DIVE KOMODO with manta rays
Our famous residents awaits you !
Dive with Manta Rays
The diving experience in Komodo is elevated by these exquisite and majestic rays, contributing to its unique allure. The sight of a manta ray on your first dive is unforgettable. Their beauty and playful nature remain captivating, even after countless encounters. It’s a joy to share the water with these magnificent creatures year-round. Our frequent manta ray encounters occur at the central sites of Mawan and Karang Makassar, suitable for all skill levels.
In 2017, our beloved mantas were reclassified as Mobulid Rays – specifically, Mobulid Alfredi and Mobulid Birostris. In Komodo National Park, Mobulid (Manta, as we fondly know them) Alfredi are predominantly spotted. With wingspans up to 5 meters, they’re filter feeders with defined home ranges, resulting in regular appearances in the park.
A new study identified an aggregation of 1,085 reef manta rays (Mobula alfredi) in the waters of Komodo National Park (KNP).
MANTA ENCOUNTERS AND SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Manta Rays grace the park’s waters throughout the year, providing an enchanting spectacle! From October to March, they become particularly abundant, especially at the park’s central locations. During this time, observe captivating cleaning and feeding behaviors, and in February and March, we’re occasionally treated to the mesmerizing sight of mating trains.
Between March and October, as the waters warm up and visibility improves, juvenile manta rays become more prominent, particularly in the northern region of the park – a phenomenon most noticeable in July and August. These gleaming young mantas are always a delight to witness! Our commitment is to ensure our divers experience at least one of the exceptional manta dive sites during their stay. Both Mawan and Karang Makassar welcome divers of all skill levels and snorkelers, with accessibility open throughout the year!
MANTA FUN FACTS
Cleanliness and Social Interaction
Both Mawan and Karang Makassar host vibrant cleaning stations. These stations consist of coral areas or coral bommies inhabited by specific fish species that engage in cleaning manta rays. As manta rays glide in, the fish delicately remove parasites, tend to wounds, and offer a thorough cleaning. Given their sociable nature, multiple manta rays are often seen at a single cleaning station. These creatures spend up to 8 hours daily cleaning themselves. Due to their negative buoyancy, continuous swimming is crucial to prevent sinking.
Karang Makassar frequently treats us to captivating feeding displays. Manta rays favor feeding near the water’s surface, where plankton concentrations are highest. Operating as filter feeders, they cruise along with mouths agape, extracting delectable sustenance from the water. Interestingly, they’ve been observed employing a ‘barrel roll’ technique while feeding. This involves maneuvering through a plankton-rich zone by rolling through it with mouths wide open, akin to a loop-the-loop. The social nature of mantas often results in groups of them feeding together.
Intriguing Mating Behavior
While we have yet to witness the brief mating process during a dive – a moment lasting less than a minute – we frequently observe the prelude to mating. To prove his worth, a male must engage in a ritual before a female will mate with him. The female performs intricate loops and swoops through the water, and the males must match her movements. Sometimes, she’s pursued by 2 or 3 males, while at times, the number increases to 10! The fortunate male who can keep up secures the opportunity.