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Best time to see manta rays in the Maldives

24 Sep 2019

Scuba diving or snorkelling with manta rays is often cited as a ‘must-do’ experience for guests visiting the Maldives and in answer to the question: ‘When is the best time to see mantas in the Maldives?’ we have great news…they can be seen all year round! Manta rays migrate seasonally within the Maldives, following the bi-annual movement of plankton and with dive centers in both the Lhaviyani Atoll and in South Ari Atoll, Prodivers’ guests have a good chance of seeing these majestic creatures.

Lhaviyani Atoll:

The main season for manta sightings for guests at Kuredu, Komandoo, Hurawalhi, Kudadoo and Innahura is September to March. In September the mantas arrive at the Fushifaru Thila cleaning station and with the start of the Northeast Monsoon in November/December they can be primarily observed whilst feeding – particularly on the western edges of the atoll. Main aggregation sites during these times are Veligadu Falhu (Hurawalhi Sandbank), Felivaru, and Dhanifaru. They usually stay around until February/March before heading to more plankton-rich atolls.

South Ari Atoll:

Year-round manta sightings are possible for guests at Lily Beach and Vakarufalhi. During the Southwest Monsoon (approximately May until November), plankton is concentrated on the east of Ari Atoll and during this season, mantas are most often encountered by divers on the cleaning station at Madi Faru (Manta Point), mantas are sometimes encountered feeding at Madi Faru too as the areas where they feed are very close to the cleaning station. During the Northeast Monsoon (approximately January until March), plankton is concentrated on the western side of Ari Atoll, and mantas are usually encountered on the cleaning station at Hukuru Elhi Faru with some feeding activity sometimes spotted too. Throughout the year, mantas can be spotted at Dhigurah Etere as well with snorkellers often able to see them mantas feeding near the surface in the center of the lagoon or cruising along the edge of the reef.

So there we have it, there are great opportunities for both divers and snorkellers to fulfil their bucket-list dreams and see mantas throughout the year in the Maldives! Thank you to the Manta Trust for sharing with us their information and helping to ensure interactions with these amazing creatures are responsible.