Many tourists visiting the Maldives have ‘swimming with mantas’ on their bucket list and, as a world-renowned hotspot for these magnificent creatures, there’s a high chance of getting that all-important tick on the list.
Divers and snorkellers staying at Club Med Finolhu, Club Med Kani, Dhigali, Eriyadu, Kurumba, Meeru and Vilamendhoo have extremely good chances of unforgettable encounters and the Euro-Divers teams at the dive centres there are not only experts in finding the reefs that the mantas love to frequent, but also ensure that the encounters are respectful and sustainable – hugely important when spending time with endangered and protected creatures.
Although it may be tempting to try and get close to capture that most-loved Instagram-worthy shot, the manta will be spooked and disappear, shortening the encounter and making future experiences less likely; we must ensure that feeding, cleaning and mating behaviour is never disrupted. If we want future generations to be able to experience the magic of seeing mantas in the wild, we must take steps to ensure our encounters sustainable.
Please follow these guidelines when you encounter mantas:
- When beginning your dive or snorkel excursion, make sure that you slip into the water calmly and quietly and keep a moderate distance of 10 meters apart from nearby manta rays.
- Make sure your fins stay below the surface to avoid unnecessary noise and splashing.
- Stay still and allow the mantas to come to you. Passive interaction is always the best option. Do not chase the mantas.
- Never block a mantas route in the water, keep the natural water columns open so the manta rays can swim around you without any interference. To do this as a diver, keep low to the sea bed at all times. Snorkelers should stay on the surface.
- Divers should not position themselves on to of cleaning stations, stay low and to the side.
- Never reach out and touch a manta ray, this will remove their protective slime coating and cause harm.
We can’t wait to share magical Maldives manta experiences with you soon!