North Male Atoll is considered to be the tourism center of the Maldives, with over 40 top end resorts it provides luxury accommodation and tourism facilities. Much of the diving in the Maldives is done around North male Atoll due to the proximity to dive sites and the abundance of coral and marine life. There are several dive sites around the atoll, most of them being reef, drop offs and caves. Currents can be very strong so always check with local operators before heading out.
This top dive is located at the southern end of the atoll, the 3 meter deep reef slopes away to around 40m then off into the abyssal depths. It is named after an overhang in the shape of a lion's head and offers several more overhangs, caves, cracks and crevaces where marine life can hide. Hard coral formations here are healthy as the area is part of a protected marine park. Plenty of pelagics can be seen in the depths including eagle rays, tuna and even grey reef sharks if you are lucky. Hawksbill turtles are also common here.
Located on the southeastern side of the atoll this banana shaped reef offers a more relaxing dive down to a sandy slope at 30 meters. Plenty of overhangs, caves and crevaces along the reef playing home to a multitude of marine inhabitants including morays, stonefish and lobsters. Napoleon and humphead wrasse also live around the reef which makes a nice drift dive.
Old Shark Point
This dive site is located in the channel between north and south male atolls hence strong currents are usually present. As we know these currents attract big feeders such as jacks, tuna, marlin and of course sharks. Descent is made on a mooring line, this dive is not for weak swimmers!
Sunk on Friday 13th Feb 1981 this 110 meter cargo ship lies in 35 meters of water and has become encrusted with coral. Penetration to the cargo holds is still possible and a number of small objects can still be seen around the wreck including bottles and cigarettes. Many fish now congregate around the upright hulk including batfish, snappers and fusiliers.
There are many other dive sites around North Male Atoll including Wattaru Kandu - good rock formations, The Aquarium - rich marine life and variety of reef fish, Sunlight Thila - attracts mantas from March to October, Vilingili Corner - schools of reef sharks often spotted and The Steps - an infrequently visited dive site that attracts big pelagics. In addition to these are Kuda Haa with its camel shaped bommies, Lankan Reef and Caves, Maagiri Caves, Mayaa Thila and Rasfari - an outer reef will good walls and drift diving. Different dive operators tend to stick to dive sites in their area.