Sharks. The mere mention of that name sends chills down the spine as those terrifying jaws with knife-like teeth come into our minds. Sharks are a species that are universally feared but there is one type of shark who escapes this fear and attracts a lot of love and curiosity. Come to the dazzling archipelago of Maldives and not just see this beloved shark but take a swim with him too! Have a whale of a time with the great whale shark in Maldives.
Whale sharks call Maldives their home all throughout the year, favouring the western side of the archipelago from May to December, then heading to the east until April. One of the best places to see whale sharks is the Marine Protected Area in the South Ari Atoll. Next question that might enter into your head is how and who arranges these safaris? There are many places like the Élite Diving Agency that offer whale shark safaris, however, you can also find many a luxury Maldives resort like Maafushivaru Maldives, that offer diving and snorkelling excursions among their facilities. This option is much preferred by tourists as here you get both accommodation and safari sorted out.
Now that we have the preliminaries explained, let’s get to know more about the Whale Shark itself.
The biggest fish in the world, Whale Sharks have an average length of 9.7 metres and an average weight of 9 tonnes. One of the biggest reasons that it has become so popular is that they do not eat humans! Unlike their cousins like the great white and the tiger shark, the whale shark does not feed on big meat (ex: humans) but filter feeds on small animals such as plankton. Whale sharks are non-cetacean animals that are grey and beautifully covered in a checkerboard-like pattern of yellow spots and stripes which are unique to each individual.
Swimming with these gentle giants in the mesmerizing Maldivian waters is indeed a most wonderful experience. But cherish these memories as these beloved creatures are said to be disappearing from our oceans. Due to a high demand for their meat, fins and oil; Whale Sharks are described by the World Wild Life Organization as Vulnerable to Extinction. However, there are ways that you can help stop these innocent animals from disappearing by joining together with WWF to adopt a Whale Shark!
Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.