Website home>Dive Destinations>Maldives>North Male Atoll

The Dive Sites of North Male Atoll

Diving in Maldives

Click on an image to enlarge

...Good for: Underwater photography, wrecks, walls, drift dives, reef life and health, and advanced divers...
...Not so good for: Small animals, beginners, non-diving activities...

Also known as North Kaafu, North Male is perhaps the best known and explored diving area of the Maldives, having long been recognised as providing a great variety of scuba diving, beautiful scenery and a geographical location that makes it relatively easy to get to - the international airport is in Male, the port of departure for many of the Maldives liveaboards.

North Male Atoll diving is characterised by reefs, caves, current-swept channels and drop offs. The atoll sees plenty of fish action and is generally a good area for large pelagics, with reef sharks and mantas at the front of the queue. Show more

Dive Site Descriptions

Back Faru - The dive site is located only 1 hour away from Male City, on the northeast of Farukolhufshi, on the outer reef. It's an easy drift dive as it's well protected by the strong winds during the southwest monsoon season, and also because it's not greatly affected by the currents. It's not uncommon to see snorkelers on the site as well, as the reef is very shallow at the top and then it gradually gets deeper. Visibility is also usually very good. Show more

Return to the top of the page

How to Dive North Male Atoll

Liveaboards are without doubt the best way to see around the dive sites of North Male. For more information on the tour routes and all the other travel information you might need to visit Maldives, read:

Most of the atoll is inhabited, with more development in the south, with the north being more sparsely populated. This results in the more remote sites of the north being less visited and consequently more pristine. However, there is a greater concentration of dive sites to the south. As with most of the diving in the Maldives, there is often some current present so many dives are drifts.

Due to the popularity of North Male Atoll as a diving destination, we recommend you book 6 months in advance otherwise you may find the boats you want are already full. The Maldives is not a destination where you will find much last-minute availability so pre-planning is very much advised.


Return to the top of the page

Diving Season

The northeast monsoon from December to May is dry and brings gentle breezes. Currents pick up from November onwards which bring colour, good visibility and pelagic fish life, including manta rays and reef sharks, to the channels and pinnacles, although mantas and sharks are present the whole year round.

The southwest monsoon runs from June to November with a greater chance of rain and less calm sea conditions in exposed areas. However, there is less rain here than in the southern atolls of the Maldives. Late May 'til July are the months when conditions might be less than ideal and most liveaboards will go elsewhere during this period.

Air temperatures at North Male Atoll stay pretty constant at between 30 and 32°C, and water temperatures tend to hover around 26 to 29°C, although thermo-clines at depth can bring a sudden rush of cooler water. Visibility can be greater than 30m all year round when diving at the channel entrances with inflowing currents, and 15m at outflow.

Return to the top of the page

Where is North Male and How Do I Get There?

Review our maps below of North Male Atoll and its host country Maldives. Here, you will find information on how to get to Male City, on North Male.

Map of North Male Atoll (click to enlarge in a new window) Map of Maldives (click to enlarge in a new window)

Return to the top of the page

Reef Summary

Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 10 - 30m
Currents: Can be very strong
Surface conditions: Generally calm but can be choppy in southwest monsoon
Water temperature: 26 - 29°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: 35
Recommended length of stay: 1 - 2 weeks

Return to the top of the page

Useful References


Return to the top of the page