Maldives' Southern Atolls
Diving at Thaa Atoll
Your diving in Thaa will mostly be undisturbed by other dive boats as there are no resorts on this atoll. With 37 sites already chronicled, there are still large tracts of unexplored channels and reefs, promising new sites frequently being added to your Maldive Islands diving itinerary.
Descend at 7-Up in 30m visibility to enjoy the exceptionally healthy coral on the walls and overhangs. Like the beverage that gives the site its name, you can expect a sweet experience in clear liquid. Unlike the fizzy pop, you won't have to deal with many bubbles since Thaa Atoll (also known as Kolhumadulu) is among the least visited dive sites in the Maldives. While several boats may all be battling for the same sites further north, here it will seem like you have the ocean to yourself.
Take a relaxing wander through the Gorgonian Garden for possible manta ray encounters and then return for a night dive to meet ghost pipefish hidden in the colourful coral garden.
You will experience drift diving at its best at Beauty and the Beast, alongside a full range of marine life from snappers to Napoleon wrasse, while schooling eagle rays are often encountered. There are no shortage of beasts to marvel at, and they are all beauties.
At Brand's Hatch, you could be accompanied by shoals of jacks as you make your way across the channel to see sharks and the special sight of eagle rays.
Olhugiri Kandu is the spot for loads of pelagic action. Schooling fish and jacks attract large numbers of white tip reef sharks. Tuna and eagle rays wait for the leftovers and the occasional large Napoleon wrasse can be seen nibbling on corals. Do keep close to the dive site as freighter ships do pass through the centre of this large channel. It is best to dive here when the current is flowing inwards.
Thaa Atoll Reef Basics: Submerged thilas, channels, coral gardens, walls, overhangs
Depth: 5 - 35m
Visibility: 20 - 30m
Currents: Moderate to strong
Surface conditions: Can be choppy
Water temperature: 27 - 30°C
Experience level: Proof of 30 logged dives, preferably advanced
Number of dive sites: 37
Diving season: All year round, with the best diving being from May to November
Distance: 186 km from Male
Access: Maldive liveaboard