The epitome of tranquility? Freediving in the Maldives

Posted by Anita Froneman on 29 October 2021

Freediving has become quite a popular sport all across the world. For some divers, it’s something they consciously decided to learn and practice. Bur for others, like Mohamed Azmeel, senior excursion guide at Hideaway Beach Resort in the Maldives, it’s just a way of life. Like many tropical island inhabitants, he grew up spending hours in the water, swimming and snorkelling with his friends as a child. After a while, he just naturally started to dive deeper, for longer.

Unlike scuba divers, freedivers go to extreme depths with absolutely no oxygen tanks. Many Maldivians are expert freedivers, with a deep connection to the ocean, and a healthy respect for it too.

READ: South African freediving champion reaches new depths

Azmeel has been freediving for 19 years, so it’s safe to say he knows his way around underwater. ‘Snorkelling with my friends growing up, we used to do freedive, challenging each other, seeing who can go deeper than the others,’ he says. ‘And I realized that the deeper we go, the more we find new creatures.’ He’s come across a plethora of marine life, like turtles, manta rays, sharks, moray eels and other critters during his dives.

Picture: Mohamed Azmeel

But he doesn’t just dive for fun and games. Azmeel goes metres deep underwater in search of the ultimate tranquility. ‘It allows me to move through the aquatic world in complete silence with freedom, and through diving, I gain a closer and more intimate experience in the underwater world. With all sounds drowned out, including the beat of my own heart, I experience a profound silence unparalleled to anywhere else on earth.’

Take a look at some of the wonderful underwater scenes he has come across:


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A post shared by Ahmed Shaayan Azmeel (@yanazmeel)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ahmed Shaayan Azmeel (@yanazmeel)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ahmed Shaayan Azmeel (@yanazmeel)

And it definitely is sure to be silent as deep as Azmeel dives. He reaches a staggering 22 metres deep with ease, and during a single dive he can hold his breath for up to three minutes.

Is it dangerous? Of course. But Azmeel says your safety depends largely on yourself. ‘If you follow safe diving practices closely, you will be safe. This includes never diving alone, and staying within the limits.’

His advice for anyone who wants to take up the sport is to learn through a reputable diving school. ‘Unlike before, it’s much easier to learn freediving today. Most resorts on the island offer courses and information.’

One such place is Hideaway Beach Resort where Azmeel is employed. This splendid luxury accommodation spot lives up to its name, and is perfect for anyone who wants to escape reality for a few days. And who wouldn’t? Here, the pristine blue waters surround the ocean villas from which you can easily take a dip and lush vegetation surrounds the island.


For those interested in watersports, their Deep Blue Watersports centre will sort you out, offering freediving, snorkelling, scuba diving, catamaran sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, water skiing, stand up paddling and everything in between.  The resort is also home to the Maldives’ first floating Aqua Park, a heavenly playground for kids in the shallow waters with slides, a climbing area, trampolines, and a balancing beam.

If you’re not a water baby, no stress. Hit up the virtual golf courses, the spa, the fitness centre or simply lounge around under the palm trees, reading and sipping on cocktails. There is also an array of restaurants and bars, all with dramatic views and excellent cuisine.

Even if you don’t dive 22 metres deep, you’ll find peace and tranquillity here.

Picture: Phando Jikelo

Picture: Phando Jikelo

Picture: Anita Froneman


Email [email protected] or call (+44) 78 336 26217.

Rates start from R7,957 per villa per night, sleeps four.

This includes breakfast and dinner, as well as your PCR test before departure.

Special offer

Get a 35% discount if you book directly via their website here.

Travel regulations

The Maldives only requires proof of negative COVID-19 test results upon entry, and South Africa requires a new one before return.

Pictures: Hideaway Beach Resort

Featured picture: Unsplash


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