Whale Sharks in the Maldives
Whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, can reach up to a massive 12 metres in length, and are common in the Maldives. Historically, they were only to be found in the Maldives during the southwest monsoon season, but now, due to several changes in the environment including higher water temperatures and increased levels of plankton, whale sharks can be found swimming around the Maldives and in particular, the Ari and Baa Atolls throughout the year.
Maldives Whale Shark Encounters
Generally speaking, whale sharks are not spotted while scuba diving. Instead, the dive boat, or liveaboard, will travel around an area known for whale sharks looking for signs of the sharks lurking underwater. Meanwhile, the divers are ready in their snorkel – not scuba – equipment and once the whale shark is located, they jump into the water with their snorkel gear on, and swim with the whale shark. Despite their massive size, whale sharks are very peaceful, curious creatures that present no real threat to humans.
Best Place to Find a Whale Shark in the Maldives
Whale sharks move around the islands of the Maldives depending on the season. In the drier, northwest monsoon season, which lasts from May to December, Whale Sharks are generally seen around the islands on the western side of the Maldives, whereas in the southeast monsoon season – the rainier of the two seasons – which lasts from December to April, the best whale shark spotting opportunities are found around the eastern side of the Maldives.
You don’t have to be a Scuba Diver to Swim with a Whale Shark!
The great thing about whale sharks is you don’t have to be a certified scuba diver to enjoy a whale shark encounter. Anyone of any age can jump in and snorkel around with these amazing creatures. The only requirement, of course, is that you can swim. This is great news for non-divers enjoying a liveaboard holiday in the Maldives.