The Maldives features stunning beaches, crystal clear water, and breathtaking views. The relaxing vibe and picturesque setting keep visitors coming back time and time again! There is so much to see and do in The Maldives. However, not many people know about the incredible sea life that is just waiting to be explored.
One of the most unique experiences on offer is getting up and personal with local wildlife and sea creatures. Are you ready to take a deep dive? Keep reading to discover where to go to check out the native whale sharks and manta rays in the beautiful Maldives.
Where to go
The waters surrounding the Maldives are lively and bustling with life! This means that it’s quite easy to catch sight of a whale shark or a manta ray. However, if you want to be sure to see one make sure you head on a diving or snorkelling expedition. Usually, resorts offer independent guided tours.
Some of the best spots to visit include Baa atoll in the Hanifaru reef and South Ai atoll. In particular, Baa atoll is a haven for scuba diving enthusiasts. Every year, both the manta rays and whale sharks are drawn to this area to feed on the plankton in the atoll’s bay. Currently, Baa Atoll is a UNESCO site as it’s the home of one of the biggest coral reefs in the Indian Ocean.
When to go
The best time to visit the Maldives and spot some manta rays is from November to April in the Western area of the atolls. Then, you can head to the eastern side from May to October. As for whale sharks, these giant creatures are active in the area all year round!
Get to know manta rays
Did you know that there are actually two types of manta rays? First, there is the Resident Reef manta ray. This sea creature can grow up to five meters wide. The giant oceanic manta ray is an impressive seven meters wide. Both of these types of mantas are native to the Maldives and are currently a protected species.
On top of this, the manta has the largest brain of a fish species and they can even travel up to 70 kilometers in just one day. They’ve been around for around 5 million years and they show no signs of slowing down!
The whale shark
At almost 12 meters in length, the whale shake is the largest fish in the entire world. These incredible animals can live for around seventy years, and it’s believed they have 300 rows of teeth! Luckily, these gentle giants don’t prey on people. Instead, they open their giant mouths and filter smaller animals such as plankton.
With sights like these, it’s obvious why thousands of tourists visit the Maldives every year! Feeling inspired? Then it’s time to take a deep breath and dive into the world of sharks, rays, and much more in the Maldives!