Kaafu Atoll is an administrative division of the Maldives. It is located in the central part of Maldives. Consists of Kaashidhoo Island, Gahaafaru Atoll, and Malé Atoll (which includes the North Malé Atoll and the South Malé Atoll). It also has a number of uninhabited islands. Atoll capital is Thulusdhoo even tho the capital of Maldives – Malé is also located within the same atoll. The whole island group, the Maldives, is named after its capital and the word “Maldives” means “The islands (dives) of Malé”. Kaafu atoll is the tourism hub of the country as the only international airport – Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is located there. Every tourist arrival to the Maldives first reaches in Kaafu atoll before getting transferred to their final holiday destination – resort or a local island.
Diving Maldives - Kaafu Atoll
Kaafu Atoll is the best known and most explored area of the Maldives. It is characterized by beautuful underwater scenery including coral reefs, caves, drop-offs and wrecks. Divers in the northern section of the atoll are able to enjoy some of best coral reefs the Maldives has to offer, whilst in the southern section, cleaning stations allow for close encounters with manta rays and unusual reef residents such as octopus and moray eels are often seen.
A shipping route through one of the atoll channels has also left a few wrecks for future generations to enjoy as colorful and thriving artificial reefs. In addition, the North Male dive sites enjoy some of the best coral reefs in the Maldives. The islands are not really known for their pristine coral coverage these days but there are spots in this area as healthy and bright as anywhere in the world.
Manta Point is a cleaning station in the south east of the atoll that’s great, not just for observing manta rays at close quarters, but also reef residents such as octopus, moray eels and white-tip reef sharks. With a little luck (but not too much) you’ll see, not just one or two mantas, but more than your fingers can count of these magnificent graceful rays.
Visit the capital - Malé
Traditionally it was the King’s Island, from where the ancient royal dynasties ruled and where the palace was located. The city was then called Mahal. Formerly it was a walled city surrounded by fortifications and gates (doroshi). The Royal Palace (Gan’duvaru) was destroyed along with the picturesque forts (kotte) and bastions (buruzu) when the city was remodelled under President Ibrahim Nasir’s rule in the aftermath of the abolition of the monarchy in 1968. However, the Malé Friday Mosque remains. It’s also known for its historic mosques and colorful skyscrapers. The National Museum, in Sultan Park, showcases regional artifacts like ancient weapons and sultans’ thrones. In the north of the city, Huskuru Miskiiy is a 17th-century mosque built of coral stone and housing intricate wood carvings. In recent years, the island has been considerably expanded through land-filling operations. Over the years, Malé has been the center of milestone events.
Tourism in Hulhumalé
Hulhumalé is a reclaimed island located in the south of North Male Atoll, Maldives. The artificial island was reclaimed to establish a new land mass required to meet the existing and future housing, industrial and commercial development demands of the Malé region. A lot of guesthouses have been built in Hulhumalé recently to accommodate for the growing needs of local tourism . Hulhumalé also serves as a layover destination between the transfers from other islands and international flights because of its location. It is linked to the airport island with a causeway making it very easy to reach without additional boat trips. Close distance makes this urban island a destination of choice for short period visits. Full range of excursions and other tourism related activities is available.