Holidays to South Male Atoll
South Male Atoll is very different to its northern neighbour as the uninhabited islands are spread about between those with resorts making these part of the Maldives seem much quieter. The biggest island in South Male Atoll is the charming Maafushi.
The Maldives is a chain of 26 coral atolls, 375 miles south west of Sri Lanka, extending across the equator in a north-south strip 468 miles long and 73miles wide. The 1190 low-lying coral islands are so small that dry land makes up less than 5% of the country's total territory. Indeed the number of islands varies from guide book to guide book, it all depends upon one's definition of an island. Most locals consider a piece of dry land qualifies if it has vegetation established on it, a sandbank is therefore excluded!
Ninety nine per cent of the country's territory is made up by sea and only 200 of the islands are inhabited, of which 90 are tourist islands. The islands are rarely more than a metre above sea level and whilst rising sea levels caused by global warming is considered a major threat by many, there are others who argue that coral regenerates and likes to grow just below the surface of the sea, and islands may grow as sea levels rise. However, of greater concern is the risk of storms caused by changing weather patters, which threaten the islands fragile beaches and coral reefs. The islands are not normally affected by storms being in a region that does not normally experience hurricanes. (See When to go, below)
The islands may be idyllic, but the real action is in the sea: there are reefs and lagoons aplenty populated by the most stunning array of brilliantly-coloured fish, with each atoll surrounded by a coral reef, and a reef and a crystal clear lagoon surrounding each island.