Kudarah Thila Dive Site
Type of Dive Site: Thila (Pinnacle), Protected Marine Area
Location: South Ari Atoll, Dhigurah Channel
Best Time to Dive: Year-round
GPS Position: 03.33550, 72.55415
Depth Range: 14m – 30m
Coral Growth: Excellent variety of hard coral, soft coral and sponges
Features: Thila, Caves, Overhangs, Outcrops
Fish Life: Abundant
Experience Level: Advanced
Dive Site Map - Kudarah Thila
Diving Hints and Currents:
Kudarah Thila is one of the most exciting dive sites in the Maldives, situated 1km south of Kudarah, in South Ari Atoll. The reef top is at 14 meters with steep drop-offs to 20 and 25 meters on most sides. You will find isolated outcrops of rock on the west side, a little canyon on the north face, and a large, long cave at around 20 meters on the eastern ridge.
Moray Eel at Kudarah Thila dive site
When the current is not too powerful divers easily navigate around the entire 80 meter thila without much difficulty.
On the deeper, gentler slopes on the northern edge of Kudarah Thila dive site are great expanses of large seafans. Such large aggregations of seafan are rarely sighted, and it is breathtaking to see them all swaying as one when the currents are flowing.
Around this top dive spot Kudarah Thila you will also find several grey reef sharks and white-tip reef sharks.
Pelagics are also abundant in this dive site, such as rainbow runner, great barracudas, blue-fin jack and tuna, drawn from the nearby waters.
The reef at Kudarah Thila dive site outcrops on the western ridge are covered in soft coral and it is not uncommon to see tallfin batfish swimming in and around this area. On the sand and rubble planes between the reefs at 15 meters are several species of goby shrimp, like the red fire dart goby and other tiny burrowers.
Amazing photo of firefish amongst colorful coral at Kudarah Thila dive site
By the large cave on the eastern face are many squirrelfish, pufferfish, grouper, small fans and black coral bushes. At the northern end of the cave is a swim-through leading to the top of the reef. On the southern end you will find the more of aforementioned fish life, nearby the large canyon.
A dive guide map of Kudarah Thila dive site
This dive site Maldives is strictly for more experienced divers, as strong currents are the norm, and divers usually initiate their dives on the up-current, descending rapidly to the thila in those conditions. Sadly, the coral-rich reef top bears scars from the numerous ships that have anchored at Kudarah Thila in the past.
Kudarah Thila dive site is subject to strong currents and a quick descend is necessary here. The dive begins at the up current and usually the dive guide sets the jump point a few meters away from the reef. Divers can easily circle around the Thila and the coral head located just a few meters away from the main reef. Divers should be prepared to make a open water safety stop. A surface balloon is essential at Kudarah Thila dive site and should be deployed as soon as divers reach shallower water and while making the safety stop. The balloon should be kept visible on the surface at all times until the dive boat has located the divers.
Popular Scuba Diving Sites in the Maldives:
- Lhazikuraadi - Hakuraa Thila
- Maalhos Thila
- Maaya Thila