Best time to travel to Maldives

Whale Sharks in Maldives

There are not many places on Earth that offer whale shark encounters on a regular basis, and the Maldives belongs to those few!

Best time: all year round

Whale Sharks
Whale Sharks
Whale Sharks

The abundance of plankton around the archipelago is an ideal breeding ground for the world's biggest fish, which stays at the Maldives for the whole year. This is not typical for the species, who prefer to migrate in search of plankton.

Today there are three Marine Protected Areas where you can dive with this giant fish. One of the sanctuaries is found in Maamingili in the South Ari Atoll. Another two are located in Baa Atoll—in Hanifaru Bay and Angafaru.

Any opportunity to encounter animals in their natural environment is always magical. Here in the Maldives, you can try swimming with one of the largest shark species, and this is definitely an unforgettable privilege for the fearless ones.

But even though they are called whale sharks, these giants are beautiful and harmless, unlike their name implies. However, your heart won't skip a beat as their size is rather impressive. You don't need to have any diving skills to swim with whale sharks, but excellent swimming skills are a must!

This is a truly worthwhile experience, which one has to try at least once in a lifetime.

Practical info

When is the best time to swim with whale sharks in Maldives?

The dry season (November to April) is considered the best time to swim with whale sharks in Maldives because of the calm and clear waters with abundant planktonic life. This is the best time to spot more whale sharks in the waters of Maldives. If you're looking to have a spectacular marine journey, swimming with whale sharks between November to April is your best bet. Show more

Where are the best spots for whale shark sighting in Maldives?

Maamingili in the South Ari Atoll, Hanifaru Bay, and Angafaru in Baa Atoll are the three main Marine Protected Areas where visitors can swim with whale sharks in Maldives. There are also several other whale shark hotspots to visit around the Maldives. You can join guided tours on boats that are specifically designed for whale shark excursions and explore popular diving spots for a chance to see these gentle giants up close. Show more

How big can the whale sharks get in Maldives?

Whale sharks in Maldives are the largest fish in the world, measuring up to 60 feet long and weighing over 20 tons. Despite their size and name, whale sharks pose no threat to humans as their diet solely consists of microscopic plankton and tiny fish. Swimming beside these graceful creatures as they glide through the ocean's depths can be an unforgettable experience. Show more

What is the conservation status of whale sharks in Maldives?

Whale sharks were made a protected species in Maldives in 1995, and Marine Protected Areas were established to help preserve these majestic creatures. The Maldives recognizes the importance of protecting the marine environment surrounding the islands. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has also listed whale sharks as endangered on its Red List. Maldives is taking steps to ensure that shark populations bounce back by educating locals and travelers on how to respect and preserve sharks and their habitats. Show more

Can I swim with whale sharks even if I have no diving experience?

You don't need any diving experience to swim with whale sharks in Maldives. Excursions designed for both divers and non-divers ensure that anyone can experience swimming alongside these gentle giants. Since whale sharks swim closer to the surface, snorkeling is a better option for encountering them. With basic swimming gear, good swimming skills, and a snorkel mask, you can swim alongside these gentle giants. Some tour operators provide life jackets for extra support, making this experience accessible to almost anyone who would like to swim with these creatures. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin