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7 to 14 August 2017, on the MY Blue Voyager, $1750 based on two sharing, with free nitrox

Escorted by Dr Simon Pierce, co-founder of the Marine Megafauna Foundation, a world-leading research organisation specialising in Whale sharks and Manta rays, and Indigo Safaris' owner and underwater photographer Christopher Bartlett. Yoga afficionados will be able to relax with free sessions given by Indigo Safaris' Senior Travel Specialist and yoga teacher Ines Moosmann.

As well as generally having a blast diving the best reefs around Baa, Raa and North Male, we will be focusing on taking ID shots of mantas and whale sharks to enlarge the worldwide data bases for these species. The databases help track movement patterns of individuals, growth and behaviour. August is a fantastic time to see both species on this itinerary, with over 100 whales sharks resident in the area. 

Free photo coaching is provided by Christopher for those who are interested, and each evenign Simon will give a presentation on the key Maldivian species. 

Dive sites: North Male - Baa – Raa

Duration: 7 Nights

Number of dives: Up to 4 dives a day - 3 day dives and 1 night dive (but not guaranteed)

Client berths: 22

Ports: Male/Male

The manta ray is the largest of the rays and can be found throughout the tropical waters of the world, typically around coral reefs., and the whale shark is the largest fish on the planet. The nutrient-rich waters of the Maldives make a perfect environment for these beautiful marine creatures and this itinerary visits some of the best dive sites in the area to find these magnificent specimens. This trip is an ideal opportunity to dive with mantas, whale sharks, eagle rays, reef sharks and more. 

Itinerary highlights:

**PLEASE NOTE** The sites below are just an example of the route taken and are not guaranteed. All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and local seasonal knowledge and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.

Coral coverage in this area is a little "hit-and-miss" with some areas being home to very healthy hard coral gardens and others featuring only average reef health. However, what seems quite consistent is the abundance and diversity of fish life in this area. Many sites exhibit astonishing biomass as well as an impressive variety of species.

Baa Atoll is known to be one of the better places in the Maldives for diving with manta rays. Sharks are not common in the north, however Noonu Atoll has a magnificent site for grey reef sharks. Otherwise you can expect many Thilas and Giris featuring overhangs caves and swim-throughs, so the topography is as interesting as the marine life that swarms around it.


Hanifaru Bay – Baa

Hanifaru Bay is a marine protected uninhabited island located in the Baa Atoll of the Maldives Islands. Its size is no greater than that of a football field and yet it has become one of the hottest spots on the planet for underwater photographers. The reason for this modern day phenomenon of underwater diversity is because plankton blooms between the months of May and November - a very unusual phenomenon - attracting manta rays by the hundreds. At any one time at Hanifaru Bay, there can be up to 200 manta rays feeding off the coral reefs as well as plenty of whale sharks which do the same! Hanifaru Bay has become the world's largest manta ray feeding destinations. PLEASE NOTE: Scuba diving is not permitted in Hanifaru Bay, so we will snorkel with them.

Dhigala Haa

This beautiful thila in Baa Atoll is easily circumnavigated in one dive and is a favourite for shark sightings and where you can possibly see at least 6 grey reef sharks at one time. Once heavily fished, it is now a protected marine sanctuary and the fish life is prolific and varied with blue fin jacks, fusilier, blue striped and humpback snapper, batfish and schools of barracuda.

Dhonfanu Thila consists of a pinnacle which comes to a point and faces into the prevailing current. The current splits at the point and runs down either flank of the reef so you will normally drop in advance of reaching the thila so that as you descend and allow the current to bring you to the point of the reef at about 22 metres. It is for the numbers of fish that this site deserves special praise. Ever-changing topography, mantas and other big creatures in the blue, plus a dizzying quantity of reef fish in an enormous variety of species combine to make this a dive site to remember.

Angafaru MPA is situated south west of Kihaadhoo Island. This site has incredible biodiversity, with a manta ray cleaning station and very healthy and varied coral formations. Also serving as a fragile breeding ground for grey reef sharks, this region is frequented by the same whale sharks that are seen at Hanifaru.

Maldives general diving info

This stunning group of atolls is host to an underwater paradise brimming with marine wildlife. Located south west of Sri Lanka in the warm, tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are made up of over 1200 tiny, low-lying coral islands surrounded by white sand. The abundance of marine life in the Maldives can be attributed to the ideal growing conditions the waters provide for coral reef. These coral reefs are home to more than 700 species of fish, many of which are sadly endangered. In the lagoons you can find whale sharks, turtles, octopus, manta rays and the giant Napoleon Wrasse to name just a few.

The Maldives is tropical all year round and water temperatures range from 27°C to 29°C.   Visibility is not season dependent and ranges between 10-30m. Currents vary but are usually manageable by all standards when diving within the atolls, rather than in the channels.Divers have the opportunity to see a huge range of beautiful hard and soft corals as well as the famous manta rays, whale sharks, sharks, turtles, barracudas, jacks and tuna. Diving is conducted from a dedicated "dhoni", a smaller vessel that accompanies the Blue Voyager with onbaord compressors and dive gear storage, leaving the mother ship decks free for our leisure and relaxation.


Images here




skype: christopherbartlett

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