Swimming With Manta Rays In Fiji

December 26, 2022

Table Of Contents

Swimming with manta rays in Fiji's islands is a genuinely awe-inspiring experience. Seeing these giant, kind creatures float freely below you allows you to experience something quite extraordinary. Those who have done it claim to have felt a profound sense of clarity, connection, and wonder long after they left Fiji.

There are only a few places worldwide where you can experience this. One of these rare places is Mantaray Island, which has a marine park. This article provides you with all the necessary information you need about this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

About Manta Rays

Although manta rays are occasionally spotted in Fiji throughout the year, the best time to watch them is between May and October. Suppose you are fortunate enough to spot a stray manta ray while snorkeling or scuba diving in Fiji. If so, you must concentrate on two specific island groups. These are: 

Kadavu Island

Kadavu is a much less visited island in the southern part of Fiji. It is about an hour's flight from Viti Levu. In the correct season, several reefs near Kadavu attract manta rays.

Scuba diving on the submerged Manta Reef, a nutrient-rich feeding spot near the Great Astrolabe Reef in the Kadavu Islands, also increases your chances of seeing manta rays. Kokomo Private Island Resort takes its visitors snorkeling at Stick Bomby Reef, which is close.

In partnership with Manta Project Fiji, their conservation program includes tagging and identifying manta rays and snorkeling and diving with the rays just a few minutes away by boat. Guests can even adopt their manta rays.

Manta coral is an underwater reef. It is just past the Great Astrolabe Reef and about 40 minutes by boat from the Matava Resort. The best way to see manta rays at this reef is by scuba diving, but snorkelers in the area sometimes get lucky.

The Yasawa Islands

The small passage between Drawaqa and Naviti on the Yasawa Islands is known as the "Manta Ray Passage," It is one of the greatest sites in Fiji to swim with manta rays. This small passage serves as a feeding ground for manta rays between May and October as plankton is sucked through it (often at high tide).

Though manta rays are sure to show up every day throughout the season, you can miss one if you don't remain at the resort for at least three days. When manta rays are spotted, a worker beats the Lali (drum) to gather everyone for snorkeling.

The resorts closest to this passage are Mantaray Island Resort, Barefoot Manta Resort, and Botaira Resort. Other resorts in the Yasawa Islands also offer cruises to the passage.

The Yasawa Islands, a series of islands about a two to five-hour boat ride from Viti Levu or a 30-minute aircraft trip away, are the most popular sites in Fiji to snorkel with manta rays. During the manta ray season, you may observe manta rays at the "Manta Ray Passage."

Tips For Swimming With Manta Rays

  • Bring an underwater camera to get breathtaking images of manta rays. It is best to have a hands-free method of carrying it to keep up with these beautiful creatures while swimming.
  • If you are not an experienced swimmer, it is always best to take the safest action. The tour leader should provide you with a life jacket that may be used as a makeshift raft. Thus, you may focus on detecting mantas without worrying about being exhausted.
  • All snorkeling equipment can be rented from the resort, so there is no need to carry your own.
  • Wear whatever swimsuit is most comfortable, but bring an extra towel, sarong, or T-shirt when you board the boat. After leaving the water, you may get chilled and be susceptible to sunburn.
  • Use sunscreen suitable for reefs. Oxybenzone-containing chemical sunscreens are known to harm coral reefs. You can help protect the beautiful reefs in Fiji by using non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide-based sunscreen.
  • Whatever you do, do not miss this opportunity. Like most island-hopping activities in Fiji, swimming with manta rays needs at least three people to participate. If you get to your next island and desire to participate in the activity the next day, there is no assurance that you will be able to. Take advantage of the chance as quickly as feasible.
  • Patience is rewarded. Manta rays are notoriously elusive and sometimes tardy, so you might have to wait a while. Do not be disheartened if they do not initially appear. Your guides should make every effort to ensure you see one. If, for whatever reason, you don't see them the first time, staying at a resort for two or three nights gives you more chances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I swim with manta rays without a guide?

To find the manta rays, you must swim through the channel with others, even if you are a strong swimmer. Tricky currents and physical exertion make for a challenging experience. It's also a restricted zone, so only swim with manta rays when a guide is present.

What experience do I need to swim with manta rays?

Swimming and snorkeling skills are prerequisites for swimming with manta rays. Since it will be on the open sea, currents can be expected. The waterway is deep and wide, so swimming shouldn't be much of a problem.

If you don't feel comfortable and at ease in the water, the manta swim is not for you. If you're not confident in your free dive ability in order to see the manta rays, a life jacket is available for your use.

Mantaray Island Resort features a gorgeous house reef where you may learn how to swim or snorkel, even if you have never done either before.

Is it safe to touch the manta rays?

Please don't ever touch a manta ray or any other wild animal. It's best to avoid touching manta rays because doing so might stress and frighten the animals. No matter how near a manta ray comes, you should never touch it or try to ride it.

The mucus layer on a manta ray's skin makes them vulnerable to illness if you touch them.

Is it safe to swim with manta rays?

These animals are kind and harmless. Even though they may grow enormous, they are harmless. They are amazingly smart and lively. And if you observe one swimming near you, it is often out of curiosity.

The tail of a manta ray is long and whiplike. However, unlike their cousins, the stingrays, their tails do not have venomous barbs that can cause injury.

What is the ideal time to swim with manta rays?

The ideal time to visit Mantaray Island Resort is from May to October. The waterway between Nanuya Balavu and Drawaqa has a strong current during this time, which the manta rays enjoy.

When the tides change, there is a lot of plankton in the water, which makes it an excellent place for manta rays to eat. Although this is the best time to visit, you can only sometimes expect to encounter manta rays.

After all, they are wild marine animals that might appear and disappear anytime. The sighting of manta rays has no specific time of day, but the resort staff keeps an eye out for them and alerts guests to swiftly gear up if they wish to go snorkeling with manta rays.

Swimming With Manta Rays Requires A Guide

Swimming with manta rays is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is an experience every tourist to Fiji must endeavor to experience, especially if you are still deciding about visiting the islands sometime soon.

However, this adventure requires you to have a guide to maximize the fun of the experience. So, when you are next in Fiji, tell your tour guide about your dream of swimming with manta rays, and they will surely get it planned out for you at a friendly cost with a reputable cruise liner!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.