Magical Maldives

Paradise on Earth

Like a bedazzled crown of the Indian Ocean, an incredible 1 200 islands sparkle in the warm waters off the coast of Sri Lanka. Of them all, only 200 islands are inhabited by local Maldivians and nearly 100 islands have been developed as tourist resorts, the remaining are entirely uninhabited. It’s sunny all-year-round, enriched by warm, friendly locals, crystal clear waves like nowhere else on Earth and a paradise of underwater beauty. Welcome to the Maldives!

Getting There and Getting Around

Flying straight over the Maldives to Singapore and then catching a connecting flight to Male seems somewhat strange but one of the big plus factors is the Singapore airport which is an experience on its own! Shopping here is a thrill with a wonderful variety and cleanliness, organization and design that would put most shopping malls to shame.

Like a bedazzled crown of the Indian Ocean, an incredible 1 200 islands sparkle in the warm waters off the coast of Sri Lanka. Of them all, only 200 islands are inhabited by local Maldivians and nearly 100 islands have been developed as tourist resorts, the remaining are entirely uninhabited.

We recommend a one night stay with a visit to the capital for a free tour to soak up Singapore’s sounds, colours, beats and energy. Another option is a stopover via Dubai with a connecting flight to Male. The connecting flight to Male is 4.5 hours, just enough time to relax and get some shut-eye before venturing on an unforgettable journey.

Prepare Yourself

Wear light, comfy, cool clothing as the heat and humidity when arriving in Male is most uncomfortable. As each day is filled with relaxation, basking in the sun and water sports, take a beach bag, sunscreen, beach hat, costumes, shorts, a few sarongs and very light clothing, as well as some evening clothes as each evening delights in a different activity. A universal plug is also advised.

Money, Money, Money

Arrange enough forex for your suitability; dollars are the preferable currency. The currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa with the exchange rate conversion to Rand pretty close to 1:1. There’s also no need to exchange Rands into Rufiyaa as dollars are accepted everywhere. Tips are recommended and appreciated everywhere, so exchanging dollars into Rufiyaa for this purpose is a good idea.

Cruising Kani

The welcoming Kani staff set the tone for an awesome journey ahead. And we’re off! The motorised boat ride is a mere 25 minutes from the capital of Male, luckily not allowing enough time to get seasick. As you catch your first glimpse of the island on the horizon, it’s nothing short of spectacular, leaving you holding your breath at the sight of the turquoise clear waters, not to mention the white sandy beaches.

Get your bearings by taking a tour of the intimate island, known for its couple’s connection and love. Days here are full of only the good stuff - utter relaxation, privacy with cuisine and activities to suit all tastes - a totally perfect escape for honeymooners. Finolhu Villas which is part of the Club Med Exclusive Collection are private eco-friendly villas with your very own pool and personal butler! Take advantage of the exclusive spa massages and honeymoon packages available. The place is set up to make you want to fall in love a million times over - with life, with love, with nature, with each other. Enjoy spa treatments in the comfort of your villa and experience the romance of a private beach or villa fine dining. You could stay in the private, exclusive luxury of Finolhu forever, but don’t forget that Kani, a mere short visit by boat, is available as your playground.

Kani also offers another romantic option, the Manta lounge, with a refined accommodation of suites on stilts with a terrace and four-poster beds, bathtub with lagoon views and private sea access. What more could you ask for? Oh, what’s that, a side-by-side rejuvenating spa treatment of pure indulgence? You got it! And, to compliment any romantic and special moments, there’s also the overwater swing, yoga on the beach or gym with a view of the ocean!

With the family in mind, the island also offers family and couple suites of different deluxe options.

Some of the best marine life awaits those who wish to explore the underwater paradise. It’s known that the Maldives boasts the clearest waters and most unique marine life. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete either, just make sure you’re able to stay afloat. If the deep waters of scuba diving aren’t for you, but the spirit still yearns for something active, the snorkelling is just as sublime. You’re bound to be totally mesmerised by the clarity of the turquoise waters and the beauty of the colourful tropical fish. Don’t be surprised when you’re joined for a swim by a troop of friendly turtles. For the surfers, waves are best around June and July. Apart from scuba diving, snorkelling and surfing, other marine activities include submarine and glass bottom boat excursions and a wonderful coral preservation programme.

Dine Out

The cuisine at Kani is indescribably one of the best there is with an indulgent fusion of the finest in Japanese, French, Italian and Chinese dining. Five speciality restaurants adorn the island, including the Sunset Beach Bar and Velhi offering daily scrumptious buffets. Beach barbeques with entertainment and evening parties are most certainly a highlight. Plus, there is no charge for alcohol - the cocktails!

Shopping and markets

Taking a little retail break from the beach at Kani’s boutique shop, you’ll find a few clothing items, memorabilia and presents to take back home for the loved ones.

Do it while you still can

Being a low-lying nation, a severe threat to the Maldives is global warming. Rising temperatures cause a domino effect with the increased melting of glaciers, polar ice caps and rising ocean levels that directly threaten the existence of the Maldives. So, before the sad possibility of the Maldives becoming an aquatic under ocean distant memory, embark on a journey of a lifetime that will most certainly leave you with fond memories and unsurpassed beauty forever entrenched in your heart.

Top Travel Tips

  • Dress modestly while in Male, the capital.
  • A valid passport is required. South Africans don’t need a visa for the Maldives or Singapore and if staying in the airports of Dubai awaiting connecting flights. If leaving the airport and entering Dubai, a visa is required.
  • January to April are the best travel times but anytime of the year promises sunshine.
  • Maldives is one of the safest travel destinations in the world.
  • Wi-Fi is available on the island.

Costs and Packages

www.visitmaldives.com or www.clubmed.co.za for further information.