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Whale shark sanctuary Maldives part of longest migratory movement in Indian Ocean



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.

Officials from the Wildlife Trust of India tags the 18-foot shark. PHOTO/ HINDUSTAN TIMES

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.


Unveiling the depths of paradise: Kandolhu Maldives



Kandolhu Maldives, the epitome of intimate luxury, also has a lesser known adventurous side to it. Located in the centre of Ari Atoll, it is one of the best dive locations in the Maldives, offering unforgettable underwater experiences that will leave you gasping for breath – in the most magnificent way possible.

Reached within 25 minutes by seaplane, Kandolhu is an enchanting little island oasis that beckons you to dive headfirst into a world of vibrant coral reefs, mesmerising marine life, and unparalleled natural beauty. Prepare to be captivated by the kaleidoscope of colours that dance beneath the azure waters, as you embark on an underwater odyssey that will redefine the meaning of adventure.

At Kandolhu, you’ll have the privilege of accessing exceptional dive sites both in the captivating North Ari Atoll and the mesmerizing South Ari Atoll. The Ari Atoll is a paradise for pelagic enthusiasts, offering thrilling encounters with feeding manta rays, graceful whale sharks. Unlike traditional protected walls or coral reefs, the dive sites in this region are predominantly characterized by remarkable thilas (pinnacles) and kandus (channels), creating the perfect setting for exhilarating drift diving experiences.

Dive enthusiasts of all levels are welcome to explore the extraordinary wonders that lie beneath the waves. Whether you are a seasoned diver or a beginner looking to take your first underwater breath, our team of experienced dive instructors is ready to tailor an unforgettable diving experience that matches your skills and desires. Their expertise and passion for marine conservation will ensure your safety while preserving the delicate ecosystem that makes Kandolhu Maldives a true haven for divers.

Beyond the enchanting underwater realm, Kandolhu offers a wealth of luxury amenities and services that will leave you feeling pampered and revitalised. Immerse yourself in the lap of luxury with chic accommodations, where every inch is designed to create a haven of tranquility. Indulge in delectable culinary delights at the resort’s 5 world-class restaurants, sip on tropical concoctions at the beachside, and unwind with rejuvenating spa treatments.

Prepare to be captivated by the wonders that await you beneath the surface of the Kandolhu Maldives, where every dive is a thrilling exploration of nature’s extraordinary beauty. Let the waves guide you towards an aquatic paradise that will leave you breathless – and yearning for more.

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Discover unchartered beauty of Maldives with Kuramathi’s revamped Island Hopping Excursion



Kuramathi Maldives has unveiled its revamped Island Hopping Excursion offering a captivating visit to the island of Thoddoo where you will experience the unique blend of agricultural life and breathtaking landscapes.

Nestled in its own tiny geographical atoll, Thoddoo offers a distinct experience unlike many other local islands. With a significant part of its population employed in agriculture, Thoddoo showcases the harmonious relationship between its people and the land. Join our guided tour, where you will have the opportunity to explore the island’s charming village life, interact with the locals, and witness their daily routines. Discover Thoddoo’s iconic landmarks, which provide a glimpse into the island’s rich heritage and traditions.

As you make your way back to Kuramathi, you will be taken to nearby reef within Rasdhoo atoll where you can experience the vibrant marine life amidst breathtaking coral formations. Next take a refreshing break and savour a delectable lunch onboard the Dhoni, a Maldivian boat. Let the soothing sea breeze and panoramic views rejuvenate your senses as you refuel for the next part of your adventure: another snorkelling adventure at one of the well known reefs in our beautiful atoll.

Island Hopping happens every Thursday and the runs from 09:00hrs to 15:30hrs, providing a perfect balance of exploration and relaxation. The excursion requires a minimum of six persons and can accommodate a maximum of twenty persons.

Embark on this unforgettable voyage of exploration and relaxation through the captivating wonders of the Thoddoo and the surrounding reefs of Rasdhoo Atoll.

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Experience thrills and relaxation at surfer’s paradise Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives



Surrounded by crystal-clear waters and located in the heart of a surfer’s paradise, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives offers guests an exclusive and thrilling experience. The resort offers a range of accommodation options, from bungalow rooms to luxurious suites, all boasting stunning ocean views. With a variety of dining options, a spa, outdoor pool, and fitness centre, this tropical island resort is the perfect destination for those seeking both activity and lavish relaxation.

For adrenaline junkies, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied. Jet ski across the water, glide over the waves while water skiing or windsurfing, or embark on a catamaran ride. If you prefer to dip below the surface, sign up for a diving course at the resort’s dive centre, or simply enjoy some leisurely snorkelling. And for those looking to unwind, indulge in a soothing foot massage followed by a pedicure, or venture into the open sea for some calm fishing or dolphin watching.

After a day filled with adventure, retire to your well-appointed room and soak up the tranquility of this beautiful island. With stunning over-water suites, couples’ spa treatments, sunset cruises, and private dinners on the white sand beach, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives has everything you need for a romantic and memorable vacation.

But that’s not all. The resort is also home to the world-famous surf spot, Pasta Point. Named after an Italian bistro that was once located in the same area, this surf spot is a dream destination for surf enthusiasts across the globe. Known for its consistent wave production, typically 4-6 feet in height, it’s no wonder that this spot is described as the “wave-machine” of the North Malé Atoll.

When you’re ready to refuel, the resort’s dining options will not disappoint. From all-you-can-eat buffets to a la carte menus, there is something for everyone. And with the anticipation of an exhilarating 25-minute speedboat ride to an island 13 km away from Malé, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives promises a delightful holiday, packed with a tropical punch.

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives is a beautiful island resort that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures, luxurious relaxation, or both, this resort promises to deliver a memorable and unforgettable vacation experience.

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