Maldives – General information

The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean and consist of 1090 individual palm islands, which move from north to south on a 900 km long atoll chain.

The islands are located about 500 km south of Sri Lanka and India.

Individual islands are surrounded by a house reef, while the outer reefs of the archipelagos form the atoll.

The highest elevation of the islands rises about 1.5 meters from the sea.

There are about 250,000 inhabitants living in the Maldives.

The common language is Dhivenhi, which comes from Hindhi and Sinhalese.

The main religion is Islam.

Tourism began in 1972 on the island of Kurumba near the main island of Male.

The time difference is +3 hours (based on CET summer time).

Maldives – Fauna

As one of the most interesting native birds in the Seychelles one finds the raven parrot, whose stock is reduced to about 100 animals, also cockbill bird of escape, warts fruit dove and in the caves nesting Seychelles – cave salangans.

The only mammals on the sex bells are the Seychelles fruit bats and the bat species Coleura seychellensis, which belongs to the family of smooth-nosed crabs.

The sea with its almost inexhaustible wealth not only provides life under water, it also provides the livelihood for many millions of birds. Some islands like Bird Island are a true bird paradise.

There are no enemies here, no alligators or snakes, no rats or cats. In addition, the bird islands, Bird Island or Aride are extremely difficult to reach. Therefore, there may still exist birds that are otherwise extinct elsewhere in the world.

The wildlife of Seychelles has many special features to offer. First of all there is the great abundance of fish in the Seychelles’ waters, which makes the islands, with their coral reefs that are still intact, good diving areas. At least the snorkeling should therefore try every visitor once.

Again and again to find the small, gray, omnivorous skinks.

Unmistakable are the geckos, which are usually gray or brown on Mahé, almost always have a bright green color on La Digue. The green geckos are also called day geckos. These useful insectivores are almost always found in buildings, where they can be observed in the evening in the lamplight.

Among the unloved small animals are the cockroaches and mosquitoes. The former, actually everywhere in the tropics, you will find less in the Seychelles. This is certainly due to the generous use of insecticides.

In contrast, there are mosquitoes almost everywhere in the Seychelles. Their number is limited, as there are hardly any bodies of water. In addition, the constant wind dispels the unloved spirits. Only at dusk in marshy areas such. B. on La Digue you have to do something against the mosquitoes. The Anopheles mosquitoes, feared as malaria carriers, do not exist in the Seychelles. A malaria prophylaxis is therefore not necessary.

A bigger problem on beaches are the little sandflies. They are comparable in effect with cricket mosquitoes.

Countless small animals and crabs live in the sand of the beaches. Larger specimens are found especially after dark or on lonely beaches.

The huge, black-and-yellow Palm spiders sitting in the underbrush in their nets look dangerous, but are the more harmless.

Beware of large centipedes whose bites are poisonous and can cause nasty wounds. They are very rare.

On some islands you can find small scorpion species whose sting is not perilous. All in all, it can be said that Seychelles’ wildlife does not pose any significant risks to visitors.

Especially beautiful are the many species of birds in the Seychelles, of which a number of specimens are extremely rare. Particularly to mention here is the Seychelles chameleon, who lives only on Frégate. The birds know no escape instinct. Therefore, the island must be kept rat and cat free, so that the survival of the last few dozen copies is secured.

Not so rare, but very beautiful are the snow-white fairy terns, the pitch-black eyes and blue beaks have. Equally remarkable are the tropic birds sailing in the warm upwinds on the mountain slopes. Some areas of the Seychelles are under strict supervision as bird sanctuaries. These include the islands Aride, cousin or Bird Iceland. They are an absolute must for ornithologists.

The only indigenous mammal species is the Seychelles flying fox. The large, similar in their behavior to the smaller bats animals are often seen and heard at dusk. The Flying Fox looks up close with its reddish brown coat like a little fox. The food of the fruit bats consists exclusively of fruits.

Maldives – Flora

The most important feature of the flora on the Maldivian islands is the great species poverty and the resulting unstable balance.

Of the 600 plant species counted in the Maldives, only about 100 to 150 are endemic. The remaining 450 to 500 species were imported over the millennia for cultural and ornamental purposes. The most widespread are coconut palms and pandanus. Both tree species can thrive wonderfully on the islands. The banyan tree can also assert itself, because it feeds on its shallow rooting host plants, pandanus or shrubs.

Crucial to the emergence and conservation of an island, however, are shallow grasses (pioneer plants) growing in the shore area. They first establish themselves on a sandbank. There they attach the shore area with their dense roots. Later, they settle behind hedges and bushes and consolidate the soil.

Over the centuries, a thin layer of humus develops in which salt-free rainwater can accumulate. Above the waterline, a dense tree population of coconut palms, strangler figs and pines, almond trees and other plants emerges.

The more untouched by human hand the islands remain, the lighter and denser the plants will colonize the most favorable habitat for them. This is the basic requirement that even strong storms and floods are difficult to erode and damage the islands.

If one of the filigree Bewuschsketten be disturbed, for example by deforestation, etc., even the tiniest flood of sand and earth between the roots of the coconut palms spew out. This is usually the end of the palm trees, as they then fall over and are later washed away by the sea.

Due to the increasing colonization of the islands with their negative effects on the ecosystem (deforestation and deforestation of plant and tree cover), the destruction of paradisiacal conditions has already been initiated.

How long will the paradise last? ……….

………….. will the next generation still dream of white beaches under the palm trees?

Maldives – History

500-200 BC – Sinhalese sailors discover the atolls of the Maldives. The dialect, which is still spoken today, is strongly reminiscent of Sinhalese. Some customs and Buddhist finds at excavations also indicate that the settlement of the Maldives was from south to north.

150 AD – In the western world, the Maldives must have been known, because the geographer Claudius Ptolemy describes in his records islands that point to the Maldives as “islands west of Ceylon”. His knowledge he had from records of the Phoenicians, who have advanced with their merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and probably hit the Maldives.

800-900 – On the way to Asia, some, probably Phoenician, ships crash on the cartographically unrecognized reefs. The stranded then settled on the islands.

1141 – This year, for the first time, the writing of the “Tarikh” began. This “Chronicle of the Sultans”, hammered at that time in strips of copper, which were then tied together like a fan, reports of 83 sultans and sultanats, of which, however, often nothing is known and often only the name alone was handed down.

In the 14th century, the Maldives was ruled by the first sultan Khadeeja Rehendi Kabaidhi Kilege. She ruled a total of 35 years. Although the Maldives were devout Muslims, there were a few customary customs that aroused horror among Arab Muslims. The women of the Maldives never wore a face cloth and in some cases only wore a hip scarf. Marriage customs were always very straightforward in the Maldives. That has not changed until today.

At the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese reached the Indian Ocean and occupied first South India and Ceylon.

In 1558 Hassan the 9th asked the Portuguese for help against insurgent Maldivians. This was the opportunity for the Portuguese, led by Andreas Andre, to occupy Male and the other atolls. They destroyed all mosques and built churches to convert the Maldivians to the Christian faith. The Portuguese encountered strong resistance.

The Dutch replaced the Portuguese on Ceylon. More interested in trade than in conquest, they maintained a loose tribute with the Maldives.

In 1802, the English took Ceylon and under the direction of Captain Moresby in 1834 set out to map the Maldives. His records are still used today as a basis for English nautical charts.

In 1932, the first constitution of the Maldives came into force.

From 1932, the democratization process began in the Maldives. The then Sultan Shamsuddin III. transformed the sultanate into a constitutional one.

On 1.1.1953 the first republic was founded under the presidency of Amin Didi. He has implemented many reforms for the country. Only now did electricity come to Male, schools were built and he provided adequate malaria prophylaxis. After only 9 months in office, he was shot dead in Male and is now buried at Kurumba Village.

1954-1968 – Sultan Mohammed Fareed came to power.

In 1965, the Maldives received complete independence.

The Austrian Hans Hass undertook the first diving expedition to the Indian Ocean with his Austrian flagship Xarifa. From December 1957 to May 2, 1958, the Xarifa crossed from Gan up to the Shaviyani Atoll. The films by Hans Hass can be regarded as an initial spark for today’s diving tourism.

On the 26th of July, the Maldives became permanently independent, and in the same year they became full members of the United Nations.

By referendum on 11. 11. 1968 the “Second Republic” was proclaimed under the leadership of Ibrahim Nasir. After ten years, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom took over the presidency. During his tenure, the current Friday Mosque and the Islamic Center were built and the Maldives transformed from one of the poorest countries in the world to modest prosperity.

On February 16, 1972, the first tourists – 22 Italian divers – landed on the island of Kurumba in North Male Atoll.

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was first elected president on 11.11.1978 and re-elected in 1983, 1988, 1994, 1998 and 2003.

1980 – Failed coup attempt by ex-president Ibrahim Nasir.

On September 3, 1988, Tamil separatists raided. President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has to flee the capital Malé and asks for foreign support. Indian paratroopers land in Malé and beat down the rebellion.

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