Manta and Whale Shark Watching


The Maldives is home to diverse species of rays and sharks including the magnificent manta ray and mighty whale shark. These gentle giants of the ocean draw visitors from around the globe, to explore the underwater beauty of the Maldives in search of them.

Exploring and swimming with the manta rays and whale sharks is an experience that will last with you for a lifetime. These mighty creatures of the sea will interact with you by circling and swimming around you. Though these majestic and powerful fish look intimidating, they are totally harmless to humans.

Although manta rays and whale sharks can be observed in different parts of the country, there are certain regions where these mighty fish frequents. The best atolls to observe the whale shark are Northern and Southern Ari Atoll, Gaafu Alif and Gaafu Dhaal Atoll and Thaa Atoll.

Manta rays can be encountered in Northern and Southern Ari Atoll, Addu Atoll, North Male’ Atoll, Haa Alifu Atoll, Haa Dhaalu Atoll and Baa Atoll.

The best period to encounter with manta rays and whale sharks are between June and September. However, there have been sightings of these great pelagic fish throughout the year. Resort islands close to areas frequented by manta rays and whale sharks organise excursions to introduce them to the visitors. High visibility in the clean seas of the Maldives allows for great viewing of these mighty sea creatures.

The plankton rich waters of the Maldives are one reason for manta rays and whale sharks to appear habitually in the country. While you dive capture the images of giant manta rays and whale sharks congregating to feast on the planktons.

In recent years the Maldives have taken great measures to preserve and protect this wild sea life. Certain areas like Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll have been declared as a marine protected area. These measures ensure the continuity of manta rays and whale sharks habituating in the Maldives. 

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