Archive for the ‘Manta Ray’ Category

More mantas than you can believe!

August 11th, 2016 Comments off

Just look at these photos from Emperor Virgo

0816 manta from virgo 300x199 More mantas than you can believe!

There are some amazing photos from Virgo of mantas like never before!

Click the photo to enjoy them all on Facebook here.

Want to be there?
How about 2 – 9 October on Emperor Virgo for a Manta Madness trip.
Just 1715 Euros!

>> More on Emperor Virgo here…




Categories: Manta Ray, Photos, Virgo Tags:

SAVE Constellation Fleet Maldives 1 Night Free

June 10th, 2015 Comments off

Constellation Fleet Maldives


8D7N Cruise only Pay for 6 Nights!


Join Maldives premier liveaboard diving fleet in August and September 2015 from as little as USD1500 per person for 8D7N with 17 dives, full-board accommodation, and all the comforts that diving with the best of Maldives entails.

For more information please contact us with any questions on

The Constellation Fleet in Maldives is an Award winning provider of Diving and Liveaboard services, with a dedicated and professional team to take care of your every need while on your well deserved holiday.

The boats are all currently in for their annual 2 month rest and maintenance period. All 3 boats are being given a fresh lick of paint, and minor renovations. The boats will all be getting new air-conditioning systems this year which will add to the already high levels of client comfort.

Why not join Constellation Fleet in August and September to be the first few to experience the fresh feel of these wonderful Liveaboards?

For bookings and more information please contact us on

Special Itineraries 1; Manta, Whaleshark & Wrecks – North

May 30th, 2015 Comments off

Manta, Whaleshark & Wrecks – North (outward trip)

Join Emperor Atoll for these awesome special trips to the North of Maldives:

10 300x200 Special Itineraries 1; Manta, Whaleshark & Wrecks   North

Atolls Visited

These special itineraries have been chosen to run when the manta are most prolific between August and October.

Boarding your liveaboard in Male, you head north to begin your safari ending in Baa Atoll (Hanifaru Bay) where you catch a flight back to Male.

Your journey begins with wreck diving at Gaafaru Atoll, continuing on to the northern atolls of Lhaviyani and Noonu with an abundance of grey reef sharks, exciting channel diving, beautiful coral formations and pinnacles brimming with life.

Baa Atoll is home to Hanifaru Lagoon where you can snorkel with the manta and whalesharks that come to feed on the plankton in this shallow lagoon. Of course, sightings can’t be guaranteed but joining us at this time of year means your chances are really high! Baa Atoll is also home to many pinnacles, overhangs and alternative manta sites.

You can combine this itinerary with the Manta, Whaleshark & Reefs – South itinerary, which is the return trip but calling at different sites, making an exciting two week safari covering eight atolls. Contact us for details and prices.

Please note: This itinerary is at the Cruise Director’s discretion based on the weather and current conditions to ensure you get the most possible interactions with manta and whaleshark.

You don’t need a minimum number of dives but you should be comfortable with drift dives. Currents can be strong. All your diving is made from dhonis or zodiacs to give precise entry and exits points. Experienced divers can dive in a buddy pair unguided.

Experience Maldives Manta Rays

March 19th, 2015 Comments off

Dive the Maldives. Experience mantas like never before and take part
in key conservation research

Hanifaru Manta 27 300x199 Experience Maldives Manta Rays

Manta feeding frenzy in Maldives

Constellation Fleet Maldives has teamed up with Manta Trust to bring guests the chance to dive with manta experts, Niv Froman and Guy Stevens. Not only will guests dive with the best, but there will be the chance to experience and take part in cutting-edge conservation research to protect these most majestic of animals as well as name new mantas.

MV Orion Port Side 300x199 Experience Maldives Manta Rays

Orion on the way to a new diving cruise in Baa, Rhasdhoo and Ari Atoll

30th August – 6th September 2015
Manta Madness, Male, Baa Atoll and Ari Atoll
Trip leader: Niv Froman

Join Constellation Fleet’s MV Orion and the Manta Trust’s Niv Froman on this trip dedicated to sightings and interactions with manta rays, focusing on the Central Atolls of North Malé Atoll, Baa Atoll and North Ari Atoll.

27th February – 7th March 2016
Southern & Central Atolls Sharks & Mantas
Huvadhoo, Laamu, Thaa, Meemu, South Ari Atoll
Trip Leader: Guy Stevens

Join Constellation Fleet’s MV Orion and the Manta Trust’s Guy Stevens. Dedicated to sightings and interactions with manta rays, focusing on the Southern & Central Atolls with the chance to really understand the magnificent manta.

Manta Trust scientists will be collecting photographic identification images of all mantas encountered throughout the expedition, a task that guests are welcome and encouraged to take part in. Sightings of all the manta rays encountered will be added to the Maldives database and guests will be invited to name any new individuals. Every manta sighting, whether it’s a new manta or a re-sighting of an individual which is already known, is an important piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle, allowing the manta team to better understand the population size, composition, migratory routes, reproductive output, native ranges and areas of critical habitats; all of which is crucial information in developing effective management and conservation strategies for these increasingly vulnerable animals.

About The Manta Trust
Manta rays are among the most charismatic creatures that inhabit our oceans. With the largest brain of all fish their intelligence and curiosity make encounters with these creatures a truly amazing experience. However, despite their popularity with divers and snorkelers many aspects of these creatures’ lives remain a mystery, with only snippets of their life history understood. More worryingly, in recent years, a fishery for these animals has developed with devastating effects on populations of these animals globally.

The Manta Trust was formed in 2011 to co-ordinate global research and conservation efforts for these animals, their close relatives and their habitat. As charismatic megafauna, manta rays act as the flagship species helping to promote and engage the general public in the wider message of marine ecosystem conservation. Through this top down approach to conservation the manta ray becomes the catalyst for change, engaging and motivating the general public, governments and local communities alike. As a UK Registered Charity, the Trust brings together a number of projects from around the globe, both new and long-standing, including the Republic of Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Indonesia. By conducting long-term, robust studies into manta populations in these locations the Trust aims to build solid foundations upon which Governments, NGOs and conservationists can make informed and effective decisions to ensure the long term survival of these animals and their habitat.

Niv Photo 2013 300x320 Experience Maldives Manta Rays

Trip Leader, Niv Froman
Join Niv’s entertaining talks on the highlights of manta lives and cutting edge research, and gain an insight into the life of a manta researcher.

Niv has been passionate about nature for as long as he can remember; his dream has always been living in close contact to the wilderness and to try to understand its fascinating mysteries.

After graduating summa cum laude in Natural Sciences at the University of Milan, Niv completed a Masters degree in Environmental Management focusing primarily on animal behaviour and evolution.

In 2010 he began work as a marine biologist in the Maldives, an experience that brought him closer to marine life and developed his passion for the underwater domain.

The complex and still poorly understood behaviour of manta rays particularly intrigued him from his first encounter. It was the desire to better understand their biology and help the conservation effort that introduced him to the Manta Trust. Since 2013, Niv has worked full time as Project Leader of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project, managing and coordinating the conservation and research of these majestic creatures.

Guy Stevens portrait 300x443 Experience Maldives Manta Rays

Trip Leader, Guy Stevens
In 2005 Guy founded the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) with the aim of helping to conserve the Maldives’ manta population through active research and education.  In 2011, Guy formed The Manta Trust along with a collaboration of scientists, conservationists, photographers, filmmakers and communicators. His work with manta rays now takes him to other corners of the world, but the Maldives for him will always be the best place to see and study these amazing animals.

The research that Guy has conducted on the manta rays of the Maldives, especially in the famous Hanifaru Bay, has been featured in dozens of articles including a National Geographic Magazine feature and numerous television documentaries (BBC, ITV, National Geographic, Animal Planet, ABC, etc). Guy’s research at Hanifaru and his work with The Manta Trust contributed to the declaration of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2011. In March 2013 Guy and the rest of the Manta Trust team were key players in a coalition of NGOs which were instrumental in the successful campaign resulting in manta rays being listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), greatly improving the global protection for these vulnerable species.

Guy is now working towards the completion of his PhD focusing on manta rays at the University of York in the United Kingdom. Throughout the expedition, Guy will be providing lectures and informal talks on manta ray and whale shark research and conservation, general marine biology and highlighting the diverse and productive marine ecosystems of the Maldives.

Manta Rays Where and When in Maldives?

March 12th, 2015 Comments off

The Maldives is blessed to be one of the few places in the world where you have a permanent resident population of Manta Rays which move around the Maldives following the their food, the plankton around.  There are believed to be around 5,000 Manta Rays living in Maldivian waters, with the Maldives Manta Ray Project having already identified over 3,000 individuals, constantly increasing with new sightings from their team of Marine Biologists, volunteers and many ordinary tourists such as yourselves. If you would like to assist the Manta Trust and the Maldives Manta Ray Project with their research you can log on to and upload your pictures. Its a great way to find out more about the Manta Rays you have seen, as well as help a worthy cause to help us all better understand the habits of Manta Rays, which should help with their continued protection.

Hanifaru Manta 27 300x199 Manta Rays Where and When in Maldives?

Manta feeding frenzy in Maldives

So where will you find our beloved Manta Rays in the Maldives you might ask? Well the simple answer is it depends on what time of year it is. As mentioned previously, the Manta Rays migrate following their food. Plankton is moved around by the winds and the currents, so its position is determined by the Monsoons that affect the Maldives each year. The Maldives has 2 Monsoons, the South-west monsoon from May to October, and the North-east monsoon from December to March. April and November act as transitional months where the predominant winds can be pushing from either direction.

So what does this mean for your Holiday in the Maldives?

Well if you are wanting to stay on a Liveaboard it usually does not matter as they will alsways try to find you as many Manta Rays & Whalesharks as possible. However as a rule of thumb if you want to see Manta Rays, June to November look for cruises that take you to North Male, Baa Atoll, or South-west Ari Atoll.

If you are looking for Manta Rays December to May, then your best best is to find cruises that will take you to Ari Atoll, which has Manta cleaning and feeding sites year round, which are however most active in the North East Monsoon.


South West Monsoon May – October
Aveyla Manta Village
 Baa Atoll is one of the best value for money / budget land based options for finding Manta Rays in the South West Monsoon, with its close proximity to Hanifaru Bay, and surrounding Manta cleaning stations. A brand new establishment with an experienced dive team and fun friendly atmosphere.

North East Monsoon December – March
Casa Mia @ Mathiveri Dive Retreat in North Ari Atoll is a great year round diving destination, and is perfectly situated on the West coast of the Maldives during the North-east monsoon from December – March. In this period Mantas can be seen outside the harbour feeding, and there are numerous great Manta dive sites where you can sit with the Manta Rays for up to an hour while the cleaning wrasse clean then. Like a Manta car wash!

IMG 4968 300x194 Manta Rays Where and When in Maldives?

Manta Cleaning @ Lankan Manta Point, North Male

The Best Manta Ray Season in the Maldives – 2011

October 3rd, 2011 Comments off

Is 2011 the Best Manta Ray Season Maldives has Seen in Years?

gundi1 300x225 The Best Manta Ray Season in the Maldives   2011

Manta rays are often photographed swimming close to scuba divers

Over the past few months, we have been swamped with reports of manta ray sightings in the Maldives, with overjoyed divers and dive guides agreeing that it has been a bumper year for manta lovers. Many of our boats, such as Theia and MV Aquarius, have responded by launching special “Manta Madness” cruises, which take guests to the best Manta spots of the Maldives.

“It seems that thanks to numerous conservation efforts, the Maldives manta ray population is doing well these days. This is great news, especially considering that manta rays are an endangered species in most parts of the world.”

The recovery of the manta ray population in the Maldives appears to be evident in the dive logs of all of the liveaboard diving cruise ships we work with, as well as from anecdotal evidence we’ve received from crew members and guests over the past few months.

The abundance of mantas is also something observed by the Save Our Seas Foundation. Guy Stevens, the head of the foundation’s manta ray conservation project in the Maldives, recently commented: “The Maldives is the perfect place for these reef mantas; there is plenty of food all year round, there are few natural predators, and most importantly in today’s world of human exploitation, there has never been a significant or commercial fisheries for manta rays in the Maldives.” To read the whole interview, click here.

Best Time to See Manta Rays in the Maldives

Traditionally, the summer months offer the best chances for diving or snorkeling with manta rays in the Maldives. This is because of the higher amount of plankton in the water, which has a significant bearing on the manta ray migration in the Maldives. A manta ray diet consists mainly of plankton and the prevailing winds and currents of the hot Maldivian summer can create such a high concentration of food in certain places that a manta ray feeding frenzy ensues.

Watch this thrilling video of an underwater expedition amongst several manta rays in the Maldives

One of the most famous places where so-called manta ray cyclone feeding can occur, is the now legendary Hanifaru Bay, a dive spot made famous by a breathtaking photo reportage published by the National Geographic in 2009.

Especially in August, it is not uncommon to see more than a hundred animals gathering here during the Maldives manta ray season to make the most of the site’s unique geographical position, which sweeps huge amounts of plankton into the bay at certain times. This manta ray behavior is sometimes referred to as a “manta ray feeding aggregation”. The Maldives is known for the world’s largest aggregations of such nature.

Manta Ray Cleaning Stations Maldives

Another important element in the lives of these fascinating and absolutely harmless sea creatures are the many manta ray cleaning stations of the Maldives, which can attract several mantas at once. Seeing a troupe of imposing rays queue politely for their turn at the cleaning station is an absolutely unforgettable sight. Experienced dive guides such as ours know the locations of the most highly frequented feeding stations, where chances of diving with manta rays in the Maldives are the highest.

IMG 1883 300x225 The Best Manta Ray Season in the Maldives   2011

A open-mouthed manta ray approaches the camera

The manta ray cleaning stations of the Maldives are essentially rock or coral formation where manta rays stop by regularly to let cleaner wrasses pick parasites and dead skin particles off their bodies. It’s a symbiosis that is mutually beneficial – the cleaner wrasses get a steady delivery of food, while the manta rays have better chances of avoiding skin irritations and potentially dangerous infections caused by parasites.

Responsible Tourism in the Maldives – An Economic Necessity

While it seems that mantas in the Maldives are adept at taking care of themselves in terms of food and skincare, they need our help to protect their habitats from the negative impacts of human activity around them.

Their playful behavior and seeming indifference – even curiosity – for human visitors is remarkable and plays a big part in the tourism industry of the Maldives. The question is: how to balance economic development and mass tourism with the protection of the manta ray habitats of the Maldives?

The answer lies in a responsible approach to economic opportunities. Unlike commonly assumed, tourism can play a vital role in conservation efforts. The logic is simple – the manta ray population Maldives is of crucial importance to the economy and, as such, must be protected.

Stevens explains: “The more people who visit the Maldives in search of an encounter with manta rays the better; tourism really is important for the long term survival of manta rays in the Maldives and elsewhere around the world. However, tourism needs to be managed so that it is truly sustainable. As specific sites, such as Hanifaru, become overwhelmed with tourists there is a growing need for effective management to ensure that this site does not become degraded.”

g4 600x450 The Best Manta Ray Season in the Maldives   2011

Close-up shot of a manta ray in Maldives

The great challenge that lies ahead is to find a solution on how to manage sensitive manta ray feeding sites and how to enforce existing laws. The wheels of policy and bureaucracy have been notoriously slow in the Republic of the Maldives over the last decades. However, the new government’s commitment to environmental issues provides hope for responsible tour operators and scuba divers alike.

As always, Maldives Dive Travel is fully supportive of marine conservation efforts in the Maldives. We do our best to educate our staff and guests about the importance of responsible diving. It is our aim to help ensure that the magnificent marine life of the Maldives remains as breathtakingly beautiful as it is now for the next generations of scuba divers.

Want to experience the thrill of diving with manta rays in the Maldives? Our experienced booking agents and dive guides are at your service.

Contact us now to get the best deals on diving holidays in the Maldives.

About us: Maldives Dive Travel looks back on more than 15 years of excellence and our Best Price Guarantee ensures that you get the best rates available anywhere!

Maldives Dive Travel Facebook Fans Reach 5,000

July 22nd, 2010 Comments off

MALE, Maldives, July 20, 2010.  Maldives Dive Travel Facebook fans have been jumping on board throughout the last year and there are now 5,080 as of July 20. As the leading provider of liveaboard scuba diving holidays in the Maldives, Maldives Dive Travel’s position as one of the most popular Maldives-related Facebook pages demonstrates the company’s success as a tourism company in the area.

Theia 2 Maldives Dive Travel Facebook Fans Reach 5,000

Maldives Dive Travel Offers Luxury Liveaboard Dive Safaris

Maldives Dive Travel’s presence on Facebook began in 2009 and has been expanding rapidly “This has been an incredible year,” said Mona Sutherland, PR Manager for Maldives Dive Travel. “We are so excited about the number of people who are interested in Maldives Dive Travel!”

One of the reasons for Maldives Dive Travel’s success, both on and off Facebook, is the Best Price Guarantee.  Thanks to the volume of scuba diving holidays managed by Maldives Dive Travel, they are able to offer the most competitive prices in the industry and in case a customer finds a better deal out there with another provider, Maldives Dive Travel will beat that price.  Customers just need to send in proof of the quote from the competitor.

maldives atoll white sandy beach crystal blue water 300x225 Maldives Dive Travel Facebook Fans Reach 5,000

The Stunning Beaches are a Major Attraction of the Maldives

Maldives Dive Travel’s presence on Facebook seeks to introduce people to the stunning beauty of the Maldives, to the vacation opportunities that exist there and to spread the word about this world-class scuba diving destination.  The company uses the Facebook page to let friends know about upcoming special offers, interesting happenings and to share high-quality photos and videos, which serve to further interest the user in a diving holiday in the Maldives.

At present, Maldives Dive Travel is promoting a series of special whale shark diving trips that are happening this summer.  The routes of these diving safaris are planned to coincide with the movement patterns of the amazing whale shark, allowing divers the opportunity to jump in and swim with the majestic creatures between their dives.  The Maldives is one of the few destinations in the world where you have good chances of seeing a whale shark year-round.

Maldives Underwater Photos Diver and Whale Shark 300x224 Maldives Dive Travel Facebook Fans Reach 5,000

Whale Shark Trips are Popular in the Maldives

The other big draw of diving in the Maldives at the moment is the amazing “manta ray feeding frenzy” which occurs between July and September in Hanifaru Bay each year.  The phenomenon was featured in National Geographic magazine last year and has since been attracting many keen divers who are curious to see the enormous manta rays in this fascinating performance.

Maldives Dive Travel is a travel agent offering scuba diving liveaboard holidays in the Maldives.  For information and updates go to or visit the Facebook page.

Maldives Dive Travel
125467431366.1656.189467029 Maldives Dive Travel Facebook Fans Reach 5,000
Promote your Page too

Hanifaru Bay Videos

April 28th, 2010 Comments off

Diving Videos from Hanifaru

To coincide with our newly announced Hanifaru Bay Scuba Safaris, the following are a number of videos taken by people scuba diving in Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll in the Maldives.  You will notice an incredible number of manta rays that gather here to feed on the masses of plankton.  The best time of year to see this spectacle is from July to September, so don’t miss out on our limited number of dive safaris.

Contact Maldives Dive Travel Today for More Information about Hanifaru!

Feeding Frenzy: Manta Rays in the Maldives from National Geographic

Save Our Seas – Manta Rays of the Maldives

Atoll Ecosystem Conservation Project (Maldives) Footage of Hanifaru Bay

Maldives Scuba Diving Videos

December 16th, 2009 Comments off

Watch scuba diving videos from the beautiful Maldives!

The Maldives is one of the world’s premier destinations for scuba diving.

Not only can scuba divers observe thousands of different species of reef fish while exploring the world underwater, but the Maldives is home to much bigger species, including the manta ray, whale shark, grey reef shark, napoleon wrasse and barracuda.

Hanifaru Bay, a marine protected uninhabited island located in the Baa Atoll, is now one of the hottest spots on the planet for underwater photographers since becoming the world’s largest Manta Ray feeding destination. Read more about the Hanifaru Bay phenomenon here!

Scuba diving in the Maldives is an exciting experience, just remember to keep the camera steady and enjoy your underwater experience!

Maldives Scuba Diving Videos

Grey Reef Shark at Makaru Thila

Beautiful video footage taken of a Grey Reef Shark swimming around the reef at Makaru Thila dive site in the Maldives. In the video, the Reef Shark is seen swimming through a nice variety of colourful reef fish.

Giant Manta Ray in North Male Atoll

Awesome close up of a giant manta ray shot in North Male Atoll, Maldives in a dive site known as Manta Point.

Snorkeling with Whale Shark in the Maldives

A group of snorkelers and divers hovering and swimming with a majestic whale shark in Maamigili dive site located at the South Ari Atoll in the Maldives.

Moray Eel at Cocoa Thila in the Maldives

A few scuba divers follow a moray eel at cocoa thila in the Maldives. This dive site is in the south Male atoll near the capital island. The eel is a fine specimen of the beautiful colored eels that are prevalent in the Maldives.

Large Sea Turtle Glides Through the Water in the Maldives

While scuba diving in the Maldives you can often see pacific green sea turtles swimming against the clear blue waters, descending down over the coral reef.

Check out more Maldives Scuba Diving Videos here!

Grey Reef Sharks and Eagle Rays at Guraidhoo Kandu

November 25th, 2009 Comments off

Guests aboard the Black Pearl liveaboard spot grey reef sharks and eagle rays at Guraidhoo Kandu

With the beginning of the North East Monsoon transition period, manta rays are becoming less frequent at the Lankan Manta Point cleaning station.

The Lankan Manta Point (of the North Male’ Atoll) manta ray season begins in early September and lasts until late November or early December.

Maldives Underwater Manta Flapping Wings Grey Reef Sharks and Eagle Rays at Guraidhoo Kandu

Manta Ray at Manta Point in the Maldives

Lankan Manta Point Dive

Black Pearl liveaboard dived at Lankan Manta Point for the first time this week. However, no manta rays were spotted, so the divers enjoyed the colorful Maldivian coral and selection of other reef fish that darted along the sandy ocean floor. Read about the Black Pearl’s sighting of a school of mobula rays!

Black Pearl liveaboard plans to cover South Male’ and Ari Atoll this week.

Kuda Giri Wreck and Guraidhoo Kandu Dive

After the dive at Lankan Manta Point, the Black Pearl liveaboard crossed Vaadhoo channel and arrived at the Kuda Giri Wreck for the day’s second dive. The day’s third dive took place at Guraidhoo Kandu.

With an incoming mild current, all divers saw 8 grey reef sharks, a school of 12 eagle rays and loads of white tip reef sharks.

Black Pearl live aboard will be sailing to South Ari Atoll today.