Located inside Kuda Kalhi is one of the first discovered dive sites in the Maldives, Banana Reef in North Male Atoll is still one of the most famous dive sites among scuba divers.
Banana Reef thanks its name to the shape that looks like a banana when viewed from above. The Maldivian name is Gaathugiri and is a protected marine area for many years.
On the West side of Banana Reef, just before the wall, the top of the dive site has some stunning table corals not often seen on other dive sites in the Male atolls.
The wall will go down to a maximum of 25 meters, with at 10 -15 meters a large cave 5 meters deeper there is another small cave to explore.
The Northeast is the most popular part of this site, with massive rocks, deep gutters, overhangs, and caves that come together with the fringing hard coral reef on the Eastern Side of Banana reef.
While scuba diving on this spectacular dive site, you will see an abundance of sea life. The most eye-catching is the school of more than 1000 bannerfish that hang around.
On the west side, the deeper parts bring along grey reef sharks other predatory fish you can see along the reef, such as barracuda, trevally, and several species of reef sharks.
During the dive, schools of black snappers, shadowfin squirrelfish, moray eels, sweetlips, groupers, wrasses, and fusiliers.
With a bit of luck, you will see a manta ray appear out of the blue.
You can dive Banana reef year-round, but during the Northeast monsoon season (January -March/April), the combination of wind and spring tides makes a significant impact on the dive.
During the Northeast monsoon, the currents can be powerful; what can make it happen that on the West side of Banana Reef, down currents can appear along the wall. It has the nickname “washing machine” for this reason.
If you get stuck in the “washing machine,” try not to fight it and ride it out drift diving along the reef.
Maldives Liveaboards can use this dive site as a checkout dive.
We have been on many liveaboard cruises before but never had such an excellent check-out dive as the banana reef.
Amazing marine life and incredible coral growth.