15 Minutes In The Maldives

15 Minutes is a new feature on the Travelstart Street. Here at Travelstart we’re lucky enough to have a great deal of travel resources at our disposal. Being in the travel business means we have lots of globe-trotting Travelstarters whose brains we get to pick when they come home. In this debut insert we spend 15 minutes with Travelstart’s Country Manager Leeanne Melton and hear about her recent travels to the Maldives.

Where did you stay in the Maldives?

We spent 15 nights in the Maldives. 11 nights were spent at the 4-Star Kuramathi Island Resort and 4 nights at the 5-Star Coco Palm Resort. Each was fantastic in their own special way. Kuramathi is accessed by seaplane and Coco Palm by speedboat. Both transfer experiences were memorable and enjoyable.

Where are the Maldives located?

The Maldives is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean somewhere South-West of India and Sri Lanka. All you need to know is that it’s a flawless island beach destination.

Is the Maldives safe for tourists?

My personal experience of the Maldives is that it’s extremely safe for tourists.

Apart from sun, sea and sand… what else can you recommend to our readers in the Maldives?

The island hopping tours are a must and really give you some insight into how Maldives people live. The day excursions take you to deserted islands that will leave you with the strange yet satisfying sensation that you are the only person on Earth. If you’re a water baby then the Snorkeling & Diving on offer in the Maldives is incomparable. PADI certifications are offered by most resorts in The Maldives so don’t stress if you leave home uncertified. Big game fishing is a popular activity in the Maldives and won’t disappoint even the hardiest fisherman.

How is global warming affecting the Maldives? Is it true the Maldive islands are sinking?


The Maldive islands won’t be sinking anytime soon! Technology is being used to protect the islands and to actually make islands. Although the threat of global warming is not immediate in the Maldives, it does have officials concerned and I’m sure they’re doing all they can to secure the long term future of the islands.

Who did you fly with from South Africa to the Maldives?

We flew from Johannesburg to the Maldives on Qatar Airways and it was fantastic. Our route took us via Doha where we experienced the brilliant Qatar business class lounge.

Coco Palm Water Villa

How was the shopping?


Don’t travel to the Maldives if shopping till you drop is your thing. It doesn’t register on the shopping destination radar. You can browse the markets and find local crafts and beadwork but you won’t find any big labels or brands.


How was the Maldives food? Were there any memorable restaurants?


We went with an all-inclusive Maldives holiday package and so we ate at one of the many hotel restaurants every night. You really are spoiled for choice and Kuramathi Resort had 8 restaurants! You’ll find that most hotels in the Maldives do themed nights so instead of only experiencing local cuisine you’ll also be treated to culinary delights from across the globe. The food is prepared by executive chefs so you’re definitely getting the finest quality meals. The ‘Island Barbeque’ was a firm favourite at Kuramathi.

Anything our readers will want to avoid when visiting the Maldives?

Just follow the rules and no matter where you are have respect for the sea. Be careful of the sensitive coral reefs and take care not to damage them. The eco centre at Kuramathi is an excellent place to learn about the marine life in the Maldives.

How were the locals?

The Maldivians are friendly and helpful. We didn’t have any bad experiences with the locals in the Maldives; however, I always say practice the same caution abroad as you would at home. For example, if there’s a safe for your valuables in your hotel room then use it.


How was public transport on the islands?


Public transport in the Maldives is mostly in the form of seaplanes, speedboats and water taxis. The great thing about the Maldive islands is that once you’ve arrived on one of them you can easily get around on foot.


Did you need a Visa to travel to the Maldives?


You don’t need a visa if you’re travelling to The Maldives on a South African passport. You simply get a stamp in your passport on arrival at no cost.

How was the Maldives weather? What’s the best time of year to visit the Maldives?


We went to the Maldives in November so we experienced perfect weather. The Maldives weather is great year round, however, if you really want your trip to be rain free then avoid the monsoon season.


The best time to visit the Maldives is from December to April.


Thanks for your time Leeanne. It was great hearing about your Maldives trip. Do you have any parting Maldives travel tips for our readers?


If you’re keen on visiting the Maldives then I highly recommend opting for an all-inclusive holiday package with a Maldives resort. This helps you budget properly because they normally include all meals, selected drinks, minibar, free snorkeling equipment, sunset cruises and transfers.


Find cheap tickets to the Maldives now. Prefer the help of a travel agent to help you book your Maldives trip? Contact Travelbar on 0861 878 278 (Ext.5) now for custom holiday packages to the Maldives.

Pictures Courtesy: Leeanne Melton and Greg Greyvenstein

Sandbar at Kuramathi

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Our Readers Comments

  1. hi

    I would like a quote for 2 adults to Maldives. I am looking at a fullly inclusive honeymoon package.
    I am looking at 13 April 2015 for seven days.

    Thank you.

    • Hello Yesmita, thank you for contacting us! We would love to assist with this, honeymoon packages are our thing!!! Please send us your contact details so one of our agents can assist with this, alternatively you can contact them on 0861 878 278/+2721-468-4300 🙂

  2. Hi,

    Can you please provide me with a quote for an all inclusive couples stay for 7 days.

    looking to travel there in April 2015…


    • Hi Suran, I have forwarded your details to our agents to assist with this. They will be in contact with you within the next 48 hours. Alternatively you can contact them on 0861 878 278/+2721-468-4300 for further assistance, Almene

  3. Hi would you pass my details on to an agent please, would like an all inclusive quote for a honeymoon in 2015. Thanks

    • Hello Pierre, one of our agents will be in contact with you within the next 24 – 48 hours. Have a great day further, Almene

  4. Please provide options for honeymoon packages (dec 2015) fully inclusive, beach front.

    • Hello Roeline, thank you for contacting us! Our agents will be in contact with a quote for packages to Maldives. You can also contact them on 0861 878 278 / +2721-468-4300 if you have further questions, Almene

  5. I would like a quote to Maldives from South Africa, Conrad hotel for 7 nights, 1 adult, 3 children under 18, breakfast and dinner, from the 30/03/2015. and a separate quote for the paradise island resort.
    thanking you

    • Hi Mr Moosa,

      Great to hear from you.

      You are welcome to e-mail our direct sales team on: travelbar@travelstart.com where one of our Travel Experts will get back to you with a quote within 2 working days. When e-mailing them, please also provide them with the ages of each child as well as what city you need to fly out of.

      Alternatively you are welcome to reply to this message and I will forward it onto travelbar@travelstart.com

      Look forward to hearing from you!

  6. To whom this may concern,

    May I please get a quote for an all inclusive honeymoon package for 7 days departing from Johannesburg, for December 2016.

    Thank you

    • Hi Nadia,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Should you wish to get a quote on a package to Mauritius you are welcome to contact our direct sales team where one of our Travel Experts would love to assist.

      You can e-mail them at: travelbar@travelstart.com with all your details, number of passengers, exact dates of travels, where you need to depart from and your budget. A Travel Consultant will get back to you with a quote within 2 working days.

      Alternatively you are welcome to contact them on 021 468 4300

  7. Would like a quote for 10 days honeymoon all inclusive in April 2016 and flying from joberg please.

    • Hi Scott,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I have forwarded your request through to our direct sales team at: travelbar@travelstart.com and one of our skilled consultants will be in contact within 2 working days.

      Travelbar’s office hours are Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm. (no public holidays)

      You are welcome to contact them on: 021 468 4300 option to speak to one of our skilled Travel Consultants.

      If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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