Scuba diving The Indian Ocean
The sprawling Indian Ocean is located between Africa and Australasia, and the Southern Ocean, and is the third largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the Earth’s surface.
It’s home to several countries that offer exceptional diving, including the aforementioned Oman, alongside the Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, but the undoubted jewel in the crown is the Maldives.
DID YOU KNOW? - The deepest point in the Indian Ocean is the Java Trench, which is 25,344m deep.
Dive Site Editor’s Top Pick (Mark Evans)
Think of an island paradise and chances are the image in your head will closely resemble the Maldives. These palm-adorned white sand islands, tiny grains of land in the middle of the Indian Ocean, are surrounded by warm turquoise waters teeming with colorful marine life large and small. It’s not hard to understand their mermaid-like appeal to divers and non-divers alike.
When you visit the Maldives, you can either choose to stay on a resort island and snorkel ashore, go on a day boat, or explore via a cruise ship. There are pros and cons to both options, but whichever you choose, expect fabulous dives.
The lost continent - Scientists recently found a ‘lost continent’, whose remains are thought to exist in the depths of the Indian Ocean.
The Maldivian reefs may not have as many soft corals as the Red Sea or Southeast Asia, but what they do have are pelagics – and lots of them. Diving in the Maldives is generally characterized by strong currents, and this is where the action is. Diving in the channels, where the current flows through the atolls, is unlike anything else on Earth and hooked to the mouth of the channel with a reef hook you can sit back and marvel as schools of sharks and squadrons of eagle rays glide effortlessly back and forth in front of you.
Add in encounters with manta rays and whale sharks, and you’ll see why the Maldives ranks so high on diver’s bucket lists.
DID YOU KNOW? - The Indian Ocean has the lowest oxygen content in the world, attributed to the fast evaporation rate in the area.
Find more inspiration for your dive trips this year in the Ultimate Divers Guide.