Snorkelling with the Manta Rays in the Biodiverse Waters of Milaidhoo Island Maldives
Don’t just sit on the beach or gaze at the pristine blue water—swim with manta rays too while you are staying at Milaidhoo Island Maldives
Take advantage of the Baa Atoll’s beautiful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve at Milaidhoo Island Maldives, where guests can try a one-of-a-kind experience during their holiday: swimming with manta rays. Swimming with manta rays is one of those undeniably magical and unforgettable experiences which you should try at least once in your life. Although you can discover Manta Rays on the Great Barrier Reef, in the Galapagos, Micronesia and Hawaii, the largest Manta Ray feeding station in the world is in the Maldives at Hanifaru Bay, a protected Marine Reserve just 12-minute away by speedboat from Milaidhoo. In the Reserve, and at other natural feeding stations close to the resort, are some of the best places on the planet to see Manta Rays.
Milaidhoo Island Maldives offers escorted tours with the resident marine biologist, ensuring a smooth course into the sea where you can swim and snorkel together alongside the majestic manta rays. Although they are gigantic, have huge fins and portray a slightly alien appearance, manta rays are actually gentle and peaceful, and pose no threat to humans. The reef manta rays (Mobula alfredi) have a special season lasting from June to November, a period when they migrate in hundreds towards the Baa Atoll to feed in the plankton-rich waters at Hanifaru Bay, a UNESCO world biosphere reserve.
These gigantic rays, which have an enormous size from 12 to 24 feet (3.6 to 7.3 metre) and weighing up to 3,500 pounds (1.5 tonne), are filter feeders and listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Visits to view and swim with them are coordinated with the Marine Reserve rangers and conducted by a qualified team from Milaidhoo’s Ocean Stories Aquatic Centre. On your lucky day, you can encounter up to 100 mantas rays and you don’t need special equipment or a scuba diving license, just a mask and a snorkel. To conserve the environment and avoid disturbing the manta rays, visits are carefully managed and limited to a small number of visitors daily.
After swimming with these stunning creatures, you can go on a group trip or book a private excursion, including a picnic on a deserted sandbank, accompanied by the resort’s resident marine biologist. In addition, this is also a great opportunity to learn more about what makes whale sharks tick, why manta rays dance, what makes dolphins smile and help with identification and conservation practices. You can also assist in the daily exciting job of our marine biologist while getting a hands-on experience with the coral planting project and learning more about the manta ray identification programmes. For enquiries and reservations, please email to [email protected] or visit www.milaidhoo.com.