HANIFARU - Manta Expedition 12-19th September
by Blue Force Fleet
Blue Force "Manta Expedition" 2020. Take your breath away!
Life is not measured by the times we breathe but by the moments that have left us breathless.
This statement can respond to a philosophy of life and helps us explain what Hanifaru and the BLUE FORCE “MANTA EXPEDITION” can be.
Being able to visit such a place on the planet is something unique, special and exclusive. What happens each season in Hanifaru Bay has become one of the most amazing natural discoveries of recent times.
You cannot miss the chance, come, live the Blue Force Experience and take your breath away!
Discover HANIFARU and “take your breath away”
One manta ray, two manta rays, three manta rays, … and so and so counting up to six, seven or eight together in a single dive site is common on a trip to the Maldives. But when the count starts to hit forty or fifty and it’s literally impossible to keep calculating the exact number of manta rays swimming in all directions, you can only be in one place: Hanifaru Bay.
Hanifaru is a unique place in the world, here we will be able to see one of the largest agglomerations of reef manta rays (Mobula Alfredi) in the world, with an average size of 2-3 meters, only surpassed by the giant oceanic manta (Mobula birostris) that can reach more than 5 meters wingspan.
Logically, after its discovery by a scientific team, in a few years Hanifaru became one of the main attractions of the north of the Maldives, not only because of the huge numbers of manta rays that can sometimes be observed, but also because of an increasing number of whale sharks that also take advantage of the large amounts of food in the form of plankton that they find here. To avoid a more than likely overcrowding, in 2011 UNESCO declared the Baa Atoll a Biosphere Reserve.
Subsequently, the Maldivian government established strict regulations and supported scientific projects that currently continue to be developed here and in other areas of the archipielago, related to this species. Time has shown the success of such measures with the progressive increase in the number of sightings.
To swim with these giants in the famous bay, only snorkeling is allowed. Divers and bubbles would clearly affect the behavior and feeding in continuous movement of the manta rays. Not forgetting that after a few minutes in the water one realizes that diving would not be the best option to enjoy the amazing show that takes place so close to the surface.
Liveaboards do not freely access the atoll area where the mantas are feeding to avoid disturbing them and avoid the decrease of specimens in the area, in addition, snorkeling guests must pay a fee to contribute to the maintenance of the reserve. Visitors will access the water only after receiving detailed instructions on how to behave at any given time, in limited groups, and under the supervision of a certified local guide.
Although it may seem somehow restrictive, soon after and without any effort, the mantas will end up swimming close, even very close, to anyone who respects their space and their way of feeding, either collectively “in a row” or individually performing loopings without cease.You have to stay calm and observe the route the manta rays make uninterruptedly along the channel. The comings and goings are constant, so even in a short time you will even be able to recognize some individuals with unmistakable marks such as spots or even bites, some of them scarred but others also recent
Although the main restrictions are established for Hanifaru Bay, diving is allowed in other areas of Baa Atoll. So many congregations of individuals feeding in the bay explain the large number of sightings by divers outside the atoll, not only of manta rays but also whale sharks if you are a little lucky. The “official” season in Hanifaru is from May to November, although the largest congregations of mantas usually happen between the months of July and September.