With the kind permission of iDive Maldives
Nelivaru Thila is a dive site located 1km north of Kunfundahoo island in Baa Atoll in Maldives and offers great diving conditions throughout the year, and high chances of spotting Manta rays during the southwest monsoon, especially during rising tides. The pinnacle is made of a 5-meter-deep top reef, a sandy slope on its north side, a vertical wall on the south, and blocks on the bottom of the eastern and western parts. Several overhangs can be found on the southwest flank of the thila. It is possible to dive all around the pinnacle, but the most interesting parts are the west, east and south sides. The many species you'll be able to encounter include ghost pipefish, stingrays and Manta rays.
The water entry can be performed on the west or northeast side of the thila according to the current orientation. Even if the top reef is very shallow, it is recommended to make a current check prior to diving.
When divers enter on the west side, they quickly access the overhangs area, and can then dive left shoulder along the reef. When divers enter on the east side, they might not have enough time to explore the deep caves if it took them too long to reach the place.
The ascent, following a safety stop, can be performed on the upper plateau thanks to an SMB.
This site is more interesting during southwest monsoon, and is suitable for divers with some experience at 20-30 meters. Even if top reef is shallow, divers may encounter strong currents coming from the north. Divers are asked not to disturb the Mantas by keeping a certain distance with them.
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