After a very long work assignment I was looking forward to going back to Canada when it was agreed that I should come back to Africa after a break until Christmas. So I decided that I would take a small vacation before going to Canada and needed to decide where to go.
I loved Mauritius and wanted to go but adding it as a stop on the route home was very expensive. Egypt was another option for some kiting and diving but I had already been there twice in the past two years. My friend had just returned from diving in the Maldives and raved about it but I had this perception that it would be extremely expensive. After checking flights from Dubai (which were cheaper than Mauritius) and finding some great deals on booking.com, we were off to the Maldives!
The main purpose of the trip was diving but I also found a resort that had a windsurfing club. If you can windsurf, then you can probably kite which is a plus for me since I had to haul my gear anyways. I picked a small resort with 36 villas called Makunudu Island (http://www.makunudu.com/) which was a 45 minute boat ride from the airport in Male. The boat service was cheaper than the float plane and wouldn’t have issues with my kite gear. Also I was told the diving was better closer to Male.
We arrived at the resort dock to find a baby black tip shark swimming along the beach and I was hooked. The remote island was covered in palms and we were greeted by waiting staff to settle us into our beachfront villa. It was very nice and clean with A/C, and a short walk to the dining/bar area since the entire island is only 6 acres.
I opted for the all inclusive package which had some restrictions from the bar menu but is an excellent deal when you see the price menu. Dining was included and it topped the list of the best food I have ever had while traveling. The dining area was very nice, and the staff were friendly and welcoming. But that’s not the best part…
We had decided to take a day to rest before staring our diving package and relax around the resort. The wind picked up in the afternoon and I was able to kite! The west side of the island was empty with a beautiful sandy beach that we had all to ourselves while I was kiting.
On day two, we started our diving package with the onsite padi school. The two instructors were great. We did our first dive walking out from the beach to the house reef, which was full of fish, turtles, lobster and nurse sharks. I continued later in the day with a wreck dive. The following day we heading to a place called shark point on the outer reef. It was about an hour boat ride and the current was quite strong. We had to do a negative entry and get to the bottom where the reef shelf was at 20m quickly before the current pulled us away. Once at the bottom we anchored ourselves on the edge of the reef and spent the next 30 minutes watching 9 white tip sharks, some grey reef sharks and a very large tuna hunting fish. To date it was the best diving I have done but I highly recommend getting a pair of gloves to protect your hands.
We continued to dive over the next following days seeing some eagle ray, a leopard shark, turtles and other sharks at dive spots around the island. Visibility was very clear and on par with my experiences in Egypt and Mauritius. We spent the last day snorkeling off the beach on the house reef and it was the best snorkeling I have experienced with the abundance of fish and aquatic life so close to shore.
Overall, I would highly recommend Makunudu Island in the Maldives and it’s definitely one of my top travel destinations while still being affordable.