Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, offers guests the chance to get up-close-and-personal with reef manta rays at the world’s largest natural manta feeding region in Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll from June to November.
Guests have the rare opportunity to snorkel or free dive with these gentle giants at the protected site of Hanifaru Bay, which attracts hundreds of mantas.
With a wing span of up to 4 metres, the reef manta rays congregate at Hanifaru Bay during the southwest monsoon season and, with optimum wind and tide conditions, enter a shallow cul-de-sac in the reef to feed on microscopic plankton.
Hanifaru Bay is only a 45-minute boat ride from the resort. Scuba equipment is not permitted however, snorkellers are treated to memorable displays as mantas glide and barrel roll in formation through dense clouds of plankton.
Mantas often swim within centimetres of snorkellers; drawing near and incredibly, managing to avoid contact at the last second. On any given day, guests can see anywhere from a couple of mantas to more than forty depending on plankton levels.
From June to November there is an upsurge current bringing an abundance of plankton deposits to the shallows of Hanifaru Bay which in turn attracts plankton eating marauders such as manta rays.
Swimming alongside whale sharks is another amazing bucket-list experience that guests of Anantara Kihavah may be lucky enough to experience. Whale sharks also favour the Baa Atoll archipelago during Manta season, but they are rarely sighted.