Whale Shark Hotspots in the Maldives

11 Feb 2020

Snorkellers and scuba divers never forget the first time they meet a whale shark underwater, reaching up to 12 meters long, the sheer size of them is incredible, it’s awe-inspiring when you realise the tail is about the same size as you! If you’ve not ticked this gentle giant of the ocean off your bucket list yet, check out the whale shark hot spots of the Maldives and you could be in for the experience of a lifetime!

The Maldives’ South Ari Atoll is world-renowned as the go-to place for diving with whale sharks. In 2009, the Maldivian government declared a 42 km2 area of coral reef a Marine Protected Area, due to its global importance as a whale shark aggregation site. What makes South Ari Atoll so unique is that the whale sharks are there all year round, whereas other known aggregation sites in the world are seasonal, with whale sharks visiting for just a few weeks or months.

Prodivers Lily Beach and Vakarufalhi are within easy reach the South Ari Marine Protected Area (SAMPA). There are many dive sites along this stretch of out reef that faces the open ocean with some sites having more sightings during certain months than others. Between May and November visits to Digurah Beru, Lux Beru and Didhoo Beru Faru yield the most sightings and, between December and April, Maamigili Kandu, Maamigili Beru and Sun Island Outreef seem to be favoured by the whale sharks.

Guests at Lily Beach can embark on a full-day diving adventure while those at Vakarufalhi can visit SAMPA during half-day dive trips.

*Please note that weather conditions may mean that trips to SAMPA are not possible and, that the nature of whale sharks as wild marine creatures means that sightings cannot be guaranteed.