The annual reef manta ray aggregation in the Maldives is a sight to behold, and marine conservationist and multimedia expert Danny Copeland leads Regaldive’s brand new trip where you can snorkel, witness and photograph this behaviour. In addition to snorkelling with manta rays, there is also time to dive the northern atolls where it’s possible to encounter whale shark, turtles, Napoleon wrasse and more.
The Maldive Manta Ray Extravaganza is a 10 night liveaboard safari that includes plenty of diving time around the Baa, Raa and Lhaviyani atolls, but the highlight is spending time snorkelling with manta rays in Hanifaru Bay during the annual aggregation. The trip is timed to take place around the time of the full moon when numbers of mantas and feeding activity are at their peak.
A passionate advocate for our oceans, Danny Copeland has visited Hanifaru Bay during the annual aggregation on several occasions, some as a member of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project team. Working alongside world-leading marine scientists, Danny’s experience and expertise lies in multimedia, creating digital content to aid marine conservation. A fantastic person to have on board, Danny will enthuse guests about the reef manta ray population of the Maldives as well as helping with photography and videography skills.
You will be encouraged to get involved as citizen scientists by uploading images to IDtheManta, an online database created to aid the research and conservation of manta rays throughout the world.
Join Danny tomorrow evening at 7pm (UK time) in the latest in Regaldive and Dive Worldwide’s online events where you can find out more about this exciting trip.
Register for the online presentation HERE.
Introducing two new Colours of OBLU resorts in the Maldives
COLOURS OF OBLU, a brand by Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, has opened two exciting new resorts in Male Atoll in the Maldives this year.
OBLU XPERIENCE Ailafushi opened in June. Translating from the Maldivian dialect of Dhivehi, ‘Aila’ means family and ‘Fushi’ means island, in essence, the Family Island. A 15-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport brings guests to this beautiful tropical island.
The four-star resort’s 268 villas and rooms are designed to experience nature at its best. A striking fleet of water villas shaped like dhonis are lined up along the jetty – a perfect spot for snapping some selfies. From the moment of arrival, a carefree and relaxed holiday unfolds with the generous Fushi Plan™. Dining, activities, a multi-level kids club with a pool and food corner, overwater gym, and live entertainment are all blended within the stay for a hassle-free holiday.
Sumptuous all-day dining options are available at the Element X Restaurant which serves modern Western, Central Asian, and Far Eastern cuisines. X360 Bar features a 1000 sqm infinity pool – one of the largest in the Maldives. Guests can enjoy unlimited orders of refreshing spirits, wines, and beer from the grab and go bar counter. Evenings come alive with enthralling music and party vibes at the bar’s dance floor. The Copper Pot Food Truck parked on the beach is perfect for an open-air dinner of choicest fresh seafood and meat grills that can be relished on the soft sandy beach beneath the starry sky.
Walk up to La Promenade located beside a channel that meanders across Ailafushi island. This picturesque walkway has cosy seating corners along with a wine boutique, souvenir shop, and café. There is so much to do here — lounge at the scenic overwater deck, sip a cup of coffee, and socialise with like-minded travellers. Experiential highlights also include The Dome, a futuristic 15-meter theatre and entertainment centre.
Sister resort OBLU SELECT Lobigili is an adults only property that opened in March. In the Maldivian language of Dhivehi, ‘Lobi’ means love and ‘Gili’ means island. Lobigili is, in essence, the island of love.
Blessed with verdant foliage, this five-star resort features 68 contemporary beach and water villas – all assuring gorgeous views of the turquoise-blue lagoon. With the resort’s exclusive Lobi PlanTM guests can immerse in a blissfully carefree stay. This generous plan includes specialty fine-dining, unlimited beverages, spa services, Indian Ocean excursions, a selection of non-motorised watersports as well as a fully stocked minibar replenished daily.
OBLU SELECT Lobigili continues with the brand’s tradition of exceptional fine dining, elevating the mealtime experience with playful and fun touches. At Ylang-Ylang, the All-Day Dining Restaurant, delectable world cuisine with intimate nooks for couples and a unique book corner are unmissable. The Swing Bar with itschilled out beachside vibe features chic hammocks, swings and a stunning infinity pool that is one of the largest in the Maldives. Evenings come alive with handcrafted, aromatised cocktails and hypnotic DJ and Live Band performances.
That is not all. There is Gaadiya 17 Food Truck serving grab-and-go game meat grills to be relished in a fun, open-air setting on the beach under starry skies. And an exotic ONLY BLU Underwater Restaurant, one of the largest underwater restaurants in the country, where guests can experience impeccable modern gourmet cuisine.
A standout experience is ELE | NA The Spa – designed exclusively for couples and adults – featuring locally inspired spa treatments including Lobi Dhooni (Love Bird) Hithun Hithath (Heart To Heart) and Dhekanbalun (You & Me).
Scuba Diving from both resorts is with OBLU’s partner dive centre, TGI Maldives, one of the best-known in the country. The dive centre teaches a variety of PADI and SSI courses. The island’s house reef is perfect for relaxed dives, snorkeling and training, whilst many of North Male Atoll’s best dive sites are just a short boat ride away. In particular, the atoll is well-known for its manta ray sightings from May to October.
Discover more at www.coloursofoblu.com
Dive RAID now open in Maldives
Dive RAID International has announced the opening of its new Maldives Regional Office.
RAID Maldives is the newest RRO (RAID Regional Office) and is ready to introduce instructing and diving The RAID Way™ to a beautiful new region.
This is the first time that Dive RAID International has had dedicated RAID ITs and Examiners “on-site” able to service Maldivian businesses quickly and with experience in the local market.
Having a RAID regional office and onsite Instructor-trainer and Examiner is a first for the Maldives.
RRO MALDIVES owners, Mohamed Rifshan Shaheem and Peter Black, will be offering local dive operators, resorts, instructors, and dive centers all the benefits of RAID membership including Zero FEe-Membership, online education and academics, and a fresh approach to recreational, technical, and freediving business.
RAID Maldives will also be offering visiting divers (RAID certified and others) full service and support at their existing RAID dive centres at Scuba Divine Maldives, Huraa, Diffushi, and Dhangethi.
The Maldives has been known as one of the very best diving destinations in the world and welcomes thousands of tourist divers annually. The islands offer pristine beaches, clear water, and great visibility. Its extensive, unspoiled coral reefs are packed with diverse marine life meaning conditions are perfect for underwater photography and unforgettable underwater adventures. Topside support and facilities are world-class.
Rifshan has worked in the dive industry for over 15. He is a RAID Master Instructor and Crossover Instructor Trainer. Rifshan is Maldivian and currently based on Diffushi, North Male Atoll.
Peter, who many UK divers will know, founded Deep Blue Pirates Dive Club in 2010. He is a RAID Instructor Trainer, Examiner, Deco 40 Instructor trainer, Hollis Prism 2 Instructor, and has been an active RAID member for more than eight years.
Both Rifshan and Peter look forward to seeing you in the Maldives.
Find out more at www.diveraid.com