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The Maldives...

a water sports enthusiasts and beach lover's paradise.

Introduction to the Maldives

A nation of islands the Maldives is a water sports enthusiasts and beach lover's paradise. Rest and relaxation are the order of the day, for reading that book that you never seem to have time for and the most exertion is putting your tanks on! Each island is quite monotonous really with a lush green interior surrounded by powdery white sand overlooking the turquoise sea of the house reef. Why would anyone want to go there?!

Tourism started very slowly in the early 70's but has now grown to be the Maldives major industry. Wisely they are very keen to protect what they have and development in strictly controlled to protect its fragile environment. There are many 'Green' projects on the resorts which help the environment and the local people alike, coining the phrase 'Sustainable Tourism'.

The main attraction for us water babes is the high percentage of sightings of the Whale Shark and Manta Ray. These magnificent creatures can be seen throughout the year but the best months tend to be between July through to November. If this is your main purpose than a liveaboard holiday is a must as the crews have up to date information of sightings.

Our Maldives Holidays

Liveaboards

Carina, Four Seasons, Gaaviya, Manthiri, Sachika

Hotels & Resorts

Angsana, Baros, Ellaidhoo, Eriyadu, Filitheyo, Komandoo, Soneva Fushi, Vakarufalhi.

Atolls Overview

Maldives atolls/resorts overview.

Maldives - our rough guide

History

The Maldives early history is very sketchy which is not surprising given its isolation. They are thought to have been first settled by seafarers in 2000 BC called Redin. The next major influx seems to be 500 BC when Buddhists from Sri Lanka and Hindus from India arrived. By the 12 century Arab traders were visiting the islands more frequently mainly because of the abundance of cowry shells which were an international currency. The Arab preaching of Islam gradually converted the Maldivians into the Muslim faith and from 1153 the country was ruled by a series of sultans and sultanas. The current situation prevailed until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century.

The Portuguese were not welcomed colonists and there oppressive reign ended after a mere 15 years when the national hero Mohammed Thakurufaanu overthrough in a bloody battle. The sultanate resumed and continued in some form until 1965, apart from a few brief months in 1953. It was in this year that the Maldives gained its independence from the British who had protected or governed the islands since 1796.

Diving

The Maldives archipelago stretches some 500 miles north-south so there really is no excuse for diving the same dive site. There are 26 atolls made up of islands or resort islands and these play a significant part in the diving conditions in either sheltering dive sites from the wind or confronting them head on depending on the direction. In simplest terms currents run west-east during May-November and vice versa December-April. It is worth noting this when choosing your resort although to complicate matters there are exceptions to the rule. The diving season is year round when visibility can reach up to 30 metres apart from May and June when there is the long rains. The average water temperature is 28C so a 3mm wetsuit should be sufficient. It should be noted that there is a depth limit in the Maldives of 30 metres.

Underwater Photography

 

Highlights

  • Underwater: Whale Shark, Manta Ray.
  • Above Water: Hammock, Reading, Sleeping, Sunsets.

Climate & Weather

The Maldives experiences two monsoon seasons. The north east monsoon from November to April is mostly dry with very little wind, while the south west monsoon from May to October brings some rain and wind, May and June being the wettest. Being on the equator the temperature doesn't vary that much the average ranging between 27C and 32C.

General Information

  • People: Amongst the population of around 300,000 there are a mixture of African to Arabic and Asian decent. The people are noted for their orderly and cleanliness and this is very apparent on arrival and is constant throughout the inhabited and resort islands.
  • Religion: Islam of the Sunni Sect.
  • Language: Dhivehi is the official language which derives from an ancient Sri Lankan dialect, although it also has influences from Hindi, English and Arabic of which it shares the similarity of the text reading right to left.
  • Visas: A 30 day tourist visa is granted to all visitors with valid travel documents and passport.
  • Health: The most common problems affecting visitors is that of sunburn and dehydration which are easily avoided with a little common sense. There are two hospitals in Male and each resort will offer a limited range of medicines and/or doctor.
  • Time: GMT + 5 hours
  • Electricity: 220 Volts, a pin adaptor is recommended
  • Clothing: Light cotton clothes are recommended. Nudism is an offence in the country and visitors are requested to respect the traditions and religion of the local people by wearing clothes that cover the thighs and shoulders when visiting inhabited islands.
  • Currency: Rufiya which is divided into 100 larees. However on the resorts most transactions are carried out in harder currencies like the US dollar, British Pound or Euro. Travellers cheques and credit cards are widely accepted. Banks are open 7.30am to 2.00pm Sunday to Thursday.
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