Project: Protecting endangered whale sharks in the Maldives
Duration: End of July until beginning of August 2018 – 2 weeks
Support from NATUCATE: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Arrival: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Project Partner: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Accommodation: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
1) Could you give us a short overview of your activities/tasks in the project?
Five days per week you spend on a so-called dhoni (traditional wooden boat) in the ocean, looking for whale sharks. Once you spot one of these animals you jump into the water, take ID shots and measure them. Moreover, you collect information about the megafauna (e.g. turtles) and ship traffic.
2) What were your biggest challenges during the project?
The heat (tropical climate) – and cold beer was not available ☹
3) Was there anything that you liked most? Or anything that left you with a negative impression?
Being able to swim together with whale sharks was a dream come true! The underwater world of the Maldives is simply breathtaking.
Moreover, the food is delicious and the accommodation pleasant.
4) Did you have certain expectations before you started the project? If yes, did the project meet your expectations, disappoint or maybe even exceed them?
My expectations were exceeded.
5) Did you do anything during your free time that you can recommend to other participants?
You should definitely spend a day or evening at the beach (White Sandy Beach) and also take a picnic with you. Moreover, you should go diving! You can obtain a diving license like the Open Water, even if it’s a bit expensive (60-70 euros per dive, 550 euros for the Open Water license).
6) Which tips/recommendations would you give to other participants who would like to do this project? (e.g. tips that would have helped you before your journey)
Bring snorkel equipment (diving mask, fins and snorkel shirt) as renting the equipment is quite expensive. And don’t forget sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
7) Can you guess how many additional expenses you had? – We can give this information to future participants.
Bring some cash (US dollar) for snacks and drinks. The rest is dependent on how often you go diving. All in all, the Maldives are quite expensive.
8) Here is some space for further questions/suggestions/ideas/reports or stories:
Ocean and underwater world lovers should definitely book this project!