The Maldives is a haven for a multitude of marine animal species. And one of the popular reasons for people to travel to the Maldives is to encounter sharks. There are over 20 species of sharks in this archipelago from the abundant blacktip reef sharks to rare great hammerheads.
Blacktip reef sharks are some of the commonest shark species in the archipelago. They are medium-sized growing up to about 1.6 metres and they have black tips on most of their fins. These sharks live in shallow waters and feed on small fish and marine animals among the reefs. In fact, you can often see baby blacktip reef sharks at most resorts including at Club Med Kani and Finolhu Villas. The juvenile blacktips can swim in very shallow waters and have been spotted coming all the way up to beaches. Blacktips are very shy and will often bolt away when you get close to them.
Whale sharks are the largest shark species and largest living fish around. However, these gentle giants are harmless as they are filter feeders that feed on plankton and tiny shrimp. They are very common in the Maldives, especially in the South Ari Atoll. Whale sharks use the archipelago as a nursery and as a result, most of them here are juveniles measuring around six metres long. They like swimming in shallow waters, so it's quite easy to spot them when you're snorkelling. Alternatively, you can join one of the numerous whale shark tours available in the Maldives.
Grey reef sharks are commonly found around coral reefs and are active at night. They have a moderately stout body with a relatively rounded snout and can grow up to two metres long. They have a noticeable grey colouration on their first dorsal fin, and occasionally, on other fins as well. You can find them in areas where there is current including Rasdhoo Madivaru, Guraidhoo Corner, and many thilas and channels on the Maldives' east side. There's a good chance you'll encounter them in a dive, so keep a lookout for them on your Maldives travels.
Although hammerhead sharks are not as commonly sighted in the Maldives, divers do have a good chance of spotting scalloped hammerheads. They are medium-sized sharks with the front edge of their head being slightly scalloped and rounded. They are true carnivores and even feed on other sharks.
The best place to see them is at Rasdhoo Atoll in the Ari Atoll. Like Maldives whale shark tours, you can join a dive tour for hammerhead sharks where they go to Hammerhead Point at Madivaru Corner. The best time to spot them is early in the morning, before sunrise, so you'll ideally arrive at the spot and wait for the school of hammerheads to pass by.
Leopard sharks, also called zebra sharks are one of the stunning sharks to look at as they have unique patterns on their body ranging from spots to stripes. Juvenile sharks are dark with pale stripes, whereas adults are pale with dark spots. Leopard sharks are bottom dwellers and usually remain on the seabed at a depth of around five to thirty metres.
Sharks are magnificent creatures and you can often see a few species when you snorkel or dive in these waters. At Club Med Maldives, we provide numerous snorkelling and diving trips to the best spots around the archipelago that have not only sharks, but other marine creatures as well. Plus, we offer world-class service and hospitality. Book a stay with us and let us help you complete your Maldives travels.