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Manta Rays

Gloucester, United...
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90 posts
16 reviews
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Manta Rays

Hi, am looking to visit the Maldives to see/swim with the Manta Rays, can anyone tell me which of these islands, if any they can been seen at - Meedhuppanir, Chaaya Island Dhoniveli, Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo or if you can suggest another that's not too expensive.

Also when is the best time to go to catch sight of them?

Many thanks

Amanda

London, United...
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27,178 posts
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1. Re: Manta Rays

Very seldom are they spotted at an island as such, you normally need to go on a special excursion. There is a cleaning station in the north, near meed, but I think you need to be a diver for that.

You will see things like sting, cow rays etc at meed though and I think most islands. But if its mantas it's definetly a special trip.

Truro, United...
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584 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Manta Rays

Hi Amanda

Your best bet is to be in the South Ari Atoll. A resort in that budget range and many folks on here seem to enjoy ( I haven't been) is Vilamendhoo, booked through Thomson I believe. You can see them year round I understand, but there is still an element of luck involved and a boat trip out to find them.

Another thought would be to head to Reethi Beach in Baa Atoll, from perhaps July- oct (i think) when they come to feed at Hanifaru Bay. Again luck is involved. We have snorkelled at Hanifaru on 2 occasions in July/ August. First time was amazing and were in the water with 8 of them for 90 mins last year we only had a fleeting glimpse of 1. Then we went down to South Ari and swam with loads in a lagoon close to Lux resort, we were the only boat there and there were only 5 of us in the water, it was totally amazing.

Cumbria, United...
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3,446 posts
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3. Re: Manta Rays

I've seen one or two off the reef at Reethi Beach in October and also off the reef at Ellaidhoo in October. Both islands offer snorkelling trips if they know that mantas have definitely been seen at their more regular haunts - seeing them off a house reef is more a matter of luck as they feed in deeper, faster flowing waters. As already said the South Ari resorts offer regular trips with good results.

Gloucester, United...
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90 posts
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4. Re: Manta Rays

Thanks for your quick replies, much appreciated, it looks like it is more luck than anything else. :) If it is meant to be it will be !!

Amanda

Westhoughton...
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78 posts
13 reviews
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5. Re: Manta Rays

Hi Amanda - You can see from all the postings that it's pot luck - but may I suggest that you e-mail the dive teams on the islands you intend to visit, they will be able to let you know if the Mantas have been seen lately. I have seen Mantas whilst on Biyadhoo, on a diving trip, - but in April and December 2012 the dive team were not willing to take the risk of failure - as sightings had been scarce. However a snorkell trip, on a private catamaran, proved successful for some visitors. Be aware that Biyadhoo is not a honeymoon type island so check all the threads and try e-mailing the dive team.

Cumbria, United...
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3,446 posts
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6. Re: Manta Rays

Biya's manta season runs typically from May to October - I have dived with them in the Guraidhoo channel and encountered them snorkelling off the catamaran and off the house reef - as always here are no guarantees that you will see them.

Gloucester, United...
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90 posts
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7. Re: Manta Rays

Thank you again for your comments. I am making note!!

Amanda

United Kingdom
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1,659 posts
4 reviews
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8. Re: Manta Rays

In South Ari atoll, there are likely to be mantas between October/November through to April/May time.

We get mantas just about every night at Conrad Maldives (you can see them swimming under our bridge) during that season so they're definitely around.

Belfast
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767 posts
55 reviews
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9. Re: Manta Rays

It's definitely pot luck. We've been very lucky & swam with mantas on 3 separate holidays to the Maldives- all different resorts/atolls & different times of year. Vilamendhoo definitely run manta trips, also whale shark ones. We were there end Sep/early Oct last year & managed to be on a successful whale shark trip but we were lucky as none had been spotted for 2 weeks.

South West
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135 posts
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10. Re: Manta Rays

Fihalhohi is a good option for Mantas, they run daily trips to swim with Mantas for about $30 per person. Obviously no guarantees but chances are good, I swam with 7 mantas whilst there last October. Also had a pod of around a dozen dolphins swimming just off the beach for over an hour. Not an expensive island either.

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