House Reef Vilu Reef
The house reef of Vilu Reef is situated on the South-East side of the Island and is accessible from three different points from the beach.
The points are marked by a buoy and when there is current, people can snorkel easily from one to the other buoys with the current.
The colorful reef starts from a depth of 2 meters and drops steep down into the channel.
Hard corals such as table and finger corals can be found in shallow depths as well as red, orange and blue sponges.
Abundant reef fish, like golden basslets, angel and butterfly fishes, groupers, oriental sweetlips, jackfish and fusiliers are always present.
There is the possibility to see turtles, eagle rays, moray eels and ‘passing by’ dolphins.
Bodu Thila is large mountain rising up from a sandy bottom at 30 meters of depth to 3 meters under the surface. The top is covered with blocks and hard corals which are crowded with small to medium size reef fish; groupers, Picasso trigger fishes, butterfly and angel fishes and patches of anemones.
On the sloping reef a variety of anemone corals are spread around the whole thila some of which have the beautiful purple sides on which the tentacles are attached.
Sea fans and table corals can be found at a depth of 20 meters and the top reef, while the down side of the reef is quite bare.
A real treat is the small thila only 30 meters away on the South side of Bodu Thila and completely covered with soft corals. The macro life is worth a full 45 min. to admire, which is only possible diving with Nitrox. The top is about 20 meters of depth and at the sandy bottom at the East side are small overhangs full of glass fish, avoiding the medium and small size hunters, by staying, in between, the black coral branches. Bring your torch to discover the colors of the soft corals in the overhangs.
On the North side of the uninhabited Island Lohi is a reef for beginners and advanced divers and differs completely from any other dive site in the Maldives. Large overhangs varying in depth, shape and ambiance are following each other up over the whole length of the reef. Even with strong currents you can have an easy and eventful dive cruising from overhang to overhang.
White acabaria corals at the edges of the overhangs and blue, red yellow and pink sponges fill up the space between the Faulkner colors, which seem just dead little tubes during the day but extend their orange tentacles during the night. Every 3 months a frog fish comes by to stay there for another 3 months and disappears just as suddenly.
Manta mobulas, tunas, fuseliers, turtles can be seen in the blue, while medium size jack fish move frantic close by the reef to prey on the smaller reef fish.
Very rare, at the east side after the caves are an anemone coral hosting 2 different clown fish; the Clark and the Maldivian anemone.
This dive is ideal for night divers with patience to discover the macro fish life that comes out on the reef after sunset.
The outer reef of North Nilandhoo Atoll is an easy ride for every diver and between December and May this is one of the reefs to meet the unexpected Whale shark. At the surface large amounts of plankton cluster together to be swallowed by the biggest fish in the Indian Ocean.
The reef slopes down to 30 meters where stingrays relax on the sandy bottom and white tip reef sharks are cruising the area. Most likely turtles stay at the reef and at one particular coral block, crowded with the small cleaner wrasses, at 7 meters of depth oriental sweetlips, soldiers fishes, emperors use this place for their daily gill brush.
Famous for mating octopuses in the months of April and May, the outer reef North of Vilu Reef is the ideal reef to try the Under Water Scooter, a pleasure to cover a long stretch and once you stumble upon a feeding turtle, you stop the scooter and take your time watching or making photo’s.
There are a couple of thila’s a little bit farther away from the reef at 30 meters of depth, where stingrays, grey reef sharks, manta mobula’s and white tip reef sharks stay around.
At best is the reef between 6 and 20 meters with numerous table corals, finger corals and large variety of small to medium reef fish.
Thibisa Far Garden
Eagle rays, stingrays, Napoleon wrasses, manta mobulas, a giant green turtles and even whale sharks have been seen at North East outer reef of Dhaalu Atoll.
Two large coral blocks at 20 meters are almost invisible by the huge amount of yellow snappers and emperors. White tip reef sharks are either sleeping on the 30 meter deep bottom or circling around the two coral blocks.
The experienced diving staff can show you the long nose hawk fish at one particular black coral.
The corner of the channel gives way to the long outer reef and even at shallower depth, black, red and fine lined snappers stay in massive shoals at the top reef around 10 meters of depth.
Requested by most repeaters!
Named after the dive baseleader Yukiko, this reef is a steep drop off from 2meters to 22 meters of depth and a colorful wonder world of soft and hard corals.
The top reef is covered with complete intact hard corals from builder and finger to large table corals alive with the always dancing Damsel fishes.
The wall has several small caves with glass fish, puffer fishes in different colors, small groupers, parrot fishes, lion fishes and colonies of anemones.
Preferable depth to see the most beautiful part of the reef is between 3 and 12 meters.
A large stone fish is visiting the reef and once you bring your camera to make a picture he is gone or makes himself invisible or stays just a couple of meters out of sight. Very amusing, that is.
Fuseliers are always present and although medium size jack fish pass by in a flash the tunas hunt the fuseliers and make the scenery of the swarming blue cloud complete.
On the sandy bottom often a leopard shark is lurking around and about.
Very interesting dive site for a night dive!
The corner of Velarau channel leaps out like a tongue from 5 meters of depth and descending from 10 to 16 meters of depth follows track until the middle of the wide channel.
When the current is flowing out from the Atoll most fish life will be hovering on the inside of tongue which drops down to a neat 23 meters. White tip and grey reef sharks move fro and to the tongue and some white tip reef sharks just lay down on the bottom for easy breathing.
The corner is traffic jam of schooling fuseliers, red and black snappers, napoleon wrasses, emperors and benner fishes.
Good chance to see on the shallower part a Hawksbill turtle.
With incoming current the tongue which is actually a shallow wall between the Indian Ocean and the inner Atoll is sloping down over a distance of 60 meters.
From a depth of 30 meters to the top reef, 16 meters is the hang out for tunas, jackfish, eagle rays, white tip reef sharks and Napoleons, not to forget tons of fuseliers.
Velavaru Thila is situated in a wide channel next to Velavaru Island, only 20 min. by boat from Vilu Reef.
The bulky thila starts at a depth of 8 meters and at the North side, a sandy slope hosts numerous gobies, Azmee fishes, blennies, spaghetti eels and lizard fishes while butterflies, angel fishes and squirrels accommodate the coral blocks along the reef.
The South side is the haven of a great variety of pelagic and reef fishes; white tip and grey reef sharks, tunas, sail fish, jack fishes, fusiliers, napoleon wrasses and turtles alternate with box, puffer and porcupine fishes, the famous basslets and crescent tail bigeyes.
The reef on this side is covered with stony corals, while staghorn and table corals enlighten the overhangs at various depths.
This dive is a top spot and highly recommended by our diving team!
At the doorstep of the exotic uninhabited Island Udhdhoo a steep reef with three little thila’s at 20 of depth is a must for every photographer.
The white sandy patches between the thila’s and the coral blocks are ideal to sit down and position yourself to have a closer look at the blackfoot, yellow-tail and Clark’s anemone fishes.
A large anemone colony with pink-bulb tentacles is the home of three Clark’s anemone families from aggravated jumping around parents to quite fingernail sized children.
Stingrays or guitar sharks might be a pleasant surprise at the deeper end of the sandy bottom of the reef.
The boat trip is 20 min.
The top of the round thila is covered with big table corals and the always dancing fusiliers in the shallow part give away a mesmerizing scene.
Octopuses, lion fishes, scorpion fishes, anemones and a little pink frog fish (for people with a very good eye) can be found on the steep reef, while the caves at 20 meters of depth are gaudy with frondy and spiky black corals, host of the long nose hawk fishes.
A loony white tip reef shark might pass along and turtles happen to eat the sponches between the table corals on the top reef.
The north corner of the channel South of Kannely Fara is the ideal place to see sharks with medium to strong incoming current.
Hard coral formations on the corner and the drop off stretch to the thila’s further inside the channel.
Napoleon wrasses, white tip reef sharks, eagle rays or mobilas hover motionless in the current while schooling jack fishes, fusiliers and emperor’s swirl around close to the corner.
Nitrox is recommended for a longer stay at the 22 meter drop off and the drift along the inside reef.
One channel South of Kermitt corner, Loricanto terrace lives up to its expectations, with outside currents abundant fish life in the channel and with incoming currents large tunas, big blue and yellow fin trevallies, snub-nose Pompanos, silvertip and white tip reef sharks, friendly napoleons, snappers, mackerels and jacks all around.
Close to the corner, starting from the drop off lies a hard coral covered thila with groupers, parrot fishes, emperors and surgeon fishes and more inside the channel stretch beautiful white sand banks with spotted garden eels.
The ideal reef to do your drift dive specialty!
One coconut throw away from Vilu Reef at the outside reef, the deep drop off into the Indian Ocean delivers the deep blue feeling cherished by so many divers.
A fairly good chance to hear and see dolphins passing by, along with white tips, turtles nibbling on the reef and for the adventures diver at one particular spot, amorous trigger fishes try to kiss and tell that the breeding season has started.
Rich with hard and soft coral at the top of the thila, densely populated with shrimps, starfish, flatworms pin cushions, sea cucumbers, angel and butterfly fishes, porcupine and banner fish, it is alive and utmost inviting to photographers and videographers.
Especially at between 15 and 7 meters of depth, the possibility for good footage is endless.
A cave at 28 meters of depth near a sandy bridge gives the necessary shadow for bigeyes, brown, oriental and giant sweet lips and hump back snappers.
Large grey reef sharks patrol the east side of the thila and with medium current a school of barracuda is always present, talking extreme large barracuda, up to 1.5 meter in length.
This giri has all the characteristics of a giri, sandy hill at the South side with baby sharks shuffling the area in search for crabs and little reef fish.
Single napoleon, turtle or grey reef shark nosing around and a steep reef at the North side with overhangs and patches of hard and table corals.
Snappers and fusiliers are tacking in the current and glass fish stay safely nearby the coral blocks, the ultimate prey for lion, scorpion and stone fishes.
Large anemone colonies cover one side of the giri, while the other side is the playground of many different moray eels; we can encounter the yellow-margin, giant and white-mouth moray eels.
A large overhang with spiky black corals has a family of frisky moving long nose hawk fishes which is a challenge for any photographer.
Gentle leaf fishes are hard to discover but with help of our enthusiastic dive masters and dive instructors there is a very good chance of finding them.
Red fire and purple fire gobies is only the top of the iceberg, a variety of lagoon, reef, pygmy, and white sand bank gobies give head to any goby lover.
In the season from November till April we organize full day trips to manta point in North Nilandhoo Atoll 1,5 hours boat trip from Vilu Reef. We make 2 dives in the channel and visit the cleaning station where manta rays will come and go to clean and give away a majestic show for us visitors.
The trip is a nice break from Vilu Reef and when we see the mantas the first dive we can choose one of the corners of the South channels for the second dive, with the possibility to see the whaleshark. Of course we have a luxurious lunch on the boat between the dives and some time to snorkel or rest, it is possible to bring family for snorkeling along on this trip.
Around 5 o’clock we are back in the diving school .
A beautiful small channel just south of the local Island Hulhudelhi is the playground of schooling barracudas, squadrons of eagle rays, huge stingrays, thousands of skip jackfish swarming around, and in the middle of the channel to crown it all massive amounts of white tip and grey reef sharks. Advisable to dive with inside current!
This is an advanced dive and considering the depth an advanced diving license is required.
Enriched air Nitrox is strongly recommended for a longer bottom time!
The channel is about 30 meters deep and depending on the major ocean currents we jump either at the North or South corner and let us drift with the current to the middle of the channel to watch this fascinating scene.
We usually go there for a full day trip and according to the weather circumstances we choose another channel dive, for example at Hulhuvehi Kandu on the other side of the Atoll.
Don’t miss out on this high adrenaline action dive and if you are interested make a request and we can specially organize this trip for you.