Olhuveli House Reef South
The diving school is located at the end of the jetty and gives easy excess to the house reef where abundant reef fish swirl around, feeding on the plankton and algae’s, giving glimpse away of the unlimited beauty underneath the surface.
New stag horn, table and red brain corals are clear sign of the recovery of the reef and host many of the restless damsel fishes, the gracious butterfly and royal angel fishes.
The most interesting part of the reef and is between 6 and 16 meters depth, stretching to the south until a large sandy hill. At one of the last coral blocks, just before the sand a precious surprise is waiting for people with a sharp eye, two leafy leaf fishes.
During the dive there is a chance to see eagle rays, stingrays, turtles or by passing mantas.
Olhuveli House Reef North
The North side of the reef is more steep with larger table corals and apart from a homeless big job fish staring at a school of humpback snappers, a rather wide spread bat fish family, from grand father to juvenile, likes to play with the bubbles of the divers and come breathtaking close.
Schools of juvenile tunas and barracudas nose around and might accompany your for a while.
The current at the house reef is nil which makes it ideal for beginners and experienced people.
During the North East Monsoon from December until May mantas come to the jetty at night to feed on the plankton that is attracted by the light.
On the doorstep of the deserted Island Maadhoo starts an amazing hard coral reef full of macro life, scorpion and nemo fishes, a variety of gobies and sand wrasses.
The deeper part is the playground for stingrays, white tip reef sharks and desolate eagle rays hovering in the blue. The back ground music is sometimes by passing dolphins, the special effects completed by desperate, swaying from left to right, Bengal snappers and fuseliers in flight of our friendly predators.
Since many years a shy little turtle with three legs shovels around feeding on sponges and giving way for anybody passing by.
Following the reef between14 an 15 meters, the encounter of several giant moray eels, an eagle ray or sting ray is most likely, harmless currents might appear and give you an easy ride along the way.
The best hidden treasure, a stone throw away from the famous Guraidhoo channel and generally ignored by the other diving centers. Dividing the incoming currents, enriched by the flow of nutrition’s, corals flourish and make their way down like a long hooked finger to 20 meters of depth.
They inhabit glass fish, oriental sweetlips, benner and soldier fishes, schools of surgeon fish and unicorn’s, colonies of gently waiving anemones and sleek scorpion fishes can be spotted between the soft corals waiting for their chance to catch their prey.
Small white tip reef sharks cruise the area and a stingray often stays in the shelter of the small overhangs, fuseliers hang in blue clouds snapping bits and pieces of plankton and algae’s.
Budo Kandu Beru
The out side of the reef protects the Atoll from heavy waves and slides down from slides down from 5 until 60 meters of depth.
A variety of eels feed on the smaller fish between 5 and 20 meters of depth.
Honeycomb, black spotted, white mouth yellow edged, bearded and fimbrated moray eels can be found, trying to catch the delicious red tooth trigger fish and shallow them in one gulp.
Large amount of the latter ones feed again on the algae rich reef, the soft corals and sponges are left over for the friendly hawksbill turtles.
Oriental sweetlips, red snappers, unicorn fishes, bluescale and big eye emperors favor the reef as well.
Do not forget to have a look in the blue for white tip reef sharks, tunas, manta or eagle rays and mobulas who can pass by.
Kandooma Thila is regarded as one of the best dive sites in the world in any circumstance, whether there is strong or medium inside, slight or strong outside current or no water movement at all.
This thila rises up from the bottom of the channel between Kandooma and Cocoa Island.
The top reef, close to the Indian Ocean dropps off, starts at 26 meters and elevates after 200 meters stretch inside the channel to 14 meters of depth.
Covered with stag horn and large table corals and larger builder coral blocks function as cleaning stations for a variety of reef fishes.
At the shallower part many large log head and green turtles lay comfortably between the rich soft corals.
Grey reef and white tip reef sharks, barracudas, tons of jack fish, large Napoleon, sailfish, stingrays, red snappers, you name it is all there in large amounts.
The thila is surrounded by overhangs, totally covered by cauliflower and dappled soft corals.
The more current, the more fish, to leave you in a perfect bliss!
Kuda Giri Wreck
The wreck lays head first towards a giri, the bow at 18 m. of depth and the stern at30 m.
Stony, stag horn and table corals and a variety of sponges take care of the surface of the wreck and every now and then a pair of black bulky frog fishes hide somewhere on the top part.
Clouds of glass fishes swirl around in the captain’s hut and machine room.
Big hunting blue fin travellies steer hundreds of fuseliers around the wreck trying to play “Dog eat dog instead” of “Hide and seek”.
For the experienced divers there is the possibility to penetrate the wreck, either through the machine room and exciting at the stern or at the front cargo spaces and exciting at the bridge.
After 20 min. “exploring” the wreck the reef next to it is ideal to extend the bottom time at shallower depth.
Pretty over hangs with white acabria corals, yellow Chagos calcite sponges and Faulkner’s carols give a Sylvester ambiance when you shine your light around.
Nice swim troughs at 15 m. meters and 7 m. of depth!
Mas Ulhandu Wreck
It is rare to find wrecks at shallower depths but the top of Mas Ulandhu Wreck starts only at 10 meters and the deepest part is at 23 meters of depth.
A meeting point for fusiliers, napoleon wrasse, groupers, surgeon fishes, red and yellow snappers and a hide away for sleepy nurse sharks.
It is possible to penetrate the wreck for experienced divers, especially the machinery room is still intact and the front compartments which leads to the captain’s hut are interesting swim through.
While descending on the sandy slope large numbers of fuseliers will greet you and the friendly current will take you through the channel outside the Atoll.
If you look for adventure we can find the stress horror fish for you at the inside of the channel.
Patches of coral blocks in the beginning of the dive display small table and stag horn corals and is regarded as the ultimate cleaning place for a diversity of reef fish. Honey comb and giant moray eels hide in small holes, beware of the sharks that might appear, although there is a good chance to see them swimming free at this dive site.
The steep hill after the sandy part is covered with gently waving yellow menella sea fans, abruptly followed up by a steep canyon full of spiky soft corals.
Huge black and silver jackfish stalk around this are, the overhangs are crowded with reef fish struggling with the current.
During the west monsoon mantas will hang around the cleaning stations on top of the outside reef.
Inside the Atoll, close to Guraidhoo Island, a slight bending reef hides several astonishing coral formations and cleaning stations bedded in fine coral sand.
From May until November mantas are engulfing the plankton rich water, close to the surface, sleeves extended and mouth wide open, looping gracious around. This is only the appetizer, ones underwater the mantas will the divers within very close range while cleaning on the coral blocks.
A variety of cleaning wrasses is anxious for welcome brunch and disappears in the gills of the manta to feed upon the leftovers of plankton, once in a while the tickling is to much and manta sweeps them of in a quick maneuver.
A real treat for every diver, from beginner till experienced, from photographer till videographer.
This dive site has still much more to offer then the ballet of mantas; white sand banks connect the coral formations with legions of garden eels, dutiful flittering the sand and dancing head against the current.
Between the corls, giant moray eels, stone, scorpion and lion fishes can be found, accompanied by a colorful variety of reef fishes.
The highlight is the rare pink bulb-tentacle anemone coral with quite aggressive clown fishes to protect their treasure home as of their live depends on it.
The sandy hills with stony coral colonies linger around about 12 meters and the cleaning stations at a maximum depth of 18 meters.
One of the most famous dive sites in the Maldives has everything to offer what a diver demands.
Pretty flowing inside currents can deliver a variety of pelagic, from white tip, grey reef, thresher and hammerhead sharks to schools of eagle rays, sailfish, large tunas, barracudas and wahoo’s.
During the West monsoon whale sharks stop by to feed upon the plankton and in the dry season from December until April hundreds of Dolphins are passing by regularly and can be seen underwater under supervision of our experienced divemasters and instructors.
Diving with the current flowing outside the Atoll gives the divers a chance to see large school of red snappers, jackfish and oriental sweetlips.
At one particular spot where the bottom of the channel makes a dip, large grey reef an white tip reef sharks hover around for easy breathing.
Overhangs at 20m depth with gorgonian fans, spiky and brittle soft corals lead to the corner where curious surgeon fishes play with the bubbles produced by the divers.
On the shallower reef, schools of orange spine unicorn fishes, together with parrot fishes feed primarily on the leafy brown algae’s while large shoals of fuseliers move in the fast lane in search for something edible.
Live is beautiful and so is Dhigu Thila!
Dhigu thila is in comparison with Kandooma thila easier to dive and shallower of depth.
It has stunning overhangs, soft corals, coral patches and swim throughs.
The reef starts inside the channel at 7 meters of depth and finds the bottom at approximately 20 meters of depth.
Leaf, stone and scorpion fish fancy the rich, colorful rims and ridges, puffer and box fish huddle in the red menella branches and the variable thorny oysters snap their jaws when they smell you bubbles.
Juvenile white tip reef sharks tend to sleep on the bottom part and have you ever seen an anemone soft corals shallow a fine spine heart urchin? This might happen just before your eyes at Dhigu Thila.
Loshifhu Kuda Kandu
Kuda Kandu means small channel and is situated North of Guraidhoo channel, it has a very shallow sandy entrance12 meters deep and is 10 meters wide, it deepens and widens inside the Atoll with stony corals which give a good hide away for schools of yellow fine line snappers.
There is plenty of fish life inside the channel, from big turtles scooping the sponges on the reef to pretty tear drop and threadfin butterfly fish. There are large moray eels and during the Wets monsoon mantas pass by, while near the corner big schools of fuseliers, rainbow runner, tuna and trevally congregate.
On the other side of the Atoll at the house reef of the little inhabited Island Vaagali, eagle rays, tunas, blue fin trevallies, fuseliers, sweetlips, black snappers and whit tip reef sharks enjoy the deep blue Indian Ocean water that flows over around the overhangs at a depth of 20 meters.
The caves are home of banner, soldier, squirrel and cardinal fishes.
Big groupers and mangrove snappers move slowly away if you come to close to their liking, scorpion and lion fishes are never to shy but be aware of their stinging abilities.
Rock formations more inside the channel are the territory of a couple of napoleon wrasses and, the with stony corals covered bottom of the channel leads to the sandy lagoon of Vaagali.
Chill out during your safety stop on the white sandy bottom together with the lizard fishes and gobies.
Middle point is just outside the Atoll between Kuda Kandu an Guraraidhoo channel.
When the current drifts inside the Atoll the visibility is obscured by large amounts of schooling fish.
All packed together, fusiliers, jackfish, groupers, napoleon wrasses, yellow and large red snappers are accompanied by white tip reef sharks.
At a depth of 30 meters, overhangs are covered with smooth sea fans, white acabaria, red and yellow clatharia, naked soft corals and black coral sea whips. At one particular spot a violet and a yellow ribbon moray eel moray eel hide, to reach suddenly out of the burrow with their head and very sleek long body to grab its prey of small fishes.
Between 8 and 20 meters, finger tip cladiella alternate with branching spiky soft corals.
The drift inside the Atoll will take you along rich coral formations, overhangs and canyons.
Opposite Kandooma Island at a depth of 18 meters, large overhangs meander in the reef, blue and yellow sponges’ pear out of the roof and large branch corals seem colorless until you shine a light on them, turning out to be bright red.
Schooling long fin batfish nose around in the biggest overhang and large green turtles retire in the smaller caves. Large colonies of giant black coral whips alternate with gorgonian fans on the bottom.
Inside the channel a cave with a swim though at 7 meters displays wonderful scenery when the light shines on the red soldier fishes and tiny fairy basslets.
Drifting at a depth of 25 meters large coral blocks are surrounded by oriental sweetlips, emperors and copper sweepers.
With the current flowing inside the Atoll the appearance of white tip reef is most likely and at a depth of 30 meters grey reef sharks at the edge of the drop off are a must to visit, sometimes schooling in groups of more then 20 with exceptional big fellows between them.
After the corner large plateaus of, spiky soft, corals take your breath away and there is a good chance to find sting ryas or a leopard shark resting on the sandy patches. Inside the channel the channel you are taken by the current along beautiful rock formations with abundant hard and soft corals.
Hawksbill turtles will hover around and honeycomb moray eels stay most likely at 15 meters of depth.
On the inner slope, coral growth maybe rich if the slop is not to steep. Rising from the bottom are separate reefs and coral patches, known as giris and thilas, the giris reach almost the surface, whereas the thilas lie below at a depth with the top of the reef between 5 and 15 meters.
Triton giri is siuated more inside the Atoll and has at 15 meters of depth, overhangs with fine meshed seafans, magenta menella, stripedpolyps and white acabaria sea fans, hosting a diversity of shrimps, crabs and flat worms.
On the reef giant spaghetti worms live in parchment tubes integrated with sand and shell grith, their sticky tentacles extended to entrap small organisms and detritus.
The mantis shrimp and long nose hawk fish are the high light for photographers as well as the gobies, lizard fishes, jaw fish and small lobsters.
Naturally the usual reef fish like the fuseliers, jack fish, groupers and parrot fishes are present.
Spin around in tropical waters; the pinnacle rises up from the 30m deep sandy bottom, touches nearly the surface and is worth to encircle complete when you work your way up to the top.
Very pretty overhangs with fondy black corals. Their fine branches with white skin and small polyps, forming large bushy colonies, inhabit the giant winged pearl oyster and black coral shrimps.
Take your time to cover the whole area slowly to distinguish a rock from a stone fish, algae from leaf fish and soft corals from a scorpion fish.
Please don’t let the schools of fuseliers, jackfish, unicorns and snappers distract you from the amazing macro life at this reef.
Excellent spot for night diving, branded snake eels, mantis shrimps, octopus and hermit crabs come out for dinner and the orange crumble and yellow sponges decorate the wall full of compacted clumps of Faulkner’s corals with extended pink and bright orange polyps.
Sleeping parrot fishes and turtles wishes not to be disturbed by the torch lights!
Vaagali thila offers a steep reef with stony corals and at the Indian Ocean side, crowds of unicorns, sweetlips, yellow and five line snappers, red tooth trigger fish, mackerels, barracudas and huge tunas mix into fascinating scenery.
The top of the thila is 10 meters of deep and therefore very suitable for beginners.
Grey reef and white tip reef sharks can be seen on the outside reef, many adult lobsters squat in the small overhangs of the reef.