Koattey Magu, Eedhigali Kilhi scenic reserve, Gan Island

While looking for places to visit in Gan Island, Maldives, internet research suggested possibly scenic areas on the northern extreme of the island. Thus we decided to check it out.

Eedhigali Kilhi is a lake with couple of observation decks meant for bird watching. But the entry road was sort of barricaded for vehicles, pedestrians could go. We went further till the observation deck- no birds could be seen. Of course, we can't expect birds to be ready n visible when we arrive- if you spend more and if it is a season time may be you will spot.

The other portion, Koattey Magu was totally worth it- it is a nice walkway with coconut trees above. We could see some scenic spot like below. There were signage not allowing vehicles inside, but locals did enter with their two wheelers.

The walk was nice and scenic. Ocean on a side, small ponds on the other, giant coconut trees all over.

There were some signages- like this one, announcing one of the ponds as Divya Fenganda, Bedhi etc. But a google search n this name drew blank. A few ponds are given some name for identification purposes.

First we walked straight. It lead to the point where there was a tall rusted pole. The rocks on the sea bed were very unusual in Gan- different shape than I had seen elsewhere. Spent some time here and turned back.

Govt has put-up some boards providing a brief write-up about the place and its ecological importance. It also mentioned some guided snorkeling tour possible in the area- but couldn't figure out where to book or how to organize one. Display warned us to be careful with Titan Trigger Fish and few other sea creatures that tend to attack humans (assuming anyone comes close to be a predator). It also gave some brief history of corals.

On the way back, we saw a board announcing Yellow trail. So diverted to take a look.

The yellow trail off Koattey Road
The yellow trail leads perpendicular to the previous trail and takes us to a point where ocean crosses over. The main attraction on this trail was bent coconut trees- there were many of them- we could climb a bit and get some photos clicked.

Same spot, Day time
Another interesting thing is presence of crabs. It was evening- like about 5 PM, tide was high and there were hundreds of crabs- as clearly indicated by this display board. The crabs were all over- as we walked forward they would sense our presence and rush to hide in the bushes. Many of them crossed our paths and we had few close encounters-of getting too close to a crab and jumping in horror to avoid getting bitten or stepping on them. It is good thing they don’t intend to attack or harm.
Crabs won’t be present in morning time (I went again next day), so if you are the one who would freak out, go in morning time. Towards the end of the trail there was a coconut groove and sea water marking end of land and we had to return.

The yellow trail was not available on google maps. The red line in below map is the Yellow trail. Total walking will be about 4-5kms and may take couple of hours depending on your walking speed and how much you stop for rest/photos etc. Map link

The Coast
There was a display saying 'Coast'towards the start f Koattey Magu trail. This diversion leads to ocean-just about 100 meters- scenic place, with some sitting area, lots of shades and some rocks in the ocean- saw few locals dipping in ocean here.

Things to keep in mind while visiting Koattey Magu/Eedhigalli Kilhi area in Gan Island
  • The board said vehicles are not allowed, but I saw locals riding in on their two wheelers.
  • Be sure to return before sunset.
  • Wear good shoes. On the yellow trail we saw many big crabs in the evening. Stay alert.
  • Total walking distance from Sanam café to Sanam Café could be about 3-4 kms (if you include Yellow trail as well)
  • Taking a swim/dip in water in this area may not be a good idea- partly due to high density/presence of sea creatures and partly because any help is kms away should anything go wrong. Enter some other beach closer to human habitat in the city.
  • Carry water n such essentials. No shops available inside. Didn’t see any toilet as well. Sanam café is the closest.
How to reach Koattey Magu in Gan Island?
  • If you spot a north bound bus, take a ticket till last stop- Sanam Café-from here you can explore Eedhigali Kilhi, Koattey Magu on foot. (details about buses in a separate post)
  • You can also try renting a cycle from your hotel or simply walk, depending on distance and your comfort/confidence.
  • Taxi would be last option as it will be expensive, 100 MVR+ depending on distance, plus you’ll have to plan taxi for return as well.

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