Manta Passion fortnight in the Maldives

Reef manta ray in Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll (Guy Stevens / Manta Trust)
Reef manta ray in Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll (Guy Stevens / Manta Trust)

Sometime you need to book well ahead for the special trips and enjoy the sense of anticipation, which is what Manta Expeditions is asking of big ray enthusiasts with its projected fortnight-long “Manta Passion” trip around the Maldives, set for 14-28 September 2025.

Timed to coincide with prime monsoon winds and lunar currents, which strongly influence the movements and feeding habits of reef mantas, the research expedition will be guided by experts from British-based charity the Manta Trust

The trip differs from other Manta Expeditions outings in that although it is lengthy the aim is to dive almost exclusively with mantas, carrying out extensive surveys on both cleaning and feeding sites, seeking new aggregation sites and undertaking more in-depth research activities.

Concentration on mantas does not preclude whale sharks or other attractions wandering onto the scene, of course.

Guests will be encouraged to get involved in both the surface and in-water research, which includes taking wingspan measurements, ultrasound scanning of rays for pregnancies and photo-identification of individuals. 

Reef manta rays Maldives 2019 Simon Hilbourne 3
Reef manta ray in the Maldives (Simon Hillbourne / Manta Trust)

Baa Atoll is off the main route for many dive liveaboards but the plan is to venture into this more northern atoll for a few days to visit Hanifaru Bay, as well as heading further north into Raa and Noonu Atolls. 

Ari Atoll hosts the country’s second-largest manta population, providing opportunities of finding both feeding and cleaning aggregations and of swimming with mantas feeding at night in one of the local lagoons. The hope is to visit both familiar and new cleaning stations and feeding sites, says the operator. 

The specialists will deliver daily presentations, and leading them will be Niv Froman, Manta Expeditions’ manager and Manta Trust’s PhD researcher in manta reproductive ecology.

The expedition takes place on the 33m Conte Max, with its eight en suite cabins, and diving from an accompanying dhoni. The price is US $3,650pp, including transfers from Malé airport, full board, three dives or snorkelling excursions a day and nitrox. 

Manta Expeditions is also now offering week-long Snorkelling Expeditions in the Maldives, with cruises limited to 10 guests, in partnership with Secret Paradise, the Maldives Manta Conservation Programme and the Manta Trust.

Immersion not only in seawater but Maldivian culture is promised, along with manta encounters and marine conservation insights. With departures on 17 August and 15 September this year and 18 August and 4 October in 2025, the price is $1,949pp. To book Manta Passion or Snorkelling Expeditions, email info@mantaexpeditions.com

Pullman Aqua Week

Conservation lessons from the Pullman resort
Conservation lessons from the Pullman resort

Meanwhile Aqua Week, seven days of ocean conservation and water-based activities, was held recently at the all-inclusive Pullman Maldives Maamutaa in the southern Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

One of the resort’s “pillar weeks”, the event was organised by staff at its PADI 5* Suvadiva Diving Centre and included an introduction to freediving, PADI AWARE and Dive Against Debris speciality courses and clean-up events. During the week Pullman Suvadiva was awarded the title of number 3 Maldives eco-centre by PADI EMEA staff in attendance. 

A turtle presentation by the resident marine biologist was followed by three hours of snorkelling excursions with greens and hawksbills, including free underwater photography and editing tutorials, and free monofin mermaid pool sessions.

Also on Divernet: The woman who thinks like a manta, Where to find 22,300 giant mantas, Bali island could be manta nursery, Divers should beware cowboy manta guides

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@dekkerlundquist5938
#ASKMARK Hello Mark, while out diving recently I talked to an experienced diver who was diving with twins but did not have any manifold on them, i.e. each cylinder had a first stage with a primary and an SPG. One cylinder had the low pressure inflator for his BC. What are the pros and cons of a manifold setup versus independent twins?

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00:00 Introduction
00:40 What's the point of independent twins?
01:06 Answer

@dekkerlundquist5938
#ASKMARK Hello Mark, while out diving recently I talked to an experienced diver who was diving with twins but did not have any manifold on them, i.e. each cylinder had a first stage with a primary and an SPG. One cylinder had the low pressure inflator for his BC. What are the pros and cons of a manifold setup versus independent twins?

#scuba #scubadiving #scubadiver
LINKS

Become a fan: https://www.scubadivermag.com/join
Gear Purchases: https://www.scubadivermag.com/affiliate/dive-gear
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OUR WEBSITES

Website: https://www.scubadivermag.com ➡️ Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Hints & Advice, Scuba Gear Reviews
Website: https://www.divernet.com ➡️ Scuba News, Underwater Photography, Hints & Advice, Travel Reports
Website: https://www.godivingshow.com ➡️ The Only Dive Show in the United Kingdom
Website: https://www.rorkmedia.com ➡️ For advertising within our brands
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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00:00 Introduction
00:40 What's the point of independent twins?
01:06 Answer

YouTube Video UEw2X2VCMS1KYWdWbXFQSGV1YW84WVRHb2pFNkl3WlRSZS44QjI0MDE3MzFCMUVBQTkx

What's The Point of Independent Twins? #askmark

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