Malahi lies just 810 m east of Small Gota Sataya. The 220 m long formation comprises a main reef to the north and ten large coral towers standing close to each other to the south. Since it offers little shelter from the elements, it can only be approached in good conditions, during which it becomes well frequented with only the small number of moorings to the south preventing a large number of divers from entering the water. Furthermore, since the moorings I am unsheltered from the wind and waves, no boats stay here overnight, which prevents night diving at the site.
The reef is surrounded by the sandy seabed at a depth of only 18 to 20 m, and also between the ergs you rarely dive deeper than 15 m. Currents flow only on the outside of the reef, while the inside is well sheltered. Therefore, apart from the confusing passages, it is easy to dive here. The coral towers to the south form a vast labyrinth of passages, overhangs and niches A, and the seabed and reef walls are abundantly covered with many kinds of corals. Although some passages are a bit narrow, you will have enough space in most places, and in contrast to other sites where some might get a bit anxious in the caves and caverns, the surface is always easy to reach here. When the sun is not too low, its beams create impressive shadows in the passages.
The northern part of the reef is a single, compact unit, through which two narrow valleys richly encrusted with corals A A pass. A small cave passage A connects the southern valley A to the area with the coral towers. Moreover, although you may find it difficult to orientate yourself between the ergs, you cannot get lost there because the outer side of the reef is always visible and immediately accessible.
Route A: mooring-reef-mooring Duration: about 60 min. Difficulty: *
There is little point in suggesting a particular dive route for this site, since each dive group explores the reef differently, choosing the routes and caverns that seem interesting. One could just write: “Just dive around and explore the reef!” Nevertheless, we here provide a dive route that allows you to explore the entire reef complex.
You do not need a RIB at Malahi, since you can descend directly from the boat l . Do not descend all the way to the sandy seabed, but rather dive to the reef at a depth of 10 m. Once there, dive along with the southernmost coral tower, keeping it on your right shoulder, until you reach the first big passage into the reef, which leads to a large square, known as the Plaza, where a mushroom-shaped boulder coral A rises in its centre, which is useful for orientation. Next head east and head to the north through the second or third passage A, where you will find a cave opening at a depth of 9 m A that leads to the first valley A. Dive through it and then head eastwards out of the reef. Then dive along the reef, keeping it on your left shoulder, to the second valley A. Once you arrive at its exit, head south again with the reef on your left shoulder and dive at will through the coral towers back to the boat 1.
Tips / Hazards Diving only possible during at calm seas • The passages between the coral towers A provide an
impressive dive • Although you cannot get lost here, a compass is