Scuba diving in Hafza Thila
The Hafsa Thila dive site is located at a distance of 0.8km/0.5mi from the small islet of Velidhoo located to the southwest of the island of Ukulhas, Maldives. As the name suggests, the site is a pinnacle of a coral reef that goes up to 10m/33ft from the seabed and goes down to more than 30m/98ft deep. Hafsa Thila is known to be a dive site that is exceptionally rich in marine life, where shoals of almost all the regional fish species perform their beautiful dances. It is also known that this spot serves as a cleaning station for sharks getting their mouths cleaned by small cleaner fish. The scenery of the dive site resembles a big fish parade where gray reef sharks are the kings. At the shallow depth of 10-14m/33-45ft divers will see the regular coral reef seascape with lots of little reef critters occupied with their daily routines. Due to the strong currents often occurring at the site, diving at Hafsa Thila is only recommended for advanced divers.
When to go
The regional climate has almost no seasonal restrictions against diving. However, the best time to dive is December through May, due to the calmness of the sea. The sea temperature is not influenced much by the seasons, averaging 26-29C/79-84F throughout the year. The waters at Hafsa Thila have exceptional clarity, and visibility averages 45m/148ft.
What to see
The Hafsa Thila site has extraordinarily diverse marine life. Gray reef sharks and whitetip sharks being served by the cleaner fish are the main characters of this 'dive piece'. The supporting pieces consists of schools of fusiliers hunted by large tuna, and surgeonfish playing with air bubbles. Scorpionfish, big-eyed jacks, blue-striped snapper, octopi, and moray eels can also be commonly spotted here. Turtles and mantis shrimp are also occasionally seen.