Advantages The Worlds best dive location...FACT!
Disadvantages Only disadvantage is I don't live there!
Firstly, to update this op in response to a question I got in regard to why Lionfish are dangerous...Basically, Lionfish are tiny, extraordinary fish that are particularly decorative in a very individual way i.e there's no two the same as far as I could tell. They are immediately identified by their long, fanlike pectoral fins (which are poisonous), branched dorsal fin and brightly striped body and it is this eye-catching coloration that warns potential enemies that its grooved spines are equipped with a potent venom which can have fatal (or at least extreme) consequences to humans / divers who touch them.
Even flying over the 1,200 tiny islands (of which about 200 are resort isalnds) is completely breathtaking and you feel like you are on somewhere other than planet Earth.Having flown Emirates via Dubai, I stayed on an island called Kanifinolhu which is about an hours speedboat ride North of the capital Male and took the superior rooms with the All inclusive package. Before I talk about the diving, I'll go through my recommendations about the actual resort:
# Kani is stunning. It takes about 13 minutes to circumnavigate the whole island, perhaps 90 seconds to walk its width and 6 minutes its length. Plenty of facilities ranging from several beach bars, snooker room, creche, mini football pitch etc.# Service is fantastic. For an island that caters for about 200 people there is approximately a 1:1 staff ratio. Despite all these people, you can sit on the glorious beach and not see another human for hours, I have no idea where they all go! The staff can not do enough for you, lovely people (some Maldivian, some Indian).
# I had the superior rooms which were beautiful and air conditioned. If I was going on a pure diving holiday I would consider taking the standard rooms and saving some money. Every time we left the room (even if this was 10 times a day), staff would come in and brush the sand, leave petals on the bed etc.# As I mentioned, we took the all inclusive. Whilst this was handy, it cost about £52 / day / person extra and to be honest, with the heat and the diving, we could not drink anywhere near that amount in monetary terms. We had a fully stocked mini bar in our room which we ended up just giving away half the time to other people we had met (don't tell Kani that haha). When I go again, I would not take the All Inclusive.
# Watersport facilities at Kani are superb. Whether it's catermerans, windsurfers etc they have it all.# Kani has its own PADI dive centre which is well equipped, very professional and extremely dilligent when it comes to safety etc. Could not think of a single complaint about them. Dhonis (boats) are safe, well staffed and have all the necessary safety equipment.
# Kani has a beautiful lagoon on one side and a very shallow reef that covers the whole of the other side up to a breakwater that is a bit like the one in the Tom Hanks film Castaway. Snorkelling from shore is simply awesome with plenty of grouper fish, scissor tale dartfish, angel fish, baby sharks etc. The house reef is also marvelous but I did get consistently annoyed at all the non diving tourists who couldn't snorkle properly and thus stood all over the living reef like halfwits, very bad form.# It is very very hot and it is quite stealthy how it gets you because of the pleasant sea breeze. Bear in mind you are virtually on the equator. Take lots of sunblock and be sensible. Also, drink plenty of water as it is easy to get heat fatigue.
# Even if you are not into watersports particularly, there is plenty to do, you could never find it boring. Then again, if you want a wild nightlife go to Ibiza or something. There are lots of good excursions, especially the island hopping.# Cost. We spent about £9k including all our diving but it could have been done far far cheaper i.e economy air travel, standard rooms, half board etc. There are cheaper islands (and islands far more expensive) but I think Kani is the all around best package because it is a good size, has great facilities, amazing reefs and plenty of vegetation unlike Russian favourites like Paradise Island.
Now, finally, onto the diving!Where do I start? It is unbelievable. I did everything from night dives to deep dives and if it wasn't for the regulator in my mouth my tongue would have been hanging out!
Plenty of sharks (white tip reef sharks), some of a decent size and this was mainly what I went for, I adore them. Also, lots of turtles (thankfully they are strict about not holding onto them, I hate it when divers think it's okay to do that) and rays.Astonishing amounts of fish in general, I have never seen so many of all types and colours, the reefs are glorious and the wildlife abundant. With the excellent visibility it has it all, especially for divers who go for the nature element.
Dive groups (on our island anyway) were quite small, well organised and well planned. Dive computers are provided.Best dive was a nightdive to go and see Lionfish which was the highlight of the holiday for me as they are so so pretty (but obviously deadly / fatal if you touch them). That was on a 40m wall dive with a strong drift and quite a surge with lots of overhangs so it would be quite a challening dive for a novice who hadn't done a night dive before. For the record, I am a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver.Overall opinion of the diving:
I've only had one better holiday and that was because of who I was with (i.e I had a better holiday in Cancun with my now Fiancee than I did in the Maldives purely because of the person I went with). In terms of it being the most beautiful, awe inspiring and life changing place, no other holiday has come close.Beg, steal, re-mortgage your house, rob a bank but go before global warming sees to it the islands disappear for ever. No where else on Earth is anything like it for natural beauty.
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