One of the most jaw-dropping experiences one can have in the Maldives is to swim, snorkel, or dive alongside a whale shark - arguably one of the most majestic creatures in the ocean. Whale sharks (Rhincodon Typus) are the largest shark, and in fact the largest fish alive today.
Despite their immense size, whale sharks feed on plankton and small fish, so you’ll never have to be worried about getting scooped up by a whale shark. If you’re wondering how to identify a whale shark, worry not. Their enormous size will help you identify. Keep an eye out for white spotted colouration on these gentle giants.
The Maldives is one of the best destinations to find whale sharks. You’ll just need to be savvy on how to find them. The whale shark’s favorite spot is South Ari Atoll, where the gentle beasts frequent the channel and can be spotted all-year around. Some of the best islands to find whale sharks are around Dhigurah, Dhangethi and Maamigili.
As you adventure in the Maldives, make sure to tick off ‘swimming alongside Whale Sharks’ off your bucket list.
The Maldives is also at the forefront of research on whale shark species. The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP), seeks to advance the field of whale shark knowledge and advocate for sound conservation policy in the Maldives.
The organization encourages and values community and industry stakeholder participation to conduct scientific research and safeguard the incredibly rich and crucial biodiversity that makes all life possible in the Maldives.
Excursions to find whale sharks can be arranged almost any time of the week, and tracking whale shark sightings is easily accessible through the local Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme’s Whale Shark Network Maldives app. Many island resorts, guesthouses, and liveaboards offer their own tours for this exciting trip. Likewise, excursion guides and boat captains are experts in spotting whale sharks and they will help guide you to the best spots.
Swimming alongside a whale shark is a reminder of how beautiful, majestic, and grand nature can be. And no other destination offers you such a memorable experience than the Maldives. So pack your bags (don’t forget sunscreen), board the plane, and embark on your adventure to the beautifully scattered islands of Maldives. Whale sharks await.