Sailing Guide

Malé island (Kaafu)

Malé island (Kaafu)



Malé is the capital of the Republic of Maldives located at the southern edge of North Male' Atoll Kaafu.
Traditionally it was the King's Island from where the ancient Maldive Royal dynasties ruled and where the palace was located. Formerly it was a walled city surrounded by fortifications and gates (doroshi). The Royal Palace (Gan'duvaru) was destroyed along with the picturesque forts (kotte) and bastions (buruzu), when the city was remodelled under President Ibrahim Nasir's rule after the abolition of the monarchy.

A commercial harbour is located in the Island. It is the heart of all commercial activities in the country. Many government buildings and agencies are located on the waterfront.
Malé International Airport is on adjacent Hulhule Island which includes a seaplane base for internal transportation.
Several land reclamation projects have expanded the harbour. 


From the few observations made in the vicinity of Male, it seems likely that the water movement there is far more influenced by the monsoon currents than the tidal currents.
When the currents are flowing strongly, it seems likely that the tidal currents are only strong enough to increase or decrease the resulting flow and rarely strong enough to reverse its direction. Due to the probability of strong and unpredictable currents, an approach by night is not recommended.

In the channel E of Male, the currents from Vaadhoo Kandu (Wadu Channel) set across. During the Northeast Monsoon, a component of the current sets NW through this channel, setting a vessel towards the reef fringing the E side of Male. The flow turns W between Male and Funadoo.
It is reported that this flow commenced 1.5 hours before HW, and ran until 1.5 hours before LW, attaining a maximum velocity of 2.5 to 3 knots at about HW N of Male breakwater, where it sets strongly across the N face of the breakwater. At the same time the flow was weak and variable E of Funadhoo. Strong sets have also been reported during the Northeast Monsoon in Male Harbor.
During the Southwest Monsoon, a component of the current enters the lagoon through the channel S of Giravaru, flowing out principally through the channel W of Male and between Male and Funadhoo, and then S into Vaadhoo Kandu (Wadu Channel) .

It was reported (1972) that an E set existed until within the line joining Male and Hulule, then slack water between Funadhoo and Dunidu, when a strong E set was experienced to the anchorage. Four hours after LW, with the flood current tending to oppose the current, a moderate NE flow was experienced in the lagoon.

No observations have been made during the change in the monsoons when the currents could be weak and variable at times, but trong sets may always be encountered.


Male is identified from N and NE by a white mosque and minaret, and radio masts at its SE corner.
The E, S, and W coasts of Male are fringed by an unbroken reef, awash, extending from 23m to 0.2 mile from the S coast.
The N side of the island is protected by a breakwater, about 1.2m high and 4m wide, which is connected to the land at each end.
Six passages lead through the breakwater into the harbor, with another into a shallow pool at the W end. Lights are shown from beacons, painted in black and white bands, lying on each side of each of the passages passages.

Malé island (Kaafu)
Male (Maldives)
Posée sur les flots, la capitale des Maldives compte 100 000 habitants sur 2 km², soit le tiers de la population du pays.

La ville est située sur l'île de Malé d'une superficie de 1,5 km² dans l'atoll de Malé (Kaafu) dans le sud de l'archipel des Maldives.
Malé est depuis 800 ans le centre des Maldives. Récemment la population de l'île a tellement augmenté que l'on a dû l'agrandir artificiellement pour satisfaire à la demande croissante.
Aujourd'hui plus d'un tiers de la surface de l'île a été gagné sur l'Océan Indien. L'île est densément urbanisée, la ville prenant l'essentiel de la surface de l'île.

Une base d'hydravions ainsi qu'un port sont situés sur l'île.
L'aéroport international de Malé est situé sur l'île d'Hulule avoisinante.
De nombreux projets d'extension sur la mer ont permis d'agrandir le port.
Malé est le centre du commerce de la noix de coco, de la fibre de coco, du coprah, et des coquillages de cowry.

Les meilleurs spots de surf se situent dans les atolls de Malé N et de Malé S. Pour la région de Malé Nord en général, la saison du surf s'étend d'avril à octobre. Dans le S, des safaris-surf sont organisés sur l'atoll de Hadhdhunmalthee et celui de Huvadhoo.
Comme ces deux atolls sont séparés par le "1° channel" (un canal de 1° de latitude) et qu'il existe une masse terrestre très réduite au S de celui-ci, une houle générée par les quarantièmes rugissants (phénomène météorologique créé à l'extrème S de l'Océan Indien) vient frapper les îles de ces deux atolls avec une grande vigueur, créant les meilleures vagues du pays. La meilleure saison pour s'y rendre tourne autour de janvier.

Malé island (Kaafu)
Male (Maldives)
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To precisely geolocate this site. Update if necessary.
Sites around Malé island (Kaafu)
Flying distances - Direct line

Funadhoo island (Kaafu)

Funadhoo (Funidu) lies about 0.3 mile N of the E end of Male, and is surrounded by a reef which dries in places.
A small tank farm, with three large and about six smaller tanks,stands on the island.
17 Nov 11

Hulhule island (Kaafu)

Hulule, about 0.6 mile E of Funadhoo, bears some tall coconut palms; an airstrip runs the full length of the island and joins it to an islet close S. Airport buildings and a small village lie along the central part of the W side of Hulule.
The Malé International Airport is located ...
17 Nov 11

Malé harbour Sawmill Pt (kaafu)

The Maldives group of Islands extends in a N/S direction from 00 41.48 S to approx 08 00N, to the SW of the Indian subcontinent. Male' the principal port, is centrally situated on the E side of the group. The inner harbor is used by small local craft and has depths of 1.8 to 3m. ...
19 Nov 11

Male commercial harbour (Kaafu)

Male, the principal port, is centrally situated at NW corner of Male. Male' Commercial Harbour is situated on the NW side of Male' island.
All cargo vessels are handled at Alongside and as well as at anchorage using Barge operation. Most of the container ships are handled at Alongside ...
19 Nov 11

Surfing in Malé (Kaafu)

Eastern reef of Male’, Southern tip of North Male’ Atoll: A couple of shifting peaks, popular with locals, riding surfboards and boogie boards. The reef picks up plenty of swell. Best in W winds. Accessible from the shore.
17 Nov 11

Malé Inter island Harbour (Kaafu)

South West Harbor is protected by a rough breakwater of heaped coral extending 0.15 mile from the SW extremity of Male.
The harbor is used by inter-island trading boats, cargo lighters, and deep-draft vessels at anchor.
The Custom House lies on the main quay facing the main ...
13 Nov 11

Gaadhoo Koa (Malé passage) (Kaafu)

Gaadhoo Koa (Gaadiinoo Koa) Gaadhoo Koa (Male Passage), the channel close E of Male, is the recommended channel.
The fairway is about 0.4 mile wide between the reefs extending SE of Maleand S of Hulule airstrip.
Caution is necessary as strong cross sets of up to 6 knots caused ...
18 Nov 11

Viligili island (N Kaafu)

Viligili (Wilingili), a low wooded islet used as a tourist village, lies 1 mile W of Male. It is surrounded by steep-to foul ground extending up to 0.3 mile offshore.
The light on the islet is reported to be a good landmark.
The channel between Viligili and Male has a 5.5m shoal ...
17 Nov 11

Dhoonidhoo island (Kaafu)

Dhoonidhoo, a wooded islet, lies about 0.8 mile NW of Funadhoo.
A large silver tankstands on the E central part of the island; a breakwater extends about 25m N on the N side of the island. Small vessels, during the Southwest Monsoon, can moor on the E side of the circular reef ...
17 Nov 11

Bandos island (N Kaafu)

The island of Bandos is 2 km² aera. It was open at tourist in 1972.
The turquoise of the lagoon, the lush green vegetation, the pearl white beaches are very beautifull.
19 Nov 11

Himmafushi and Lankanfinolhu islands (Kaafu)

Himmafushi, inhabited, and Lankanfinolhu (Lankanfushifinolhu), about 1.8 miles SW, lie on the same reef, with a low islet about midway between.
Himmafushi is a fishing village.Lankanfinolhu houses Paradise island resort. On the outer reef, southeast of the island, there are two ...
12 Nov 11

Feydhoofinolhu island (N Kaafu)

Feydhoofinolhu, a bare sandy islet, surrounded by a steep-to reef which dries in places, lies 2.3 miles N of Viligili.
Breakwaters extend from the islet.Galu Falhu, a circular reef about 1 mile SE of Feydhoofinolhu, appears to contain deep water.
17 Nov 11
Local Area

Difuri Malé (N Kaafu)

Between Difuri (Diffushi) and Male, 20 miles SW, a chain of islands lies upon the reef which is sharply marked by change of water color or, in swell conditions, by breakers upon it.
13 Nov 11

North Malé (Kaafu) Atoll

N Male Atoll is the main atoll of the Maldives. It stretches 69 km S of N and 39 km E of W.
There are 8 islands of fishermen and 26 resort islands.
A number of islands surrounding the capital used in industry.
Divers will find many sites that have made the country's reputation.
9 Nov 11

Kaafu atoll

Malé Atoll consist of two separate atolls: Nort Malé Atoll and South Malé Atoll.Together with Kaashidhoo Island and Gaafaru, Malé Atoll forms the administrative division known as Kaafu Atoll. Kaafu is the administrative name of the largest atoll of the Maldives, both economic ...
6 Jul 12


The Republic of Maldives is a SW Asian country. The population of the Islamic Republic is about 300 000 inhabitants. The capital is Male. The language "Devehi" comes in part from an ancient form of Sri Lancans mixed with Hindi, Arabic and English. English is the ...
16 Nov 11

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering about 20% of the Earth's water surface. It is bounded on the north by Asia (including the Indian subcontinent, after which it is named); on the west by Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, ...
6 Apr 12

Hulhule island (Kaafu)

Hulule, about 0.6 mile E of Funadhoo, bears some tall coconut palms; an airstrip runs the full length of the island and joins it to an islet close S. Airport buildings and a small village lie along the central part of the W side of Hulule.
The Malé International Airport is located ...
17 Nov 11
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