Manta Chaos in Hanifaru

In 2009 at the Arabian Seas Whale Shark Symposium in Fujairah, I was lucky enough to listen to Guy Steven’s do a presentation about his research of manta rays found in a small bay called Hanifaru located in Baa Atoll of the Maldives.  I had previously heard many things about this special place and how, if lucky, you could witness a natural phenomena where up to two hundred mantas could be found feeding together in a bay no bigger than a football pitch.  Information on where to stay, site access, transportation and times of the year to visit were not freely available and so as I watched guy’s presentation I waited with great anticipation for anything in his presentation that would give me a better understanding of when and where to go.  The presentation was extremely informative and by the time it was over I had learnt that the best time to go was during the South West monsoon period (May to November) and that numbers were especially high during the months of August and September.  Catching up with Guy after his presentation, he told me about the best places to stay, which were fairly close to the bay, and that I would be welcome to join him and learn more about his research.  Six months later, I had booked my stay at the Reethi Beach Island Resort in Baa Atoll and my visit dates were to co-inside with the new moon of August. Continue reading