With the kind permission of iDive Maldives
HAFSA THILA is a classic Maldivian thila that starts 10 meters deep and falls vertically down to 35 meters on a sandy bottom. It is a few dozen meters wide and has an oval shape. Its walls present many overhangs at different depths and hosts black coral bushes.
The top reef, which is covered with table corals, is where small whitetip sharks like to hide. Other species often swim around the corner exposed to the current, such as grey reef sharks, batfish, dogtooth, tunas and schools of fusiliers.
At night, sharks, stingrays, moray eels and jacks swim around the thila for hunting.
You can enter the water anywhere on the site, depending on the current orientation. During strong currents, a fast descent can be necessary.
Divers can explore the pinnacle from the bottom to the top. For more chances to spot reef sharks, prefer staying close to the thila. Try to stay still at the edge of the top reef exposed to the current and you will be able to watch sharks pass close to you, often followed by tunas or barracudas. You can also check for tiny whitetip sharks under the table corals. If you observe well enough, you might also encounter stonefish and scorpionfish on the top reef.
During the ascent, divers usually perform a safety stop at 5m on the top reef, where batfish and surgeonfish can be found.
Hafsa Thila is very popular and there might already be boats there when you arrive. Don't hesitate to wait a few moments for them to leave if you want to dive more peacefully.
This dive site is accessible throughout the year. It is less attended than Maaya Thila, and therefore offers a healthier coral reef. If you want to help preserve Hafsa Thila, you should then consider diving at Maaya Thila which offers the same attractions. This site is accessible for divers with experience at depths of 20-30 meters, and even experienced divers may have trouble not damaging the reef.
300 Dive locations with illustrated information and GPS coordinates