Maldives has become a stop in the first and longest migratory movement of whale sharks ever recorded from the Indian subcontinent, cementing the island nation’s position as one of the few destinations in the world for whale shark sightings.
India’s Hidustan Times newspaper reported that an 18-foot female whale shark that set off Sutrapada, off the Saurashtra coast in Gujarat, in December had travelled along the Arabian Sea to reach the Maldives and was now in international waters. Since December 30, it has travelled more than 300 kilometres and is now heading towards the Somalian coast, it added.
It was one of the seven whale sharks fitted with a satellite transmitter, in a study being conducted by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The tags on the other six did not work well and stopped transmitting signals for 40 to 60 days.
“Knowing how this endangered species moves will help us design a more robust conservation and management plan, in collaboration with other countries,” Sajan John, head of marine projects at WTI, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, are year-round residents of the Maldives, tending to favour the western side of the Indian Ocean archipelago from May to December, then heading to the east until April.
There are two main whale shark sighting spots in the nation. The first is the well-known UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Hanifaru Bay in Baa atoll, while the second is the marine protected area off the coast of Maamigili island in Alif Dhaal atoll, also known as South Ari atoll. The latter in particular is considered a special zone as whale shark sightings take place all year round, unlike Hanifaru Bay where sightings occur in the southwest monsoon.
Sightings of whale sharks have sparked a distinct brand of tourism, luring countless tourists that make brief sojourns to the island nation solely for the pleasure of sighting these majestic creatures. Several resorts and guesthouses in South Ari Atoll organise expert-led excursions that allow guests to dive and snorkel with these creatures.
In the Maldives, there is a admirable research programme carried on by the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme to find out more about whale sharks. They identify the sharks by looking at their spot pattern which is unique to every individual, like a human fingerprint.
Uncover the Gems and Untold Tales of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll Through Personalised and Free-Spirited Adventures with The Nautilus Maldives
When envisioning the Maldives, one often conjures images of pristine white sands and luxurious resorts. However, beyond the typical tourist attractions lies a realm of adventure, cultural immersion, and natural wonders waiting to be explored. The Nautilus Maldives, an ultra-luxury private island hideaway, is crafting extraordinary journeys in the captivating Baa Atoll, inviting its guests to embrace escapism through immersive cultural experiences.
Inspired by The Nautilus’s brand hallmarks of the Art of Bohemia and Free Spirited Adventures, guests are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and indulge in transformative experiences. Through encounters with local personalities, guests gain an insight into island life, delving into cultural roots, traditions, nature, language, cuisine, and more.
The Nautilus prides itself on tailoring bespoke experiences to suit the unique preferences of its guests—whether adventurers, culture enthusiasts, or families seeking more than a beachside retreat. Guests embark on one of The Nautilus’s luxurious yachts, exploring treasured spots of the Atoll and creating unforgettable memories that will linger in their hearts long after their journey ends.
Discover the roots at the Kendhoo
Nestled in the northwest of the Baa Atoll, Kendhoo carries a rich tapestry of experiences weaving together history and culture. Once a vital hub along ancient maritime routes, Kendhoo’s vibrant cultural landscape is shaped by centuries of influences from Indian, Arab, and Southeast Asian merchants, as well colonial conquests. Guests can wander its streets,
indulging in local culinary treats with distinct flavours, and exploring landmarks like the 800- year old house marking the place of prayers of Abdul Barakaath Yoosuf al Barbary, a renowned Islamic scholar.
Weave your memories of the Maldives into art at Kihaadhoo
On the beautiful island of Kihaadhoo, guests can immerse themselves in the therapeutic art of coconut leaf weaving, a cherished tradition passed down through generations. Through hands-on experiences with the island’s residents, guests can learn to create baskets, hats, and decorative pieces, fostering a sense of cultural identity and belonging.
Traditional lacquer masters at Thulhaadhoo
Venturing to the southern tip of Baa Atoll, guests discover Thulhaadhoo island, renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship in traditional lacquerware. Here, artisans share their secrets of this ancient art of decorating items with vibrant colours and intricate designs inspired by the Maldives’ marine life and lush tropics, which has been passed down through generations.
Guests can even try their hand at creating these unique art pieces, serving as precious souvenir of their tropical getaway.
Exploration of the Deep Blue Waters of Dhonfanu
At Dhonfanu, one of Baa Atoll’s premier diving spots, vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine life awaits beneath azure waters. In season, there’s also a high chance for guests to encounter graceful manta rays and majestic whale sharks, igniting the senses with excitement and awe.
Delve into Poetic Ambiance of Dharavandhoo
Guests can make a stop at Dharavandhoo island, which boasts a rich tradition of Maldivian poetry, where locals celebrate history and folklore through the art of storytelling, expressing emotions, beliefs, and aspirations in the most poetic ways. These enchanting verses, inspired by the islands’ natural beauty, love, nature, and daily island life, transport listeners to a world where ocean rhythms intertwine poetic imagery.
To craft your own cultural journey across Maldivian islands, contact The Nautilus at firstname.lastname@example.org and begin creating your ultimate bohemian dream escape. For more information visit www.thenautilusmaldives.com.
Ocean Pearl: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands together with Dive Butler International deepens guest experience, marine conservation programme
Oceans-first island innovator Patina Maldives, Fari Islands together with pioneering diving and water sports operator Dive Butler International has announced the exclusive addition of a glittering new gem to its trove of exceptional guest experiences: the two-person submarine, Ocean Pearl. As well as deepening the resort experience through next-level exploration and adventure, Ocean Pearl will make significant contributions to environmental protection and marine biology projects across the Maldives and the surrounding region. The resort has also partnered with Dive Butler to establish the first submarine pilot training facility in the Maldives.
Ocean Pearl has been engineered by the world-renowned SEAmagine Hydrospace Corporation, established in 1995 and recognised for its leadership in the recreational submarine industry. Today, SEAmagine submersibles have accumulated over 12,000 dives – surpassing the total number of dives accumulated by all of its competitors combined – and are extensively used by various leisure, commercial, defence and scientific organisations around the world.
Ocean Pearl will be operated in conjunction with Dive Butler, all of whose submarine pilots have completed SEAmagine’s rigorous training programme, initially developed in collaboration with the US Coast Guard, and since established as the industry standard. Every expedition is led by an on-board pilot and a surface co-pilot, ensuring guests’ safety and access to profound knowledge of marine life, complementing the sheer wonder of the experience with an educational dimension.
The introduction of Ocean Pearl offers Patina Maldives guests an unparalleled perspective on the breathtaking marine life and underwater wonders that surround the Fari Islands. With a unique propulsion system that offers unsurpassed agility, 360-degree cabin view and an array of subsea tools, Ocean Pearl can be safely and precisely piloted up close to reefs – providing mesmerising, unobstructed views of the corals, exotic marine species and sunken treasures that lie beneath the surface.
Contributing to marine conservation
For guests seeking an even more purposeful experience than simply admiring the gliding grace of manta rays or observing elusive sea turtles in their natural habitat, Ocean Pearl also offers a unique opportunity to participate in hands-on, immersive initiatives under the sea, contributing directly to the preservation and protection of the marine ecosystem. Under the guidance of marine biologists and environmental experts, guests can engage in data collection and documentation, aiding ongoing research efforts. By contributing to marine biology projects, guests become part of a vital collective effort to understand and preserve the delicate marine ecosystem, not only in the Maldives but also in the wider region.
“With the launch of Ocean Pearl, we invite all adventure-seekers, marine enthusiasts, and travellers to embark with us on an extraordinary and immersive journey into the wonders that await below the surface. Whether it’s exploring vibrant coral reefs, actively participating in marine conservation efforts, or simply revelling in the sheer beauty of the ocean, Ocean Pearl promises to deliver unforgettable memories and a profound sense of connection to our planet’s most treasured aquatic ecosystems,” Antonio Saponara, General Manager, Patina Maldives, Fari Islands.
“We would like to express our profound gratitude to Pontiac Land for their innovative approach to tourism; and to our partners Dorado Legacy, Aston Investment Group, and Immerse Submarine Piloting for their unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and expanding this project’s impact beyond leisure into marine conservation. Becoming the first-of-its-kind facility to provide submersible pilot training and offer private submarine dives could only be achieved through a mindful collaboration and unwavering pursuit of excellence,” Alexis Vincent, Founder, Dive Butler.
Ocean Pearl submarine experiences start from USD2,500++ per hour. Rates at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands start from USD2,144++ (approx.. GBP1,699++) per night based on two adults sharing a One Bedroom Pool Villa including daily breakfast, USD100 resort credit, plus complimentary Guest Benefits. Must be booked at least 90 days in advance. Price excludes tax and service. Terms and conditions apply. To book email email@example.com, visit https://patinahotels.com/ maldives-fari-islands/offers/advance-purchase or tel. +960 4000 555.
Kaimoo Resorts partners with Maldives’ record-holding freediver Umair Badheeu
Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels has announced an exciting partnership with Umair Badheeu, the national record holder in freediving in the Maldives. Through this partnership, Umair will lead freediving-based well-being experiences for guests and staff at Kaimoo’s three properties in the Maldives: Summer Island Maldives, Equator Village and Embudu Village.
Freediving, a captivating sport that delves into the ocean’s depths with a single breath, embodies the essence of dedication and intimate connection with our aquatic surroundings. Beyond its recreational allure, freediving carries practical applications that can be used in other activities such as fishing.
Umair is a two-time Maldives national record holder in the constant weight bi-fin category, at a depth of 60 metres, and is amongst the top 220 in the world in the bi-fin category. Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels will sponsor Umair’s athletic and freediving training in Egypt at the legendary Blue Hole. Umair will also be participating in a prestigious freediving competition in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
As a part of this partnership, Umair will provide exclusive well-being sessions to guests staying at Kaimoo properties. Rooted in the core principles of freediving, these sessions aim to guide participants towards a state of deep serenity, all while surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Maldives.
Umair will also be conducting sessions for local communities with the goal of sharing safety practices and equalisation techniques for fishermen to spread the knowledge that will make their work safer and healthier.
Commenting on the partnership, Umair said: “I am thrilled to be working with Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels to not only enhance my own skills and push the boundaries of freediving but also to introduce this incredible sport to a wider audience. Together, we aim to create unforgettable experiences and inspire a deep appreciation for the underwater world.”
Umair believes that the training methods and breath holding techniques used by freedivers can be employed by non-divers to reduce stress and improve their mental well-being. “Freediving is essentially a meditation on one breath. It’s just you, your breath, and letting go of all the things that worry us in our day-to-day life. I am excited to share what I have learned with Maldivians and guests alike.”
“At Kaimoo, we believe in pushing the limits of adventure and exploration while supporting local athletes. Umair is the national record holder for freediving, and we are incredibly happy to be partnering with him to promote this upcoming sport that shows a lot of promise for the Maldives. We are proud to support Umair on his journey and look forward to a thrilling and successful partnership,” said Mohamed Manih Ahmed, Managing Director at Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels.
Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels is a leading tourism company in the Maldives that manages five properties across the country. In addition to Embudu Village and Summer Island Maldives, Kaimoo also operates Equator Village in Addu Atoll, and the Mookai Hotel and Mookai Suites in Male’.
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