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North Male Atoll is with capital Male and many other pristine islands and islet the most popular scuba location in the Maldives.

Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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North Male Atoll or Kaafu Atoll is the most popular atoll in the Maldives. It is the spot where all tourists enter the Maldives through its International Airport situated on the island Hulhule. It requires a short boat trip to reach Male Island, the main and most developed town. Ten minutes to get to Full Moon in the southeast and fifteen to reach Baros in the southwest. It is a two kilometer square island in the south of Kaafu Atoll, fully developed catering for tourism. There isn't a spot left which isn't used for accommodations, restaurants, bars or residential villa's and houses.

Surfers are common on the eastern windward side of North Male Atoll, especially a beach named Cokes at the small islands of Thulusdhoo is world renowned. Basic handicraft shopping is a fun activity in Male, but be careful not to buy corals, turtle and oyster shells since they are strictly forbidden to take on the plane. Besides, no diver wants to promote this nasty business. Popular islands include Dhiffushi, Helengeli, Rasfari and the many islets near the capital.

Diving on Kaafu is characterized by heavy currents, drift diving, caves and steep drop-offs. There is also the 'washing machine effect', an often very strong sideward or downward current that will take you by surprise. Pay attention and try to avoid these; they are not dangerous but can take you away from the reef and can make you disoriented. Gaafaru is a small atoll just to the north of North Male Atoll right past the Gaafaru Kandu Channel. Even more to the north you can dive at Kaashidhoo Atoll, a remote atoll offering some of the best diving in the Maldives. On top of this, Male has the busiest shipping lanes in the Maldives and therefore many wrecks for us and future divers to explore, especially in the channel between Gaafaru and Kaashidhoo. Male is the place where most divers will dive, on very pretty dive sites but those for even more remoteness and solitude, they can visit the outer atolls and reefs on liveaboards.

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