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Manta Ray season in Raja Ampat

Manta Rays In Raja Ampat
Manta Ray at Manta Ridge @ Tim Noack

Manta Ray season 23/24

In the enchanting waters of Raja Ampat, Manta season brings a symphony of underwater life, accompanied by the mesmerizing dance of plankton. As you immerse yourself in the magic of these majestic creatures, understanding and mastering the challenges of low visibility become crucial. Let's explore how to navigate through the plankton-rich waters and make the most of your Manta season dives.

The Magnificent Manta Rays

Reef Manta Ray at Manta Ridge
Manta Ray @Tim Noack

Manta rays are among the most awe-inspiring creatures that grace the waters of Raja Ampat.

Among the most enchanting creatures in the oceanic ballet are the reef manta rays. These gentle giants, with their wide wingspans and distinctive markings, evoke a sense of awe as they gracefully glide through the water. Spotting them near cleaning stations or feeding on plankton blooms is a truly unforgettable experience that leaves an indelible mark on any diver's heart.

These gentle giants belong to the Mobulidae family and are renowned for their enormous size, distinctive appearance, and graceful movements. Manta rays can have a wingspan of up to 7-9 meters, making them one of the largest rays in the world.

Feeding habits

These gentle giants are filter feeders, using their specialized gill rakers to sieve plankton and small organisms from the water. During the Manta Ray season, however, a unique dance unfolds beneath the waves — the swirling ballet of plankton. These microscopic organisms attract majestic Manta Rays, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle that's both thrilling and challenging for divers.

One of the key elements during Manta Ray season is the reduced visibility caused by the abundance of plankton. While this may pose a challenge for underwater explorers, it also adds an element of mystery and excitement to the experience. The dance of plankton creates an otherworldly atmosphere, immersing divers in a dreamlike underwater world.


If you seeking better visibility during your stay in Raja Ampat choose the months between April to October when the visibility goes up to 50 meters. Read more about our previous blog post here

Migration and cleaning station

Manta rays at Arborek Raja Ampat
Manta Ridge Cleaning station @ Tim Noack

Every Manta ray has a unique pattern of spots on its belly, which can be used for individual identification, much like a fingerprint. During the Manta and Ray speciality we take pictures of the Manta Ray bellies and add this to data system to keep on track the movement of the Manta rays.

Manta rays are known for their extensive migrations, often covering vast distances in search of food and suitable habitats.  Manta rays are renowned nomads of the sea, embarking on extensive migrations in search of optimal feeding grounds and suitable habitats. Their journey spans vast distances, making them elusive and awe-inspiring creatures to encounter beneath the waves.

The rhythm of the Manta Ray migration varies with the seasons, and each visit to Raja Ampat unveils a unique spectacle. October to April/May represents the safer window to witness these majestic creatures, but the timing can vary. Nature's dance is unpredictable, adding an element of anticipation to each underwater excursion.

Embarking on a scuba diving expedition during Manta Ray season in Raja Ampat is an invitation to witness nature's wonders. It's not a guarantee that every dive will bring you face-to-face with these giants, but the anticipation and thrill of the possibility make each submersion an adventure.

In the rhythm of the tides and the dance of plankton, Manta Rays find solace in Raja Ampat's embrace during their migratory journeys. As you embark on a scuba diving expedition with Soul Scuba Divers, remember that the underwater world holds mysteries that unfold with patience and reverence. Witnessing Manta Rays in their natural habitat is a privilege, and every dive is a step into the enchanting ballet of the ocean.

They frequently visit cleaning stations where cleaner fish and shrimp help rid them of parasites and dead skin, creating a symbiotic relationship.When we visit this cleaning station we want to give the Giantic Manta rays some space to do their spa treatment without us disturbing them. When you stay still and calm the Manta Rays will come very close to you. Even the Manta Rays Approshes you, please do not touch them. Lets just enjoy them flying on top of us.

SSI Manta and Ray Ecology Course

Ready to dive into the world of Manta rays and rays?

Enroll today and delve into the intricacies of Manta and Ray ecology. Our expert instructors will guide you through a curriculum that goes beyond basic diving skills, providing in-depth insights into the behaviors, habitats, and migratory patterns of these majestic creatures. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the vital role Manta Rays play in the marine ecosystem.

By choosing the SSI Manta and Ray Ecology specialty course, you're not just learning to dive; you're becoming an ambassador for marine conservation. Understand the challenges facing Manta Rays and discover how your newfound knowledge can contribute to their protection. Every certified participant plays a role in safeguarding the ocean's delicate balance.


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