The Maldives is famously dreamy, with white sand beaches, secluded islands, and a barefoot attitude for life – bliss. However, the archipelago is also making a lot of sustainability moves, from banning single-use plastics, to sustainable water use systems, to protecting the flora and fauna that make the islands so beautiful. The latter is great for animal lovers: the islands are absolutely flourishing with animal life thanks to a focus on protection. Want to go on holiday see it for yourself? These are the best resorts in the Maldives for wildlife spotting.
The Best Resorts in the Maldives for Wildlife Spotting
- Sharks: Movenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives
- Manta Rays: The Standard, Huruvalhi
- Dolphins: Mercure Maldives Kooddoo
- Turtles: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
- Whale Sharks: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo
- Sea Life: Ritz-Carlton Maldives
Best For: Swimming With Sharks
Movenpick Resort Kuredihivaru Maldives
Once you’re over the initial terror of the idea of swimming with sharks, it becomes an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity. Head to Movenpick Resort Kuredihivaru Maldives for their Shark Night Dive where – after a dedicated Shark Awareness Program to learn all about these magnificent creatures – guests can spot Black Tip Sharks, White Tip Sharks, Guitar Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, and Tawny Nurse Sharks. With an emphasis on preserving and not disturbing, guests can observe these animals in their most natural, unguarded state – often with baby sharks in tow.
Best For: Manta Ray Magic
The Standard, Huruvalhi
Located just a 35-minute speedboat journey from the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Hanifaru Bay, The Standard’s Maldives outpost benefits from one of the country’s richest marine biodiversity areas. With the world’s largest aggregation of Manta Rays from May to November, it would be rude not to make the most of it with a Manta Snorkelling excursion. Spot them, swim alongside them, and learn all about these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Best For: Dolphin Spotting
Mercure Maldives Kooddoo
There are opportunities in resorts across the Maldives for wildlife spotting, so it makes sense that the world’s dreamiest destination would also host some of the dreamiest creatures: dolphins. If dolphin spotting is on your bucket list – like it is for so many people – then head to Mercure Maldive Kooddoo situated on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, an island famous for its beaches and marine life. Here, guests can depart from the hotel on the Dolphin Adventure excursion where, in small groups, they are safely led to see beautiful dolphins enjoying their natural habitat.
Best For: Turtles
Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
Certified by the Green Globe Certification Award, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is a paradisal location – for both guests and the surrounding wildlife. Their Turtle Rangers Program allows guests to see the endangered Hawksbill Turtles, sharing resources and facts about sea turtles and their habitats, their importance in the ecosystem, and the threats they face.
Best For: Spying Whale Sharks
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo
An idyllic beach retreat with marine life at its heart. Step away from the luxury, if you can, and embark on Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s Whale Shark Encounter tour, where marine biologists accompany you as you marvel at magnificent whale sharks, which can grow up to a whopping 12 metres in length. Though the whale sharks are the star of the show, there’s plenty of other amazing wildlife to spot while you’re out there.
Best For: Exploring Sea Life
Home to the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment Program – collaborating with the world-renowned oceanographic explorer, environmentalist and film producer – the Ritz-Carlton Maldives resort offers guests the chance to explore the ocean depths. A sustainable resort at its core, guests even join leading scientists and marine technologists on bi-weekly drone flights – a Maldives’ first – to observe the precious sea-life of the surrounding ocean.
Featured Image: The Maldives from above (via Getty)