Photo Safari from a Deckchair in the Maldives A Maldives Photo Safari

By Abi King | Asia

Oct 25

Sometimes, you have to work hard to see wildlife. And when I say sometimes, I mean most of the time. You have to creep past snakes in the darkness and risk frostbite to glimpse a tiger. You have to play basketball with the base of your spine along a rickety dirt track to see a zebra, lion or rhino. You have to hike for days to see a condor, paddle for miles to see a seal and at the absolute minimum jump into the sea to eyeball a turtle.

Not so in the Maldives, a chain of one thousand or so islands with a reputation for showing guests the luxurious side of life. The diving grabs all the headlines, requiring paperwork to prove that you know how to breathe, but you don’t even need to go that far.

Bird in MaldivesTake these snaps, gathered from a deckchair safari around the Sheraton Maldives. It’s a family oriented place, just a fifteen minute boat ride from the main island Male. Yet neither children nor the sight of glimmering lights on the horizon (themselves a rarity in the Maldives) scared the wildlife away.

Now then, disclosure. While I did take all of these photos, technically, I didn’t take them all from a deckchair. Friends, readers, spambots, I was weak. I felt troubled, every now and then, by the urge to get a better angle. To make the most of the available light. And even (gulp!) on occasions, to stand up. All in the name of getting a better shot. I hang my camera in shame.

But rest assured, ladies and gents, that you too can see all this wildlife just as the headline promises. From a deckchair. In the Maldives.

Let’s have a look:

Photo Safari from A Deckchair

Bird in the Maldives


Maldives Bird Hungry

I’m hungry…

Crabs in the Maldives

I’m scary…

Maldives reef shark

Reef sharks - Maldives

We’re worse…

Maldives amphibian

What about me?

Maldives as the sun sets

Maldives fish in water

Maldives bird at spa

Disclosure: I received complimentary accommodation at the Sheraton Full Moon Resort & Spa in the Maldives. All wildlife sightings are my own…

What’s the “easiest safari” you’ve been on?


About the Author

Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on

SandInMySuitcase October 27, 2012

Beautiful photos Abi! And amazing that you shot them all, more or less, from a deckchair (ok, so maybe you stood up… or moved around a bit… but still amazing…). Love your stories and photos…

    Abi King November 13, 2012

    Thank you! Yes, it surprised me that such wildlife was so easy to find :)

DanA October 27, 2012

Its funny — until I read this post, I only ever thought of water-embedded villas, long wooden piers and crystal clear water whenever someone mentioned the Maldives; it’s good to see some shots outside of the travel brochures for once.

    Abi King October 28, 2012

    Thanks – although those things you mention are achingly beautiful in a way that’s difficult somehow to explain. But yes, it’s often the other things that catch my eye!

Jo October 27, 2012

This looks absolutely divine, your photography is awesome standing or sitting!

    Abi King October 28, 2012

    Ah – thank you! And yes, it is an absolutely divine place.

ExplatLondon October 28, 2012

Great timing! We started thinking about finding some sun and relaxation during the dark ages of the London winter. The Maldives is sitting at the top of the list…now if I could only find a way to entertain myself on the long flight.

Tom Miller October 29, 2012

These photos are amazing! I never thought that while only relaxing along the lovely beach in Maldives, you can actually see more things that are beautiful too. This is something to look forward to!

    Abi King November 13, 2012

    The ultimate in lazy holidaying ;-)

Kelly October 31, 2012

Wow, these photos are stunning, the wildlife and the scenery is just beautiful.

    Abi King November 13, 2012

    Thank you – appreciate you stopping by.

George October 31, 2012

Great photo hunt! Especially the sharks in motion. When I was in Maldives, sharks were looking so much agressive that the first days I was afraid to step into even shallow waters. Despite all the persuasion from the local people saying those sharks never attack humans.
At the end, I was beneath the ocean surface swimming along them, mirroring their routes with no trilling heartbit – fantastic feeling.

    Abi King November 13, 2012

    Wow. I never got that far. I did enter the water – but away from the sharks. I think I’d need to build up to that a little bit (after the crocodile swim I did without giving it much thought left me a wobbly-legged stuttering mess with a racing heartbeat!!)

Shelly October 31, 2012

Travelling to watch wildlife is my idea of happiness. That you can do it from a deckchair is just a heavenly bonus. Great pictures, love the cheeky Heron.

    Abi King November 13, 2012

    The heron was by the spa. Double relaxation bliss!

Maddy @ I'm Not Home November 12, 2012

Now THAT is my favourite kind of photography. Wonderful!

    Abi King November 13, 2012

    Glad I could oblige! ;-)

crazy sexy fun traveler November 12, 2012

Lovely animals :)

Red Hunt November 15, 2012

Great post, I had the pleasure of staying at this resort as well, such a beautiful spot. The Heron was hanging around when I was there too ;)
Great pics of the animals…love that little lizard guy!

    Abi King December 6, 2012

    Ha! I love that the heron is so habitual. It is such a beautiful spot…

Phuket Scene November 16, 2012

Wow…those shark photo taking looked dangerous. Keep safe.

    Abi King December 6, 2012

    I was assured they were too small to cause any problems…But I didn’t put the theory to the test!

ExploringMorocco December 31, 2012

Amazing photos, i don’t think i have seen photos as clear as yours. and the water is so crystal clear. I wish i can be there. Thank you Abi.

    Abi King January 11, 2013

    Ah…Often I wish that I were back there too! Thanks for your kind words.

Virginia September 10, 2013

The pictures are amazing and I would love to see all those beautiful animals. I’d definitely stay in the deck chairs if I ever saw black tip sharks lurking around though :)

    Abi King October 12, 2013

    Yep! They certainly fuel the “stay in one place on dry land” feeling!

Great shots Abi. Love the sharks, and it’s great, as others have said, to see the other side of the Maldives. Like you have done, I also like to go off the beaten track and photograph the things you don’t see in the travel brochures.

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