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Maldives – Goidhoo Island

February 2020

From Fulhadhoo I took a private speedboat to Goidhoo, passing Fehendhoo on the way.

The island

Goidhoo is the principal island of the Goidhoo Atoll. In terms of area and with its 500 inhabitants it is by far the largest island of the atoll. Since Fehendhoo and Fulhadhoo do not have their own harbor, it is the only island in the atoll that is serviced by the state ferry and speedboats from Male.

The island is not really suitable for sun worshippers. There is only a small bikini beach in the very south, which is ideally accessible by bicycle because of the distance to the guest houses. The water is shallow, so it is not suitable for swimming. Nevertheless, the island is worth visiting, because it is home to a colony of large forest crabs, which are called Kadoofa Kakuni in the north of the Maldives. I already saw a few of these crabs on Mulhadhoo in the north of the Maldives, but on Goidhoo hundreds of these crabs were on their way after dark. Because of the size of the island, the presence of groundwater and good soil, agriculture is carried out on the island and the products are exported to Male. This also means that the food on Goidhoo is more varied than on many other islands of the Maldives. Another special feature is a freshwater lake surrounded by mangroves, on whose shores many Kadoofa Kakuni crabs live.

Goidhoo also offers the best snorkeling experience in the Goidhoo Atoll, as the underwater pictures show. The visibility was mostly excellent.

Because Goidhoo is not a beach destination, there are only two guest houses on the island. The ‘Olive’ is located on the west beach of the island. It is a modern hotel near a small beach with a view to the sunset. At the time of my visit the food was not very good, so some guests came to eat at the ‘Horsburgh Island Guest House’ where I stayed. This was in the village and simpler, but the people were friendly (a tour of the island on a motorcycle and an introduction to the island’s agriculture were included). Also the free use of the bike was welcome because of the size of the island. This guesthouse is located near the diesel-powered electricity plant, but I didn’t smell any exhaust fumes.

It is a friendly island with colorful houses.

The mosque

The solar power plant of the island. Nevertheless, the diesel-powered electricity plant is indispensable. In the background, the mobile phone towers of the two telecom providers ensure communication with the outside world, including fast 4G Internet.

The long west coast is the ideal place to watch great sunsets.

The groundwater is pumped to the fields through pipes.

Nothing grows here without irrigation.

Crabs

It is rare to see one of these crabs in daylight, as they are mainly nocturnal.

In the north of the Maldives these large forest crabs are called Kadoofa Kakuni. On Goidhoo the locals seem to have no name for these crabs. I saw few of these crabs on Mulhadhoo in the north of the Maldives, but on Goidhoo hundreds of these crabs were on the way after dark. They are the biggest crabs in the Maldives. The head is about 10 cm wide.

They feed mainly on leaves.

But young coconuts are also on the menu.

The defensive position

They hide in their own dug holes during the day.

A plastic part is the home of this hermit crab.

A spider is waiting for its prey.

Snorkelling

The snorkeling area is located in the southeastern part of the island outside of the ‘Secret Beach’. During my visit there was a constant light current in southwest direction, but it was not dangerous, because it did not lead out into the open sea. It is a very interesting snorkeling area. Here I saw Sicklefin lemon sharks for the first time, once even two only a few meters away from me. I also encountered turtles and eagle rays.

Crystal clear water

A swarm of humpback snapper

Sabre squirrellfishes

A Goldsaddle goatfish

A Spotted trunkfish

An Orange-spine unicornfish

An Oriental sweetlips

A Snubnose pompano

A Meyer’s butterflyfish

Picasso triggerfishes

I saw these Sicklefin lemon sharks always in the same area.

A Hawksbill sea turtle

A Spotted eagle ray

This Banded sergeant first hid under a branch

but then dared to come out after all.

A Peacock rock cod

A yellow variant of the cigar wrasse

A Doublebar goatfish

I had a hard time identifying this species of fish. Maybe it is a Two-spot banded snapper.

I saw this White ribbon eel from the beach.

A Queen rainbow-wrasse

A Giant sweetlips

Although Goidhoo has no dream beaches, this island is worth a visit. The underwater world is varied, the colony of large forest crabs is impressive and the agricultural area is also interesting to visit.

The local ferry took me in 1.5 hours to my next destination, the island of Thulhaadhoo.

 

This text is an automatic English translation from the German original by deepl.com