The waters of the pristine Baa Atoll around Four Seasons Resort Maldives Landaa Giraavaru are some of the richest in the Maldives. Declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in July 2011, the Atoll is home to nine core protected areas including Hanifaru Bay and Baathala, two renowned manta ray hotspots within easy reach of the Resort.
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru offers guests a once-in-a-lifetime chance from May to October to get up close and personal with majestic manta rays and the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark. During this time of the year, a combination of southwestern monsoon currents and lunar tides bring large quantities of planktonic shrimp (mantas’ favourite food) to various sites around Landaa Giraavaru, attracting large numbers of manta rays.
The manta rays with wing-like pectoral fins that stretch to a length of 13 to 15 feet (4 to 4.5 metres) move gracefully through the water while feeding with their enormous mouths. Having one of the largest comparable brain sizes of any marine animal makes them highly curious, resulting in some very close snorkelling encounters.
Manta on Call Service
Guests who visit the Resort during the months of May to October can also sign up for the Manta on Call service: a thrilling experience that sees them collected from wherever they are in the Resort when mantas are spotted and whisked away in a speedboat to snorkel with them.
Hot Dates for Manta Ray Sightings in 2012
Landaa Giraavaru’s manta ray expert, Guy Stevens – founder of the world-renowned Maldivian Manta Ray Project – has identified the below “hot dates” for 2012 when manta rays are most likely* to converge at renowned local feeding and cleaning sites:
June 17 to 21
July 1 to 5; July 17 to 21; and July 31 to August 4
August 15 to 19; and August 29 to September 2
September 14 to 18; and September 28 to October 2
October 13 to 17; and October 27 to 31
Manta Watch! Package
Available from May 11 to October 24, 2012, the Manta Watch! package is perfect for guests who seek to experience the best of the manta season. The package includes:
Round trip airport transfers by seaplane for two
Daily buffet breakfast for two
One Manta-on-Call snorkelling excursion for two persons by speedboat
A personal coral frame propagation
One dolphin cruise and marine biologist briefing for two
*Note that sightings are subject to weather conditions and the temperaments of the mantas themselves.