The Maldives is certainly one of the most beautiful atolls in the world, offering a number of excellent places for diving as well as incredible beaches, accommodations and a warm, tropical atmosphere. To the north of Male Atoll and located inside Kuda Kalhi, just to the west of Club Med is Banana Reef, one of the most popular dive sites in the Maldives. The atoll itself is quite stunning.
Also called “Gaathugiri”, Banana Reef gets its name from the overall shape of the island when seen from above. There are many places along the dive site to explore, such as on the western end were a large cave can be found between 1m to 15m down that have plenty of fish. The northeastern end of the reef is arguably the best place to dive with plenty of large caves, fascinating overhangs and deep gutters along the majestic rock face. There is certainly plenty to see at this particular dive site from the coral reef wall to the many different species of fish and sea life in the area.
There is a wealth of fish and sea life around the reef, almost immediately you will probably notice the large schools of bannerfish in the area which can range up to 1,000 or more at a time. Bannerfish feature vertical black and white stripes and have long, dorsal fins. So thick are the schools of fish that you may feel surrounding in their whirling mass. Grouper fish can be found in the caves along with wrasse and the different kinds of fusilier that include the blue dash and striped versions. Also found are black snapper fish, sharks, barracudas, giant squirrelfish, oriental sweetlips, soldierfish and grubfish along with many different fascinating species that swim about the caves and along the reef wall.
Dive Conditions & Experience Requirements:
The dive conditions at Banana Reef are certainly some of the best in the Maldives which explains in part why it is so popular. Plus, it is a dive site that is good all year round with plenty of places to explore. The dive itself ranges from roughly 5m to 30m, but in most places there are calm currents and good visibility make this the perfect place for novice divers to get their feet wet.
However, there are times in which the currents can be quite strong, especially near the reef itself which can create a “whirlpool” like effect. The best way to deal with this type of current is to simply ride it out as it will take you to calmer waters. Plus, novice divers can stay closer to the surface to avoid this unique current effect.
Overall, the diving experience of Banana Reef is something that few people ever forget. An absolutely stunning place to dive that provides many hidden treasures for the experienced as well as the novice diver.
This text is for information purposes only. It has been written by members of the website and can be inaccurate. Always contact local professional divers before diving.