Marine Wildlife of the Maldives tour will take you to the sun rising over the azure ocean, snorkel areas of stunning beauty and abundant marine life including Manta rays, Whale sharks, Green, Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles as well as Bottlenose and Spinner dolphins, visit unspoiled islands and by night relax on deck gazing at the millions of stars above you. A traditionally crafted luxury Turkish Gulet complete with sails is the perfect way to experience the magic of the Maldives.
Following the arrival of the group flights you will transfer to your start hotel in Hulhumale.
Following breakfast, we have an early transfer to the jetty to board the MV Felicity which will be our home for the next 6 days. Today we cruise south to Guraidhoo in South Male Atoll. During this time you are able to do as you please, relax on the sundeck, sit in the shade of the sun canopy and watch the beauty of the Maldives pass you by and maybe catch sight of dolphins. When at anchorage you can choose to do as much or as little as you please; options include snorkelling and swimming or just relaxing.
This morning our first stop will be a reef located on the east side of the atoll which offers the strong possibility of a number of turtle sightings. The reef is shallow but dense with corals which provide turtles with an abundant food source. As with all Maldivian reefs there will also be plenty of fish life to observe including Box fish, Porcupine fish and schools of Banner fish. The remainder of the day we will cross the atoll into Ari Atoll and head south towards the island of Dhigurah.
The region of South Ari Atoll is very lucky to have a probable unique year-round population of Whale sharks. Nowhere else in the world boasts Whale sharks every single month of the year and furthermore many of the sharks seen are the same individuals time after time. We spend time with a representative of the Maldives Whale shark Research Team to learn about these magnificent creatures and how identification can be made before heading out on our own Whale shark safari. We may see 2 or 3 sharks in half an hour or maybe only one for the whole time we are searching, but the unpredictability all adds to the excitement! When we do spot them we will have the opportunity to snorkel alongside them, a truly magical experience.
Today we go in search of Whale sharks once more and if the time of year is right (December – March) we may also encounter Manta rays. Following lunch we will be taken to one of the best snorkelling sites in this area where we may be fortunate to encounter turtles amongst the colourful corals and fish life.
On departures between February and April we will cruise to Madivaru, a marine protected area, where with two cleaning stations we hope to encounter Manta rays. Out of season it is still possible to encounter solitary Manta rays and we will also make the most of a final opportunity to encounter Whale sharks. Qualified divers are offered the optional opportunity to dive Kudarah Thila, a protected marine area and one of the most exciting dive sites in South Ari Atoll (see money section for prices of the optional diving). For those who have not dived before a Discover Scuba Diving Course (optional - see money section for prices) is offered to learn the basic safety guidelines and skills needed to dive under the direct supervision of a PADI professional. This afternoon we will start our cruise northwards.
Today we will continue our cruise north before we anchor in the lagoon off the island of Hulhumale. Whilst cruising we can do as we please: relax on the sundeck, sit in the shade of the sun canopy, read a book or just watch the beauty of the Maldives pass by. This evening, just before sunset, we will board the dhoni and depart in search of dolphins. We will be joined on board by a member of the NGO group Save the Beach who will provide an overview of the Maldives marine environment.
Thoughtful thoughts to your inbox