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Maldives – Mandhoo and Dhangethi Islands

Jan / Feb 2019

Mandhoo Island

I reached Mandhoo from Dhigurah via Mahibadhoo with the local ferry.

Mandhoo is about 800 meters long and 300 meters wide.

A very well maintained road

This young man is sitting on a typical Maldivian chair. You can find these chairs on every island. Sometimes the frame is made of metal or plastic tubes.

Although the islands are small, each has a sports field. Also communication towers can be found everywhere and provide fast 4G internet.

Every island also has an ambulance. But it can’ t go far.

Here too, the women clean up.

Mandhoo is known for its large shipyard.

Nowadays glass fibers are also used, which resulted in odor emissions.

And of course there were crabs. I was able to take a picture of this crab in daylight from close up, which is very rare.

There were two snorkeling areas on Mandhoo. One was in front of the Bikini beach, where the water was very shallow. Larger fish did not occur there. I liked this area anyway, because I could observe small, inconspicuous fish.

Two Six Spot Sleeper Goby of only a little more than 10 cm in size in front of their cave

A juvenile Onespot Damselfish

A sea cucumber. It feeds on plant particles in the sand.

A second area with many corals was located at the northern end of the island outside a small rubbish dump. Unfortunately the water was often murky.

Sabre Squirrel fishes are very shy and are mostly in hiding. Therefore they are difficult to photograph.

A Pinstripe Butterfly Fish. Even the eye is striped!

A juvenile Yellow Boxfish

Porcupine Rays prefer sandy soils. The larger one had a diameter of more than one meter.

A Honeycomb Grouper

Dhangethi Island

With the local ferry from Mandhoo to Dhangethi I transferred again in Mahibadhoo.

Shortly before Dhangethi we passed this resort island.

Dhangethi is less than 1,000 meters long and 350 meters wide. It is a tourist island with multi-storey resorts. Some more are under construction. Many prices, also in local shops, are quoted in US dollars instead of the local currency Ruffyia and are often higher than on less touristy islands.

Dhangethi is famous for the nearby dive sites and together with Dhigurah is known for whale shark and manta ray sightings.

In the house reef of Dhangethi many smaller sea creatures can be observed, but I also encountered young rays and sharks. Since the house reef was shallow in many places, I could not reach all parts of the reef snorkeling at low tide because of the lack of depth.

I met this White Ribbon Eel here for the first time.

I encountered this approx. 20 cm long pipefish in several reefs.

A Cowtail Stingray

Humpback Unicorn Fishes

A Splendid Soldierfish, also called Blacktip Soldierfish. This fish often hides in caves and is difficult to photograph.

A Sabre Squirrell fish watching me from his hiding place.

A Spotfin Squirrel Fish

A shoal of Gold-striped Emperors

A Yellow Boxfish

This Cigar Wrasse with its green color is well adapted to life in sea grass.

A Humbug Damsel Fish

An adult Dusky Gregory

Zigzag Wrasses

A Convict Surgeon Fish

A Decorated Sand Goby

A little crab looks out of its shell house.

A Blackspot Emperor

An Emperor Angelfish. I only met this magnificent fish in the reef on Dhangethi.

This was the end of my Maldives trip to the North and South Ari atolls (also called Alif Alif and Alif Dhaal atolls). I liked it very much on these small islands. Motorized traffic was almost non-existent. Therefore I lived for one month without noise and exhaust fumes. Best of all, I didn’t meet a single dog during my trip to the Maldives, because dogs are considered unclean here. So I could jog up and down the streets on the islands undisturbed. Over time I developed a daily routine. After getting up I had breakfast. Then I read the emails for an hour and studied the latest news. From about 9:30 to shortly after 11 o’clock I did my first snorkeling tour. During lunchtime with its strong sunlight I worked at the computer and went around 13:30 to a local restaurant to eat something small. From 15 o’clock until about 16:30 I snorkeled a second time. After another office hour I went to the beach and enjoyed the sunset. At 19:30 I enjoyed dinner. After a few more hours at the computer it was time to sleep. Alcohol was forbidden on the local islands. From time to time I missed a cool beer.

With the local ferry I reached with changing in Mahibaadhoo and after an engine defect on open sea the main island Male. The next day I flew to Sri Lanka.

This website describes the last part of my one month Maldives trip to the North and South Ari atolls (also called Alif Alif and Alif Dhaal atolls). You can find the beginning of the report of this trip here. At the end of the website a link leads to the next islands.


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