Yippee! It’s that time of year again!

21 Jan 2011

No, we don’t mean Christmas & New Year, although that was a lot of fun!  We mean manta ray season for snorkelers!

The numbers of sightings are picking up all over the atoll, especially at Dhanifaru and right here on our door step at the Sandbank.  This means that it has become time to restart our very popular manta ray course which we offer to our snorkeling guests.

The “course” consists of an evening theory presentation where we include information on their evolution, biology, reproduction and behaviour and also conservation efforts on their behalf.  This is followed the next day by a full day snorkel excursion to the southwest of the atoll in search of these beautiful creatures.  When (fingers crossed!) we find them we then try to slide gently in to the water to observe them eating plankton at the surface and hopefully circling around us; they are extremely intelligent (for a fish!) and also very curious, and if we are lucky they will come to look at us just as we go to look at them; sometimes they come so close that we have to move out of their way!

We have had some truly mindblowing encounters over the last year and already this season we have seen and photographed many mantas in order to add to a database of sightings being compiled by an English marine biologist called Guy Stevens based in the Baa Atoll – he discovered the manta population at the now world famous Hanifaru Bay and we are adding to his research by collecting information about the population in our own atoll.  We hope that by educating people about these majestic mantas we will raise a little awareness and support efforts at their conservation.  They are truly wonderful animals and spending time in the water with them an absolute privilege – we hope to help preserve them for future generations.

You can follow our manta news and sighting on our blog. And if you are coming to Kuredu and would like to take part in our manta ray course, you are welcome to drop us a line via email, or simply come to visit us in the dive centre when you arrive.  The theory and excursion together costs US$115 – the mantas will hopefully be hanging around until May/June so there’s still plenty of time to get here!

We hope to see you in the water soon!