MALDIVES – JULY 22, 2020 – Heed the call of the wild this manta season (from now until November 2020) and head to one of the most renowned manta hotspots in the world. With the Maldives reopening its international borders on July 15, 2020 and last year’s Baa Atoll high number of sightings, there’s never been a better time to join resident Manta Trust experts at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru to swim with these incredible gentle giants.
2019 saw an incredible 4,423 sightings of 589 individual manta rays in Baa Atoll. A total of 280 new manta rays were identified across the Maldives, taking the total number of reef manta rays in the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) database to 4,942: the largest recorded population anywhere in the world.
“Since the MMRP – the founding project of The Manta Trust – was launched at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru in 2005, we’ve worked tirelessly to care for the mantas that visit Baa Atoll each year,” says Dr. Guy Stevens, the Founder and CEO of the Manta Trust. “We’re delighted that sightings were so abundant in 2019, and with the quieter waters of 2020, we’re hoping for record sightings this season.”
All manta ray activities at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru prioritize safety, sustainability and conservation, and are run by on-site Manta Trust experts who know hundreds of the regular mantas by name; these include Mr Spotty, the spottiest manta in the Maldives, and the aptly named Blob. With the help of a contactless ultrasound unit, the team discovered Blob was in the early stages of pregnancy last season so are hoping soon to spot an inquisitive manta pup.
Manta is Spanish for “cloak,” referring to the ray’s wingspan that propels these balletic black and white beauties through their underwater kingdom with the grace of an eagle soaring over mountains. With an evolution that can be traced back 20 million years, studies suggest that manta rays may possibly recognize themselves in the mirror – a high cognitive function ability shared by dolphins, primates, and elephants – and their curiosity often brings them close to snorkelers, making a manta experience even more magical.
Manta Experiences at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
Keeping marine magic on speed-dial, from July to November the Resort’s Manta-on-Call service sees guests given a “manta phone” that rings whenever mantas are sighted nearby, before an exhilarating speedboat transfer to a once-in-a-lifetime snorkeling experience.
Manta Ray Scientist for a Day is a unique opportunity to be part of the pioneering work of the Manta Trust, the world’s leading manta ray charity. Learn to free dive in the Baa Atoll; take ID photos; record environmental data; and even be in with a chance of naming a new manta.
Drawing on more than a decade’s worth of local research and analysis, the Manta Trust experts have put together the following list of likely mass aggregation dates, allowing guests the best chance of meeting a manta in 2020 in the waters around Landaa Giraavaru:
● July 18-22
● August 1-5
● August 17-21
● August 31 – September 4
● September 15–19
● September 30 – October 4
● October 15–19
● October 29 – November 2
● November 13-17
Note: Manta ray sightings are subject to weather conditions and the temperament of these gentle oceanic giants.
To be the first to swim alongside manta rays this season with the Manta Watch package, book online, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Central Reservations department of Four Seasons Resorts Maldives at tel: (960) 66 00 888