One of the great things about scuba diving in the Maldives is the opportunity to see a vast array of marine life. Macro photographers can find endless subjects on the reefs and those seeking the ‘big stuff’ will find it, there really is something for everyone. The rays of the Maldives are often the stars of the show and with huge mantas, a variety of sting rays and squadrons of eagle rays, divers looking for these graceful creatures will not be disappointed.
Reef Mantas have a wingspan of up to 4 metres and are easily recognisable due to their diamond body shape, large forward-facing mouth and a cephalic fin on each side which help channel the plankton into their huge mouths. Mantas can usually be seen at cleaning stations or at plankton-rich feeding grounds where they may be seen performing barrel rolls or swimming in a chain.
Eagle Rays are smaller than mantas and have a wingspan of about one metre. Their upper surface is usually black with small white spots and their long thin tail has spines at its base. A distinct head at the front is shaped perfectly for digging through the sand in search of prey. Eagle rays are often seen flying through the water in large numbers. If you spot a much larger (around 2.4 metres wingspan) and intricately patterned eagle ray, you may have been lucky enough to have witnessed an ornate eagle ray – quite a rare sighting!
Stingrays have a rounded, disc-shaped body, with the mouth on the underside – there is no distinct head. There are many different species of stingrays, all varying in size, shape, colour and tail shape but they are all usually found on the bottom where they search for food, rest and swim.
Our guests have already enjoyed Manta Week at Vilamendhoo, Dhigali and LUX* South Ari Atoll where they enjoyed diving and snorkelling with these graceful creatures and learning a lot more about them. If you missed those events and still have your 2022 holidays to look forward to, book a stay for any of these 3 weeks, with 5 resorts to choose from: