If scuba diving or snorkelling with whale sharks appears on your bucket list, head to South Ari Atoll in the Maldives – one of the best places in the world to encounter these gentle giants.
South Ari Atoll is a globally important whale shark aggregation site and, as such, enjoys protection from the Maldivian government who, in 2009, declared 42 km2 the South Ari Atoll Marine Protected Area (SAMPA). What’s unique about this area is that the whale sharks are here all year round, whereas elsewhere in the world, sightings are only enjoyed for a few weeks of the year.
Euro-Divers Maldives at LUX* and Vilamendhoo Island Resort are perfectly placed for anyone hoping to encounter whale sharks and get that elusive tick on the bucket list. Coming face to face with a 12-metre-long whale shark is an awe-inspiring experience, one that will never be forgotten and our team feel incredibly privileged to be able to be part of those memorable moments with our guests. It’s not only divers who can get lucky and see whale sharks, with Euro-Divers non-diving family members and partners can get in on the action too and join regular snorkelling excursions – whoever said divers have all the fun?
If you’ve been lucky enough to encounter whale sharks whilst diving with us, let us know about your experience in the comments below.
Whale sharks are the biggest living fish on the planet with the mouth reaching about one metre in width… yes, they could swallow you whole, but don’t worry – they are filter feeders and eat only plankton, the smallest creatures in the ocean! Appearing on the IUCN Red List and listed as endangered since 2016, whale sharks are critically important for the health of our oceans but are under threat worldwide due to habitat loss, marine pollution, disturbance or harassment by boats and divers engaged in irresponsible tourism activities.
Here in the Maldives we are extremely lucky to have not only regular encounters with these magnificent creatures, but marine protection for them too. Come and enjoy the incredible experience of spending time with whale sharks in a responsible and sustainable way with Euro-Divers.