Swimming with manta rays in the Maldives

Swimming with manta rays in the Maldives

Swimming with manta rays in the Maldives

Working as a diving instructor on the Maldivian island Komandoo is very different compared to our former office jobs. Every day is different as we spend many hours in the Indian Ocean. But some days are better than others or they are even unforgettable. Especially when a manta search snorkel trip by boat is on the program. I am the snorkel guide of today’s trip and I have a special task.The aim of the trip is searching, finding and swimming with manta rays. 13 people have signed up and are already waiting in front of the dive center. The people are very excited. I can understand that, even I am exited every time I have the chance to see manta rays. Swimming with manta rays in the Maldives is an unforgettable experience.

Together with the group I walk along the jetty where the boat is waiting for us. On the boat I do a briefing about the trip and explain the behaviour in the water should we find manta rays. We do not want to scare off the beautiful creatures, therefore it is important to follow some basic rules. I also tell the guests that the chances to find manta rays this time of the year are promising but there is no guarantee to see them. The Indian Ocean is not a zoo. That makes the whole trip even more special and everybody is exited.

All on the boat are super exited. Close encounters with manta rays is a very special experience.

We travel south and check the area where the manta rays are often coming to feed. Let’s hope for the right current and lots of plankton. As we get closer we can see other boats of the neighboring islands and snorkellers in the water. That’s a good sign. Manta rays seem to be around.

The captain is positioning the boat and we start to get ready for snorkelling. Before entering the water, I again point out the correct behavior. It is important not to jump but slowly slide into the water, not to splash around and neither to chase nor touch the majestic creatures. We see two manta rays and everybody gets in the water. Unfortunately they’re quite far away and the distance gets even bigger as the current is picking up a lot. The visibility is not great either due to the plankton. I decide that it is better to go back to the boat and try again.

Snorkelling with manta rays

Snorkelling with manta rays in the Maldives

After a short ride we see more fins sticking out of the water. This time we are lucky and we find a group of five to ten animals. Second time lucky. After we enter the water calmly we are surrounded by the majestic underwater acrobats. This group of manta rays is very friendly and they are not impressed by us at all. Everybody is enjoying the close encounter with the manta rays. The beautiful creatures are coming very close and some even touch the snorkellers with the tips of their fins.

Manta ray belly

That’s a close encounter with a manta ray. I can see the belly of the manta ray very clearly.

Some of the guests are quite frightened as the manta rays pass just a few centimeters below us with their mouth open to feed. Even as they look so gracious the first time it may be a bit scary. Manta rays can grow quite big with a wing-span of up to seven meters but they are totally harmless as they are feeding from plankton only.

One of the manta rays seems to be in an especially good  mood. He offers us a underwater show with a number of somersaults. The snorkellers are so impressed that they forget everything around them and collide with each other. As a whole group of manta rays is crossing our way again the chaos is complete.

Manta ray doing a somersault. Swimming with manta rays in the Maldives.

Manta ray doing a somersault. Swimming with manta rays in the Maldives.

After almost an hour of snorkelling with the mantas we are pretty exhausted but happy and deeply impressed by this incredible experience. I call back the boat and one after another climbs back to the boat. On the boat ride back to Komandoo island a lively discussion starts. The ones with cameras show their pictures and compare their shots. The atmosphere is great and the morning couldn’t have been better.

Everybody is satisfied and in complete agreement: It was a memorable morning in the Indian Ocean.

That’s what we call a perfect morning in the Maldives and that’s what we love our job for. Swimming with manta rays in the Maldives is an unforgettable Experience.


Have you been to the Maldives? Did you ever encounter the majestic manta rays? Have you been swimming with manta rays in the Maldives?

Do you like scuba diving? We can highly recommend you Raja Ampat in Indonesia. It’s not a cheap destination but there are still options for exploring Raja Ampat on a budget. If you are looking for a budget freindly island paradise, we can higly recomend you the Gili Islands in Indonesia.


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