Guraidhoo Kandu Dive Site
Dive Site: Guraidhoo Kandu (Protected Marine Area)
Type of Dive Site: Channel
Location: South Male Atoll, South corner of Guraidhoo Kandu
Best Time to Dive: North East Monsoon season when currents are inflowing
GPS Position: 03.35270, 072.43150
Depth Range: 5m – 30m
Coral Growth: Poor
Features: Caves, Overhangs
Fish Life: Abundant
Experience Level: Suitable for beginners when the current is not strong, but when currents are strong, the dive is strictly only suitable for experienced divers that can handle underwater turbulence and washing machine-like conditions.
Dive Site Map - Guraidhoo Kandu
Diving Hints and Currents:
This top dive site in the Maldives guarantees a unique diving opportunity for viewing a wide range of marine life and stunning natural marine scapes. On the south side of Guraidhoo Kandu is the Guraidhoo corner, a famous dive site popular for its abundant fish life and coral growth.
The outside reef at Guraidhoo Kandu dive site is full of grouper fish, schooling banerfish and turtles, which usually always inhabit the same area of the reef. Near the corner you will see big schools of fusilier, rainbow runner, tuna and trevally, while on the corner point at 25 meters is where the grey reef sharks and snapper prey on the smaller fish. A large tame napoleon has become somewhat of an identity at both sides of the channel, and is always quick to track down divers.
Close up photo of moray eel at Guraidhoo Kandu dive site
A long cave containing fans, sponges and soft coral at 16 meters is a quiet time-out spot, not only for the cave-dwelling fish, but also for divers looking for a break from the currents. Inside the main channel there are a series of overhangs and caves found at roughly 10 meters, while right below you will see numerous outcrops of reef. At one instance of the inside channel, there is a huge overhang descending from the reef top at five meters to over 30 meters. When the current is outgoing you will often find schools of eagle rays congregating around the overhang at 20 meters. Alongside the bottom of the channel at 35 meters are the white-tip reef sharks.
Divers of this Maldives dive site are seldom bored and each dive always brings new discoveries and pleasant surprises. The currents can be a touch difficult through this channel, and dives sometimes have to be aborted during the spring tides. With strong ingoing currents divers may find themselves being pushed onto the corner of the reef top, in which case it is best to stay below 15 meters.
You may also experience a whirlpool-like effect, dragging divers up and down, near to the big overhang. In times like this it is best to stay close to the reef. With strong outgoing currents initiate your dive well inside the channel, and make sure you don't start the dive too deep (especially on the corner) as currents may carry the divers outside, making it difficult to return to the reef.
Guriadhoo Kandu, also known as Guraidhoo Corner, is famous for its notorious incoming current.
This great dive site is well known for spotting Gray Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays and Pelagic species. The dive at Guriadhoo Kandu begins at the outer reef close to the channel corner and divers swim towards the corner during an incoming current. Once at the corner, divers can use the current to hook on a coral and observe the entrance of the channel. When the current is flowing into the channel, Grey Reef Sharks patrol the edge of the entrance and other pelagic action can be observed on the ocean drop-off. Divers should remember to stay close to the reef once they leave the corner. During strong currents, underwater turbulence can be experienced within the channel near the caves and coral blocks. If divers are pushed away from the reef at Guriadhoo Kandu toward the deep blue water, do not try and fight against the current. Instead, they should drift with the current, try ascending to shallower waters and deploy the surface balloon. The balloon should remain visible on the surface until the dive boat has located the diver.
Other Famous Dive Sites in Maldives:
- HP Reef
- Hans Hass Place - Gulhifalhu
- Kalhahandhi Kandu - Pannettone