Jump and go down to the edge of the reef and make your way north until you will reach a kind of bay area. There you should hold on, if necessary, and just wait and see what comes along. Check your air and no-deco time regularly!!
Ca. 20 minutes north of Ellaidhoo
This long reef has its outer reef at the east. The north side faces the channel. We will mainly dive the most interesting northeast corner. The top of the reef is relatively shallow with 5 to 8 meters and has big coral blocks. In west direction the top forms a small valley that is 15 m deep. About 30 m away from the main reef you will find a small thila. It starts in 5 m on its top and drops down in steps to 25 m. The out side of the reef has some overhangs in different levels and falls away steeply to more than 30 m. The inner side of the reef faces the sandy lagoon. Take your time to discover the overhangs und search for the small things, such as nudibranch, shrimps, lobster and crabs. But also stingrays make use of these caves for a nap and plenty of reef fish will await you there. By the close access to the outer reef, we have the chance to see bigger fish too. Just have a look into the blue water occasionally. With some good luck you might see eagle rays, napoleon, tunas or sharks.
As the top is shallow and the reef very long, this is a dive site conductive to all levels and easily to dive even with a strong current.
With an IN running current from the east we start our dive either at the outer reef or close to the east corner and we continue with the reef on the left shoulder. We will explore the overhangs and caves that are at depths between ca. 12 and 27m while we just drift with the current. Depending on your air consumption, you may want to explore the small thila towards the end of the dive. Just cross the sandy valley and you can not miss the thila. Or stay at the shallow reef top and make your comfortable safety stop there. If the current runs OUT we will start with the small thila and dive the reef on the right shoulder.
20min north of Ellaidhoo together with Kuda and Medu Thila
From sand to big overhangs and back to the wall. A Thila with big contrasts which makes it very different from other places. Good coral growth in the overhangs where a large school of big eye soldier fish are hiding within. White tip reef sharks are swimming up und down the reef, and in some small caverns you might even see them taking a rest. The reef fish families are richly distributed over the whole Thila. A very special part is the sandy part. It can take up to 15minutes to cross it, especially when you are passionate about small things. Just lie on the ground and experience that a sandy reef is very interesting and rich with marine life. Sand eels will pop out of their holes just in front of you. Multi-coloured Gobies together with their shrimps, make a very nice photo subject.
A very easy dive for all levels. Also in stronger current, it is easily manageable.
With a west current you will start the dive by the sandy part. You will descend through a big school of yellow and blue fusiliers. At 12 meters just where the sand starts you will find a small coral block. Take your time and explore it. Lots of shrimps are waiting for something to be clean. Then make your way (left shoulder) along the sand, best depth is about 12 to 15 meters. Once you have crossed it, the overhangs will start. You can dive the deeper overhangs as well as the shallower ones. Carry on and you will get to the north side of the Thila where it is more like a wall descending down into the sand.
If you’re not interested in the sandy part, you can try to go reef on your right shoulder. There will be straight away the reef heading west. This is only possible if the current is not too strong. Cross over to the north part to find a small bay where lots of fish are gathering together and White tip reef sharks can be seen. After the bay you will get to the wall and the shallow overhangs on the south side. With an east current, you will start by the overhangs taking the reef on your right shoulder and finishing off in the sandy part. If for any reason you get dragged over to the north side, just carry on and dive the wall until you reach the bay.
15min north of Ellaidhoo
This Thila is similar to Kuda Thila which lies just next to it except it has bigger overhangs where you can spend lots of your dive time. On the east side is an extra Thila, connected with a saddle from the main Thila. On this Thila alone you can do one dive. Very nice soft coral growth and lots of life. All the common Reef fish are seen on both Thilas. White tip reef sharks and if the current is strong also Grey reef sharks are swimming up current between the main reef and the small block on the east side.
Diveable for all levels. Normally the north side is protected from the current.
perfect with an east current. We will drop you away from the Thila, so remember… quickly descend. In front of the main Thila lies a pinnacle connected by a saddle. Try to start your dive around this block. It will go down to more than 30meters in the sand, where White tip reef sharks are sleeping. As you come back up spend some time on the top (18m) of this Thila. Nice soft coral growth and lots to see. Take the main Thila on to your right shoulder so you will pass one overhang after the other. If you do not like the current, take the north side, reef on you left shoulder. Most of the time it is protected from the current. To finish your dive stay at the edge of the Thila, so you do not miss the action on the top reef and you can also see what’s swimming by underneath. With a west current, you will start your dive on the other side of the Thila. Try to stay up current; it is sometimes hard work to get to the area where the current is splitting but well worth it. After you have enjoyed all the big fish, take the reef on your left shoulder and explore one overhang after the other. If you get to the east side and you still have enough time and air left follow along the saddle and dive the top of the pinnacle. Finish your dive back at the main Thila.
25 minutes north of Ellaidhoo.
As the name already says, KUDA, here is a place to look for small things. It’s amazing how many different types of shrimps, craps and other crustaceans you can find. Also we have a resident white Leaf fish. But not only that, white tip reef sharks, eagle rays, and stingrays are frequently seen on this reef. Occasionally a solitary grey reef shark. The coral formation is similar to all the other reefs with big black coral bushes, Stamp corals and on the top nice big anemones.
Not possible to dive in too strong current. But otherwise an easy dive for everybody.
As it is so small it does not matter where we will drop you, as you have to swim one time against the current. Normally you will find once over the edge of the Thila in greater depth, the current is getting less. On the south side of the Thila you can find some nice overhangs which are going down to 30meters. Most of the time there is a big school of blue striped snappers there. In good visibility you can swim out in the blue and see if there are some white tip reef sharks lying in the sand below you. As you carry on either reef on your right or left shoulder the best depth is around 15 to 20 meters. You will pass by big black coral bushes, small overhangs until you will reach on the north side the red anemones. Nice for Photography.
Top reef, if the current is not too strong, it is well worth it to spend more than only 5 minutes there. Hunt for the Stone fish. But also you can find Ghost pipe fish in the sea grass. On the north side at about 9meters you can find a white leaf fish.
30 minutes west from Ellaidhoo next to the Tourist Island Kanduludhoo
A very small Thila with overhangs, slopes and a different variety of fish life. On the west side, the Thila slopes down to 20- 25 meters in to the sand. White tip Reef sharks and big groupers are often seen in this area. Eagle rays and in season also Manta rays are sometimes seen around this spot. Big schools of blue striped and hump head snappers have their place mainly on the north-west side. The highlight is the two Frogfish. One in red and the other one in blue.
In the big overhangs you can sometimes find baby Stingrays and big Potato Groupers. Also a Nurse shark has been seen frequently. All in all a very nice, colourful dive.
An easy dive for all levels
depending on the current we will either drop you on the north-east side or on the south-west side of the Thila. As it is a small reef you will probably swim once around in 50 minutes. If you start on the south-west side take the reef on your right shoulder. Down at the bottom, 20 to 25 meters have a look out in the blue and over the sand, and if you’re lucky you might get to see some White tip Reef sharks sleeping or an Eagle ray searching for food. Big Coral blocks on the Reef are giving a good hide away for Octopus and Scorpion fish. As you getting to the north side you can either stay shallow or go down to 25-30 meters where you will find a big school of blue striped snappers. By the snappers try to dive to a shallower depth. At about 20 meters you will find a big Black coral bush, where sponges and oysters are already grown over the main part of it. Above this bush have a look for the red Frogfish. He is not easy to find, just look for everything that is red. Follow the reef until you will reach the first overhang. In this area you can find another Frogfish, this time he is blue. As you carry on at 14meters you will see a big overhang. Sometimes the current is picking up, but try to make the effort and reach the overhang. Nurse shark, big Groupers and Stingrays share this place. If you still have time and air left, explore the top reef where you can find nice anemones, Stonefish and all their other friends.
If we drop you on the north-east side, it is recommended to do the east side first, which means dive it with your right shoulder.
35 minutes west from Ellaidhoo by to the Tourist Island Kanduludhoo
The dive is split into two sceneries, with big overhangs on one side and on the other a beautiful hard coral garden. One of the rare dive sites in the Maldives, where you can find nice big table corals, in very shallow water. Small reef inhabitants are very common on the whole wall. Look for Stonefish, scorpion fish and of course all the small crabs which are hiding inside the table corals. Nudibranchs, snails and many different shrimps can be discovered along the whole dive. In one of the overhangs are a big family of Lobsters. Schools of fusiliers are making their way along the entire reef, followed in the blue by tunas and white tip reef sharks
An easy dive for all levels
It is very rare that you’ll be confronted with a current. We like to start with the overhangs, which means the west side of the Island with reef on your left shoulder. You can take your time and really explore each of them. Then you will reach a very beautiful hard coral garden, (south side) where you should stay at a depth of maximum 10 meters. Carry on for maybe 30 meters before you turn around and finish your dive at the amazing top reef. A wonder of nature…
15 minutes north from Ellaidhoo, channel entry
As this Wall is an entry to the channel, big fish like Napoleon, Tunas, Sharks and different rays can been seen quite often. But also the wall itself has a lot to offer. In the shallow part down to about 15 meters lots of yellow sea fans are spread over the whole area. Many cleaning stations along the wall make this dive a joy for all macro lovers. Every so often, you should keep one eye on the edge of the drop and look for Turtles.
This is an easy dive, as even in strong current, you only have to drift along the wall.
With an east current we will drop you at the beginning of the channel so you have the reef on your left shoulder. Just at the beginning of the reef is a small bay, which in current affords a protected area. Here you can easily stay for quite some time. Along the reef you can find overhangs which in the summer months are full with glass fish. With a west current you will just simply dive the wall on your right shoulder and end the dive in this protected bay.
2 hours from Ellaidhoo on the West side of the Ari Atoll, close by the Local Island Himandhoo. (Full day Dive site)
A big Thila situated in the middle of a channel. It has terraces at different depths on the west end and on the east end overhangs and big coral blocks. In the months from November until May this is a very good place to see Manta rays where a cleaning station gives us some spectacular views. However also without the mantas this is a very nice dive with lots of soft corals, Napoleon Wrasse, Turtles and white tip reef sharks.
In stronger currents a quick descent is generally required but otherwise a dive for all certifications.
To be able to see the Mantas we like to have an east current which means an outgoing current. In this case we will jump on the south-east end of the Thila. The dive starts with a big overhang to your right and a big school of jacks to your left in the blue. In a stronger current you normally just pass them by quite quickly. Keep the reef on your right shoulder and after a few minutes on your left you will see some big blocks at a depth of 20 to 30 meters. If you have any chance and the current allows you to dive around these blocks, do so. An amazing variety of fish are gathering around there. As you carry on you will get to a canyon. Also try to stay there a few minutes. As you progress along the reef, the terrace formation will slowly start. Go to a depth of 16 meters and drift along them. You might also want to swim a little faster now to ensure you reach the cleaning station in a shorter time. At the end of the Thila you can sometimes feel the current against you, so you can recognise that you’re close by the block where the Mantas get themselves cleaned by the cleaner wrasses. Once at the block PLEASE stay at least 3 meters away from it. ESPECIALLY if you’re a photographer or Videographer!! Just be patient as the Mantas will sometimes fly over your head so close they could touch you. Also if you stay away from the block, the Mantas are not getting disturbed by your bubbles and everybody can enjoy them as long as your computer is showing minimum 5 minutes No-decompression limit or you’re on 70 bars. This is now the time where you have to leave this place and make your way up to the Safety Stop. For us the stronger the current the better the dive!!
This site is about 75 minutes in west direction from Ellaidhoo and will be visited within the range of our full-day program only.
Donkalo is a relatively large thila that is located right in a wide channel. We dive the beautiful south side that offers a big variety of landscapes. The top of the reef is in 9 to 12 m depth and has big coral blocks. At the southeast corner is a slope with overhangs and small caves, whilst the south and west side is steeper and has many beautiful overhangs with gorgonia and blue soft corals. Some very nice blocks lying on the bottom at depths between 25 and 30 m. There are huge swarms of fusiliers and snappers as well as their hunters the jack-fishes and tunas. Napoleons, sharks, turtles and all kind of reef fish call Donkalo Thila their home.
Since the thila is so large it is an easy drift dive for all levels.
If the current runs IN from west we start our dive right shoulder. We explore the overhangs and the deeper blocks before we end our dive at the slope and/or reef top close to the east corner. If the current runs OUT we dive the opposite.
This site is one of our seasonal full-day-trips and about 80 minutes in west direction from Ellaidhoo
Donkalhuu is THE place to see manta rays at the Ari Atoll. The season is from December until April and during peek times (January-March) we already dived with up to 100 of these impressive giant rays.
Two small Thilas form a narrow channel with a sandy bottom at depths between 12 and 30 m. The manta rays make use of this channel to approach the cleaner stations that are located along the slopes of the thilas. Often there are 50 to 100 of these majestic animals gliding through the blue water. They usually come extremely close to us divers with out any shyness and they enjoy a sparkling bubble-bath while they hover above us. This encounter is an experience that you will never ever forget. But also the small southern thila has to offer a lot of interesting things. If you do not want to ascend directly in the blue water after we met with the manta rays, then continue to dive the left shoulder of the thila. At a depth of 18m you will find many cracks in the reef that are home to ghost moray eels, nudibranch and flat worms. The reef top is in 12 to 14 m and is exciting with a beautiful hard coral, leather coral and colourful soft coral growth. Honeycomb moray eels, turtles and white tip reef sharks can often be seen on the reef top too. Big swarms of fusiliers colour the water into blue and yellow. Since there is plenty of krill-shrimps in the water during the manta season, we have a good chance to meet up with wale sharks occasionally.
This site is for all levels. However, sometimes we have to deal with a medium strong current.
We descent in the blue water right in the channel but still within visible distance to the thila. Here we will meet up with the manta rays. A good average depth to spend your time was 15 to 20 m. Please watch your bottom time! After you have enjoyed the dancing manta rays, you have the option to make a blue water ascent or continue your dive along the thilas -left shoulder- and spend the last 10 minutes at the reef top before you ascent for the safety stop.
Almost 2 hours from Ellaidhoo at the west side of the Ari Atoll
Mahlos Island is located directly in a channel and at the western outer reef of the Ari Atoll. However, we dive only the most interesting part of the reef that is about 400m long and faces the inner side and the channel. Here we are pretty much protected from the current. The top of the reef is only 1m deep and will excite you with its incredible hard coral gardens. The reef slopes down to more than 30m and is covered all over with beautiful hard coral formations and huge table corals. But also the marine life is impressive. Big swarms of fusiliers, snappers and red tooth trigger fishes hover above the corals, turtles will pass your way when they search for their favourite dish -the leather coral-. Rays and white tip sharks will be seen on a regular basis and if you are enthusiastic about the small creatures, your will surely find some nudibranch. Have a look into the blue water too. The chance to see also bigger fish, like for example sharks and eagle rays is given by the close access to the outer reef. Often we can see schools of dolphins at the surface that are cruising the channel. Seasonal manta rays are passing by on their way to cleaning stations.
This is an easy dive for all levels. Normally there is no current. In case we face current occasionally, it will be very mild. A shallow dive profile is possible.
With an IN current from the west we start our dive left shoulder and the opposite if the current runs OUT. We just follow the reef and enjoy the beauty.
2 hours across the Ari Atoll on the west side, next to the Maldivian Island Mahlos (Full day Dive site)
An incredibly beautiful dive. If the current is just at the right strength so that all the soft corals are open you feel like somewhere up in the mountains where the sun is reflecting from the snow. Full of blue soft coral trees growing either over the pinnacles or hanging down from the ceiling of the big overhangs. One gorgonian after the other are giving a good hiding place for the blue stripped snappers and the soldier fish. The top reef is so richly inhabited by all kinds of underwater organism that you can easily forget yourself up there and feel like you’re part of this beauty itself.
Sometimes a quick descent is required but once you’re down you can easily find your way through the reef. A dive which should not be missed.
We try to dive this site like a mountain route, which means that one way you will have to swim against the current. We drop you just at the corner where the Thila starts. Make your way along the reef on your right shoulder. Stay fairly shallow, max 15 meters. You will see a big school of Sweetlips close by a small block. As you come around the corner on to the south side you will find on your left side away from the Thila three big pinnacles. If the current is not too strong try not to miss them as they are beautifully overgrown with bluish, purplish soft corals. The blocks start at about 18 meters and go down to over 30 meters. Afterwards head straight back to the main Thila where the overhangs are starting. After the 2nd big one make your way back along the smaller, shallower overhangs which are above the larger ones with the reef on your left. Once you return to the beginning of the Thila, go and enjoy the incredible hard corals on the top reef.
About 70 minutes by Dhoni in northwest direction of Ellaidhoo.
Hafsa is a small, almost circular Thila in the middle of the Atoll. With a weak current one could swim around the Thila twice during one dive. The reef top is relatively deep with its 10 to 15m. Beautiful overhangs can be found at the west and the east corner. Worth mentioning is the enormous amount of fish that we can see at Hafsa. In the up-current there are mackerels and tunas that are hunting the big swarms of fuseliers and snappers. All different kind of reef fishes call Hafsa Thila their home. Often some curious batfishes like to follow us during the dive and a school of barracudas can be observed in the blue water and very often we meet up with turtles. For those of you who love sharks – this is a must-do dive site. A number of Grey Reef Sharks as well as plenty of Whitetips will often cruise in the up-current along the edge of the reef top. It is worthwhile to spend some time at the reef top where you will find nice hard coral growth. Baby sharks used to sleep under the table corals there, octopuses, moray-eels and scorpion fishes life at the reef top and a small eagle ray will often greet the divers.
With a strong current Hafsa may be a more difficult dive side, since the Thila is very small and its reef top is deep.
Depending on the current we will start our dive in the up-current, either on the west or east side. We will reach the reef at a depth of about 12 metres where we will normally swim few metres against the current to get to the edge of the reef top. Here we will spend a while waiting for the sharks and observing the swarms of fishes. If you have tasted enough of this “fish soup”, dive over the edge and discover the overhangs. Then follow the reefs left or right shoulder. You will find big bushes of black coral and sponges along the north and south side, as well as a number of smaller caves. Finish your dive at the top of the reef and plan at least 10 minutes to search for baby sharks, turtles and the other marine life in the shallower water.
About 50 minutes northwest direction from Ellaidhoo
Madivaru Kuda Thila is a small, round thila with a shallow reef top at 3 to 6 m. However our destination is a semicircular, narrow reef that is only between 25 and 50m west of the small thila. We reach this reef by crossing a sandy plateau that is lying in 12 to 20m depth. In the centre of the semicircle you will find an oval reef plateau that rises up to 10 m. From the plateau you can dive both wings of the semicircle. The inner side is a slope, the outer side drops down to more than 30m and forms terraces with beautiful overhangs that are home to many small creatures and large fish swarms. There are some interesting single blocks located at the sand bottom that you do not want to miss. Often we get greeted by some napoleon fishes. White-tip-sharks are cruising around or resting on the sand bottom. The narrow top of the reef is covered with beautiful hard coral and colourful soft coral growth. Clownfishes (Nemos) protect their lovely RED anemones and millions of orange coloured anthias hover above the corals.
This is a dive side that requires a deeper dive profile, but with a light current easy to handle for all levels. With a strong current recommended for the more experienced diver.
With an IN current from east we will start our dive at the small thila, especially if the current is strong. After that we cross the sand plateau and reach the east corner of the semicircle. Continue your dive to the left shoulder. With an OUT current from west, we descent in the blue water at the west corner of the semicircle and we dive the reefs right shoulder. In the event of a very small current we will try to decent directly above the small oval reef plateau and you may continue either right or left shoulder. Generally spoken, if the current was not too strong, it was possible to dive the reef twice in any direction. We recommend you finish your dive at the shallow reef top of the small thila.
About 120 minutes in northwest direction from Ellaidhoo.
The landscape of Nika Point is very impressive with its single blocks that are connected with canyons. If the current is not too strong you can dive through these canyons and experience the rich marine life in the cracks and nishes. At a depth of 21 and 23 metres there are two tunnels that alow you to see the other side of the reef. We do not recommend that you dive through these tunnels, since it is likely to destroy the fragile coral growth there. Rather you should take your time to explore the blocks. But watch your bottom time! Even the top of the reef is at a level of 15m depth here and it is easy to exceed the limit. Swarms of snappers, fusiliers and surgerfish accommodate the blocks. And of course there are some napoleons and many trigger fishes. The overhangs are covered with wonderful corals. You can search for scorpion fishes, nudibranches, hermit crabs and mantis-shrimps on the top of the reef.
Nika Point is a more demanding dive spot due to its currents and depth levels and rather recommended for the experienced diver.
There are many ways to dive this interesting reef formation. We will start our dive at the up-current and follow the reef contour either left or right shoulder. Reserve the last 10 minutes of your dive for the top of the reef.
2 hours north of Ellaidhoo in the Rasdhoo Atoll (Fullday Dive site)
The formation of this site makes the whole dive very interesting and allows for it to be explored in many different ways. The site comprises an outside wall which drops to greater depths followed by some fingers reaching out into the blue and finally a bay. As well as the Hammerhead Sharks look for big schools of giant Barracudas hanging together with a family of eagle rays in the current. Massive Tunas are on the hunt followed by some white tip reef sharks. Not to forget the beautiful corals all along the reef.
You will definitely profit much more if you are an Advanced Open Water diver as it is nice to dive this dive site at a deeper depth. Otherwise no problem for all levels. A dive which should not be missed.
For the Hammerheads, we always hope for an incoming current so we can drop on top of the first outgoing finger and swim until we have our mark point. Then just swim 90˚ out in to the blue at a depth of about 20meters until you do not see anymore the surgeon fish or the wall behind you. And now..!! WAIT…Check underneath you and do not forget your back!!! If you’re lucky soon the hammerhead sharks will appear from the depths. Don’t forget your non-decompression time!!!!!! If you can find the way back to the wall do so, otherwise just drift with the current, set the buoy and make your safety stop.
To dive the corner we also start with the wall on our right shoulder and follow it until the finger starts to go out. Stay on top of it, which is about 20meters, so you can check what lies in the sandy lagoon to your right and also what is passing by in the blue on your left. Carry on until you get to a kind of crossing. If you try to stay there in the current you might be lucky and spot the resident family of eagle rays. Then start to go inside the corner direction north. You can find many different ways around the reefs until you have to make your way up for the safety stop. An incredible dive with fantastic fish life.
2 hours north from Ellaidhoo in the Rasdhoo Atoll (Full day Dive site/Manta point)
Four Thilas between a big Thila and the corner of the out reef. Big Napoleon Wrasse, stingrays and honeycomb moray eels have found their homes on these Thilas but the main reason why to dive this site are the majestic manta rays. On top of the smaller Thilas are cleaning stations which help the mantas to get rid of their parasites.
An easy shallow dive for everyone.
Depending on the direction of the current we will drop on either side of the corners. Try to stay always at the beginning of the Thilas just at the Kandu. Don’t let the current take you too far inside the channel otherwise it might be too difficult to swim back out again once you’re inside. The individual Thilas are not far apart from each other, you can normally see the next one easily. The last gap to the main Thila is quite a distance. Just head South East and you will eventually get to the Thila which reaches up to 5 meters. Here is ideal to make your safety stop and maybe you’ll see even more mantas passing by.
Ca. 45 minutes in south direction from Ellaidhoo
The east side of this relatively large Thila is the outer reef, which has a number of smallish overhangs and cafes with the north and south side lying in the channel. You will find some nice overhangs at the edge of the top of the reef that is in depths between 3 and 10m. The north of the Thila forms a long nose with terraces that lead down to the sandy bottom. This nose is connected with two beautiful blocks by a bridge. Watch your bottom time if you explore these blocks and enjoy the thousands of glass fish and other reef fishes. Often we meet up with some Napoleons in this area too. The west side is a bit sandier and slopes down to the channel bottom. There is a good chance to see big fish like sharks, tuna and eagle rays during this out reef and channel dive.
There are many ways to dive Faana Thila. With a shallower dive profile and a drift along the outer reef this site is even with a strong current for all level of experience. To dive the blocks at the north corner will be more demanding.
With a current that runs IN (from east) we start our dive on the left shoulder at the southern part of the out reef. As we drift with the current and explore the overhangs, you should not forget to have a look into the blue water now and then, some big stuff might cross your way. The closer we come to the north corner, the more schooling fish we can expect to see. We dive around the corner and to the bridge that leads us to the blocks. After that we go back to the main reef that rises up slowly in steps to end our dive at the shallow reef top.
Ca. 25 to 30 minutes north of Ellaidhoo, close to the island Bathala.
A “must do” for every diver who enjoys an extreme colorful underwater world. Sponges and soft corals in white, blue, yellow, green, orange, red and pink highlighting this beautiful reef. Lovers of the macro will be excited about the variety of small creatures. Branches, cleaner shrimps, worms, frogfishes and the like can be found regularly. The Giri is very rich of marine life in general. You will encounter big swarms of snappers, fusiliers and jack fishes and all type of common reef fish are met in big numbers.
An easy dive for all levels. The Giri is located in a protected area and currents are normally mild. A shallow dive profile with depths up to maximum 18 metre is possible too.
The oval shaped Giri is only about 120 metre long and it was possible to completely round it during one dive. The top of the reef is extremely shallow with only 1 to 2 metre and covered with a wonderful hard coral garden with big blocks. We prefer to dive the most attractive east, north and west of this reef. With a current from east (IN) we drop you at the east corner to follow the reef left shoulder. Directly at the corner you will see a wall with some very nice overhangs that are between 10 and 20 m deep. After you dived around the corner you will enter a sloping area. Stay shallow there. In depths of only 6 to 12 m you will find numerous small caves that are home to oriental sweet lips and many other reef fish. Stingrays are resting in the caves and there is always a good chance to discover some small beauties like branches and shrimps. Soon the reef will form a sharp nose. Before you swim around the nose, that has some overhangs, you will recognize a deep crack in the wall that is covered with sea fans and leads up to the top reef. Big groupers are hiding in the crack and sunlight from the top creates a fantastic subject for photos. Fairly often we meet a sleeping nurse shark underneath the crack or in one of the close overhangs. Take your time to explore this interesting area before you pass the nose. Now the landscape will change again and a most colorful wall with very beautiful overhangs in depths from 12 to 20 m will catch your eye. Soft corals and sponges in all colors of the rainbow make the camouflage for frog fish, branches and flat worms. Continue the wall around the west corner. Since the current is normally so mild, you might want to turn at the end of the corner and swim back to explore the shallow part of the wall or continue left shoulder to finish your dive at the south side. With a current from west (Out) we start the dive at the west corner and follow the reef right shoulder.