One of the most spectacular and energizing underwater experiences for any diver or snorkeler is diving with manta rays. These amazing creatures consolidate beauty, charisma and power, with a remarkable intelligence—in reality it has as of late been demonstrated that manta beams have the most noteworthy mind to-weight proportions, and the biggest brains of all fish. Witnessing these creatures feed in synchronised twists and turns through clouds of plankton, and it is easy to understand why these animals are the star attraction at many dive destinations in Asia.
HANIFARU BAY, BAA ATOLL, MALDIVES
Hanifaru Bay was announced a Marine Protected Area in 2009, at that point consolidated into the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2011. Unfortunately, diving is never again allowed in the inlet – you can just snorkel with the manta rayss and whale sharks—and to keep any disturbance to a base, strict rules for guests have been set up. Guests must buy tokens preceding their visit with all returns going towards the Baa Atoll Conservation Fund and the fate of the unbelievable manta assemblies of Hanifaru.
What to see: Manta rays and even whale sharks as they eat a tiny fish ‘soup’.
Best time to visit: For the best opportunities to witness a bolstering gathering of mantas, we prescribe going by from late July to early October.
FESDU LAGOON, NORTH ARI ATOLL, MALDIVES
Divers can witness an amazing showcase at Fesdu Lagoon by feeding manta rays in just 15m of water, ideal off the back of the liveaboard boat. A little population of manta rays have learnt that tiny fish is pulled in to and focused by the lights of the liveaboard boats that field in the lagoon overnight—perfect feeding conditions for the manta rays. Inside an hour or so of mooring at nightfall, mantas begin to show up and start barrel-moving underneath the boats as they endeavor to pig out themselves on the planktons.
What to see: Groups of mantas feeding in the lights back of liveaboards.
Best time to visit: Year round, best from January to April amid the Northeast rainstorm season.
KOMODO NATIONAL PARK, INDONESIA
Komodo is legitimately well known for its ecstatic landscapes, biodiversity and, obviously, its dragon. However, the recreation center is also a remarkable place for sightings of manta ray. In the south of the Komodo National Park, the icy, supplement rich upwellings that are so common here make sprouts of tiny fish when the frostywater hits the sunlit shallows—best feeding conditions for mantas. In that capacity, the south is home to Komodo’s best manta site at the appropriately named Manta Alley. Here, extensive quantities of mantas accumulate to eat planktons and visit a progression of cleaning stations spotted along the reef.
What to see: Gatherings of mantas at Manta Alley in the south and Karang Makassar in the north—Komodo’s most dependable manta dive spots.
Best time to visit: October to December for the south, March to October for the north.