Hanifaru – Where Manta Rays And Whale Sharks Meet

This has to be the most incredible underwater footage of manta rays and whale sharks I’ve ever seen – scores of them in a feeding frenzy at Hanifaru in the Maldives

This video clip from National Geographic is absolutely insane. Scores of manta rays and several whale sharks duking it out to see who can eat the most microscropic plankton in Hanifaru in the Maldives. Hanifaru Bay lies in the Baa Atoll, and this gathering of manta rays and whale sharks – sometimes scores of mantas and several whale sharks, which are usually solitary and very rare – occurs occasionally between May to November.

I am heading out to Hanifaru on the Orion liveaboard next month, and so I’m crossing everything that we might get to witness some of this incredible action. If I saw only a tenth of what goes on in these videos, I’d be a happy man. It might even surpass the best dive of my life

Also check out this stunning Hanifaru photoset on Flickr taken by Christian Loader – thanks to UW photographer Matthew Oldfield for sending me the link.

Hanifaru by Christian Loader

Here’s another Hanifaru clip from Aqua Dreams Imaging:

There’s more info about Hanifaru on this page of the excellent DivePhotoGuide.com and Bruce Barcott’sfull Hanifaru National Geographic article, complete with more photos, is also online – definitely worth a read.

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  1. The feeding frenzy is crazy! Should put Maldives on my list :) So how many manta you saw during the trip?

  2. Hello,

    Did you go for a liveaboard to Habifaru ? It is worth it ? And do you really see the hundreds of manta rays and lots of whalesharks ? We plan to go there beginning of next October. I was wondering if it would still be the season for the mantas at Hanifaru !

    Thanks for your kind help

  3. I’m in Maldives right now and headed to Hanifaru tonight. October is 50/50 – aug/september is much better chance (I came to hanifaru 2 years ago in Oct and there was very little action)

    If you get to see it, for sure it’s worth it – it’s one of the most amazing underwater spectacles in the world – the gamble is of course whether it happens when you’re there and no one can predict that

    From next year Hanifaru will apparently be snorkelling only so be sure to check if that is the case when you book