Most frequently asked questions
Fehi Velaa Dive is located on the local island of Dhonfanu in Baa Atoll. The island is inhabited by about 400 people. By speedboat the island can be reached within just 10 minutes from Dharavandhoo, where the nearest airport is.
Coming from Male you can take a domestic flight from Male to Dharavandhoo that takes about 25 minutes. If you take the speedboat from Male, it will take about 90 to 120 minutes, depending on the weather conditions.
Dhonfanu is a small local island, where regular Maldivian people live. You have to imagine it like a village with no asphalted roads and no cars either. Motorised traffic only exists with motor scooters. The people here still live exactly as they have lived for a long time. Change is rather slow here.
There are two small restaurants and several small shops for food and whatever else you need. Dhonfanu also has a brand new harbour. In the north, Dhonfanu is surrounded by sea grass meadows, which are especially interesting for the green sea turtles, as they feed exclusively on it. Right next to Dhonfanu is Hanifaru Island with the world famous Hanifaru Bay.
All guests are advised to cover from shoulder to knees in the public area of Dhonfanu. Swimwear should only be worn at Bahamas Beach at the westend of the Island. Our guests can also take sunbaths on the terreace of Fehi Velaa Stay and on the dive dhoni.
Compared to one of the overpriced resorts, at Dhonfanu you can enjoy the Maldives at an affordable price. You can stay on Dhonfanu at Fehi Velaa Stay, our own guesthouse. The rooms are quite nice and come in at a much lower price than in a resort. This means you can allocate a larger part of your budget for diveing. On the other hand it should be noted that the domestic flight from Male to Dharavandhoo is also a little pricey.
It is really worth to check out our stay & dive packages.
At present no vaccinations are required.
Only when entering the Maldives from a yellow fever country, a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for all travellers older than 1 year.
As there is no malaria in the Maldives, you do not need malaria prophylaxis.
Questions especially on diving
We offer all PADI courses up to dive master.
If you have a specialty course in mind, please contact us before arriving to see if we can instruct that particular specialty and in the language required.
English is spoken in our team, which is acceptable for most of our guests.
Our sales team also speaks English, German, Slovak and French so if you feel more comfortable emailing in one of those languages, please feel free.
We have plenty of rental gear, however we recommend you inform us prior arrival about the gear you like to rent from us.
For most of our guests, a wetsuit with 3 mm is sufficient. However, some guests feel more comfortable in a long-sleeved wetsuit, while others only dive with a rashguard and shorts.
There is a health center in Dhonfanu that can deal with non-life threatening accidents like cuts or stings. For more serious accidents the regional hospital in Eydhafushi is 20 minutes away by speedboat.
Yes, you must have dive insurance to dive with us.
You must wait 12 hours after the flight before you are allowed to make a dive.
The last dive must not be made less than 24 hours before the flight.
Diving in Baa Atoll
Baa Atoll is an administrative division in the west chain of the Northern Atolls of the Maldives, and is actually made up of 3 atolls – Southern Maalhosmadulu, Fasdhuthere, and Goifulhafehendhu. It consists of 75 small islands, spread over more than 1,000 sq km and split by the Kudarikilu Kandu channel. There are over 100 coral reefs at Baa, mangrove stands, and the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve of Hanifaru Bay, and the scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities here are exceptional, especially during the months from May to November.
For those interested in diving in Baa Atoll, we have compiled the most important information.
In Baa Atoll most dive sites are submerged pinnacles, plateaus and overhangs cutting into the side of the reef.
Fish life includes midnight snapper, small-toothed emperor, coral rock cod, moon fusiliers and broad-striped fusiliers, orange basslets, moon wrasse and lizardfish, yellow-lined snapper, soldierfish in big numbers, red toothed triggers, black pyramid butterflyish, parrotfish, angelfish, very longnosed butterflyfish, unicornfish, starry rabbitfish, legions of blue-dash fusiliers, jacks and trevallies which can be seen hunting the small bait fish, yellow-lined snapper, scribbled filefish, all among hundreds of species, innumerable anthias and dottybacks. However, it is for the quantity of fish that will live in the memory of scuba divers. Of course you can also see tuna, napoleons, barracudas, reef sharks and many others, too many to name them all.
You can see whip corals, brick red sponges, black coral bushes large fans and many zoanthids as well as hard corals like table, stony and mushroom coral, brightly-coloured pendulous soft corals and much more.
Of course, you will find also different kind of nudibranchs, anemones playing host to pairs of porcelain crabs, just to name a few of the small stuff. The sponge snail (Coriocella hybyae) can be found here, which is an unremarkable looking snail which could be described in scientific terms as “a dark, knobbly blob”. But it is an endemic species to Maldives that moves at around a centimetre a day.
Turtles can also be seen here, mainly green sea turtles and Hawksbill turtles. Especially Dhonfanu, the island of our dive centre, is known for their large number of green sea turtles. That is why we named our dive centre Fehi Velaa, which means green sea turtle in Dhivehi.
Baa Atoll also boasts a marine protected area, the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Hanifaru Bay that is renowned for excellent mata ray and whale shark encounters. This is a relatively small bay near the uninhabited Hanifaru Island, which actually belongs to Dhonfanu, where our dive center is located. Hanifaru Bay is considered to be the world’s largest manta ray feeding station and has become known the world over as an amazing spot for experiences with both whale sharks and manta rays that few places on earth can promise.
In Hanifaru Bay you can often snorkel with 5 to 10 manta rays, on good days with up to 50 or 70 manta rays and on very good days with up to 200 manta rays. The chances are good that there are also one or two whale sharks between the manta rays, but this is not certain.
When diving at the manta cleaning stations, you can see between 1 and 4 manta rays on most dives. The manta rays are not shy, so that they sometimes swim past you at arm’s length.
As Hanifaru Bay is a natural spectacle second to none, we have compiled the most interesting information on a separate page.
From our island we need less than 10 minutes by dive dhoni to Hanifaru Bay.
You cannot tell in advance, when there is a good time of day to go to Hanifaru Bay to snorkel with manta rays. It depends on the tide, the moon, and the mood of the mantas.
We are in close contact with the rangers and the people from mantatrust, so we always know when it is worth to go. This might change plans from one minute to the next.
It is to know, that we have to buy tickets for each guest, when we go there. We charge for a snorkel trip the same price as for a dive. So instead of a dive from the package you can also go to Hanifaru Bay. The ticket cost are included.
It is a must that you are accompanied by a especially certified guide.
The maximum time we are allowed to snorkel with mantas is 45 Minutes. This is a regulation of the Biosphere Reserve. It is to know, that you have to buy tickets for each guest, when we go there.
Diving in Baa Atoll is very good all year round. In winter you have almost no rain and less humidity. There is not so much plancton in the water so the visibility is better. However, you have to be prepared for some current.
In summer we have monsoon season and therefore it is raining now and then and the humidity is higher. There is a lot of plancton in the water so the visibility is not perfect but still good. On most dive sites there is no current at all so diving is easy. From May to November we have manta season for all that want to snorkle or dive with manta rays.
During the manta season there is a lot of plankton in the water, no plankton – no manta rays, but still usually more than 25 m. If it is cloudy, then of course it is also darker accordingly.
In the summer months it is monsoon season. You have to expect rain from time to time. Most of the times it is not raining every day, and if then only a short rain shower. This usually does not bother people at all.
However, if you are unlucky, it can rain a lot for several days in a row, but we still go diving.
Temperature is around 30°C (86°F) during daytime and 29°C (84°F) during the night. The humidity is around 85 – 90%.
Water temperature is 29° (84°F), also when you are 28m (92ft) deep.
In summer diving is easy as there is little to no current at most of the dive sites. However, we always go deep 25-28m (82-92ft) and stay long there. The maximum depth allowed in the Maldives is 30m (98ft). Therefore, to get most of your diving with us, you should be AOWD and certified for Nitrox. You could book both courses with us if you want.
As there is no booze allowed on the local islands, you spend money for coffee, soft drinks, snacks and sweets. Fresh squeezed juices are expensive as fruits are expensive.
You can spend money on additional dives or specialty dives. You can spend quite some money on excursions like trips to Dharavandhoo or Eydafushi, on snorkel excursions, on excursions to an uninhabited island or a sand bank.
Local shops only accept the local currency. We accept cash in local currency or US$ and we accept credit cards.
There are not ATMs on all islands.
Currently we do not have a Bikini Beach. We have thought about it, but we are not sure if it is a good idea. At the moment we do not need this for our guests. However, we are aware that this is an important point. We have a large terrace with sunbeds etc. on the first floor of our guesthouse. Our guests can sunbathe there in their swimwear without any problems. It is only 70 m from our guesthouse to the sea. We also offer for our non-diving guests the possibility to go with our diving dhoni. On the roof there is enough space to sunbathe and of course you can also go swimming.
The supply of goods and services in Maldives is subject to a tax (GST) at the rate of 6% on the value of goods and services. The supply of tourism goods and services is subject to 12% tax on the value of goods and services.
All businesses operating in the tourism industry in Maldives should pay Service Charge to their staff in USD and this money is collected from the Guests as Service Charge and distributed to all staff equally, regardless of the salary or the grade/position. The salary of the staff is basically the basic salary and the service charge, plus other allowances. Every service provided by businesses operating in the tourism industry in Maldives shall levy a service charge in an amount not less than 10%.
Taxes are calculated plus plus. With 12% GST and 10% Service Charge, this gives a total of 23.5% on the net amount.
Prices in the Maldives are usually listed net, without taxes. When prices are quoted, it is therefore important to make sure whether GST and service charge are already included.