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Maldives Geographical Information

Of late this beautiful coral archipelago has been feeling the effects of the El Nino current. There was severe bleaching when the waters rose in 1998 and though this robbed the corals of some of their rainbow brightness, the marine life was left intact and remains varied and beautiful. Maldives is still as much a diver’s paradise as ever.

Maldives stretches out north to south across the Equator just a few degrees below Sri Lanka. 1192 tiny islands in all, spread out over 754 km north-south and 118 km east-west, the land area amounts to only 298 sq km, a mere 0.4% of the total area.

The shimmering white sands of Maldives are great to lie back and relax on but not very good for crops. Some of the more fertile islands have some rainforest but otherwise Maldives grows watermelon, citrus fruits, banana, bamboo, and yam, millet and taro, plus a lot of coconut.

Under water Maldives comes alive in a riot of fantastic colours and shapes. Turtles, cod, sea unicorns, butterfly fish, angel fish, parrot fish, blue stripe snapper, Moorish idols, Moray eels weave in and out of the coral reefs. Further offshore lie the big game: deep-sea divers can find swimming companions in dolphins, sting and manta ray, and even some shark.

On terra firma the range is not quite as exciting. Giant fruit bats and big brilliant lizards dominate the wildlife scene on the land.

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