Our 11-day birding and wildlife tour in the fabulous Maldives will be spent on a comfortable, live-aboard safari cruise vessel. She has a full-time crew of 6 Maldivians, including an experienced captain and a dedicated cook. All cabins are en suite and air-conditioned and although not luxurious, are perfect for our requirements on this birding and wildlife cruise. On your days with us you can expect some of the finest cetacean viewing on the planet; in the last two seasons our lead guide, Dr Charles Anderson, a long time Maldivian resident and well-known authority on cetaceans, has seen an astounding 18 different species! While tropicbirds sail overhead we will scan the waters for such delights as Spinner and Risso’s Dolphins, Sperm Whale, Indo-pacific Beaked Whale and the gargantuan Blue Whale, the largest animal ever to have lived on our planet! On most trips 10 to 12 species are observed and more often than not these aren’t just distant glimpses; many species bowride and can be seen in their entirety at close range! We expect 50 and 90 separate cetacean sightings on our trip, totalling a staggering 2-3000 animals!
This wealth of cetaceans is well complimented by tropical pelagic birds and we will spend our days on the deck scanning for Black-naped Tern, Bulwer’s and Jouanin’s Petrel, Flesh-footed Shearwater and White-bellied Storm Petrel to name just a few. Only 180 species have been recorded from the islands and, as the area is under-birded, many more species (particularly migrants) undoubtedly await discovery. As this tour takes place during the northern spring, Palaearctic migrants are still around so there is a real possibility of getting a first record for the islands!
Black-naped, White-cheeked, Roseate, Bridled, Saunders’s & Sooty Tern, Streaked & Tropical Shearwater, Lesser Frigatebird, White-tailed Tropicbird, Lesser & Brown Noddy, White-breasted Waterhen
Dolphins: Spinner, Bottlenose, Indo-pacific Bottlenose, Risso’s, Spotted, Striped, Fraser’s, Rough-toothed
Whales: Blue, Bryde’s, Sperm, False Killer, Pygmy Killer, Killer, Melon-headed, Shortfin Pilot, Dense-beaked, Longman’s beaked, Dwarf Sperm, Cuvier’s Beaked.
tropical oceanic waters, lagoons, sandy beaches and shorelines, forest
warm to hot
very relaxed pace, little walking, optional snorkeling
paradise islands, incredible coral reef snorkeling, Manta Rays, star-gazing