COMO Maalifushi, the island resort in the Maldives’ Thaa Atoll, is now offering guests the opportunity to see whale sharks in their natural habitat. Guests at the resort can take a 20-minute boat ride to a whale shark feeding area, where they can observe the creatures from the deck of the boat or snorkel beside them for a more adventurous excursion.
The experience has been made possible through COMO Maalifushi’s new partnership with ECOCEAN, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to conserving the world’s whale sharks. The partnership will be a long-term project, aimed at understanding the numbers and movements of the whale sharks found in Thaa Atoll.
Whale sharks have individual markings, so ECOCEAN is using photo-identification to better understand how many are in the area and how often they are seen. Satellite tracking, using a custom-designed, minimal-impact attachment method for the tags, also allows the creature’s position to be transmitted when their fin comes out of the water during feeding.
COMO Maalifushi’s Whale Shark Excursion is available from December to April. As this activity is dependent on the behavior of the whale sharks, sightings cannot be guaranteed. Guests can sign up for the excursion when they arrive at the resort and will be called to the boat when a whale shark is spotted nearby.
The excursion starts from $150 for guests watching from the deck of a boat and $250 for those wishing to snorkel.
COMO Maalifushi in the Maldives also offers three restaurants, a fully-equipped gym, white sand beach access, water sports excursions and wellness activities.