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Dive Review of Sub-Aqua Dive Centre/Conrad Rangali in
Maldives/South Ari atoll

Sub-Aqua Dive Centre/Conrad Rangali, Jan, 2014,

by Graham McGregor, Kilmacolm, GB (Top Contributor Top Contributor 35 reports with 18 Helpful votes). Report 7680.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Sub Aqua are the dive operator based at the Conrad Rangali resort in south west South Ari atoll. We had been at this resort before, including the previous year. We went in early January which is the dry monsoon period and the time when you get most reliable whale shark sightings. Rangali has a pretty reliable manta point (with two or three cleaning stations) and I saw mantas on 2 of the 3 dives I did on this site. I logged 9 dives in the week. The highlight was the all day safari, with two really good morning dives, the first on a thila (submerged mount) which came to about 13 meters of the surface. Loads of schoolinf fish, tuna. The socond dive was on a ridge and we saw loads of whitetip sharks. After the lunch nbreak we then cruised for a bit round the southern tip of South Ari. Various boats were in the area - all looking for whale sharks. It's a cooperative endeavour, when somebody spots a shark nearby boats are notified. We were lucky and spotted a whale shark. It was then a case of donning mask and snoekel and being dropped ahead of the whale shark's path. Absolutely fantastic. Ours was a juvenile apparently called "Pugsy" (known by its individual markings) but still 25 feet long and really magnificent. When the shark gets away from you, you rturn to the dive dhoni and they go round and drop you off ahead of the shark. This way you get as many encounters as you want (within reason). Sub Aqua are a good, professionally run operation. Nitrox is avaialble and good quality rental gear. They were pretty accommodating, if I asked for the 1 tank dive to go to the manata point that wasn't a problem. It is the best short distance local dive site around (and attracts other resort dive centers and live aboards. Sub Aqua will provide a guide for the house reef, which I dived a couple of times. It is a decent house reef. You can't, however, dive the house reef without a guide, even as a qualified buddy pair. Beware, you will be asked to complete a check dive before they will take you on a dive trip. Either schedule this in advance or (as I did)convince them you don't need a check dive because you have been diving recently under similar conditions (I had been diving in Palau about three months previously.The system is pretty simple; one (or more) two tank morning dives, sometimes to advanced sites and a one tank afternoon dive, to a close local site. Once a week they run the one day three tank trip generally to a site across the other side of the atoll then work their way back to Rangali, with time for a whale shark search and (hopefully) snorkel.You sign up for the trip you want the day before. The diving is all from Maldivian dhonis and the crews are very experienced, friendly and helpful. Conrad Rangali is a five star resort with facilities (and prices) to match. There are multiple restaurants and dining options; two spas and great service. The diving, like the resort, is not cheap but it is good.
Websites Sub-Aqua Dive Centre   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii, Cuba, Bermuda, Spain, Red Sea, Sipadan, Malapascua, Palau, Galapagos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas currents
Water Temp 28-°C / 82-°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 15-20 M / 49-66 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Maldives depth limit 30 meters but we generally were in the 15 to 22 meters max depth zone on most dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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