When is the Best time to visit Hanifaru Bay?

Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll was declared as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in June 2011  Visitors can only Snorkel in this area now.  It is a marine protected area since June 2009 / the protected area covers from the island Hanifaru to the reef of Hanifaru.

A lot of research and conservation efforts are done through the UK based Manta ray conservation charity www.mantatrust.org. A lot of information on the Mantas found in the Maldives can be obtained from here.

Mantas comes to Hanifaru Bay to feed on the planktons. Thus it is known as Manta Feeding Frenzy Season.  Due to the currents, during a certain time during the year, a lot of planktons gets through to the bay.  This usually happens from May to November which is the Southwest monsoon. There can be hundreds at times feeding in the bay and is known as the world’s largest gathering of manta rays.


Though the season is from June to November, sightings depend on many factors such as tides, currents, and moon phases.  It highly depends on the planktons also hence it is difficult to predict exactly when there will be Mantas in numbers. However, It is believed some of the best times to visit Hanifaru Bay are during New Moons & the Full Moon periods.   Manta sightings are observed by Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Office

Sightings were recorded during  November & October 2019 full moon periods. Over 30+ mantas were recorded on 20th Oct 2019, a few days after the actual full moon in October.   During September and August period; many mantas were seen around the new moon period too


If you are lucky, snorkeling with these giants would be an unforgettable experience.  Enjoy our Hanifaru Bay cruise dates below 2nd to 9th August 2020 (Hanifaru cruise)  which is during a full moon period.