Guidelines For Swimming With Manta Rays

The magic of swimming with manta rays

Swimming with manta rays (or mantas, as we affectionately love to call them) is one of the most magical, connected and rewarding experiences you could imagine. 

At Samata, be it via snorkelling or diving, we’re able to facilitate the opportunity for our guests to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures. It is extremely important for us to note that we endeavour to operate all of our sea excursions in the most respectful and sustainable manner. 

Protecting Indonesia’s mantas from harm

Sadly, there are cases where by human-manta interactions are not appropriately regulated resulting in not just a disappointing experience for the swimmer, but a negative impact to the mantas and the homeostasis of their environment. Mantas can be frightened away by too noise and disturbance caused by boat traffic and swimmers.

We often team up with marine biologist Sarah Lewis, the founder of the Indonesian Manta Project, created in 2010 to study manta ray populations in the Republic of Indonesia. Through multifaceted research they aim to provide the much-needed scientific data so that protection for manta rays in this country may be considered and conservation initiatives implemented effectively.

As well as their research efforts, Sarah and her team educate and raise awareness about the ecological and economical importance of protecting these charismatic rays. Manta rays have the ability to generate huge revenue through tourism, which offers a sustainable alternative to fishing and a glimmer of hope for the future of these animals and the local communities that rely on a healthy marine environment in order to sustain future generations.

Mantas truly are gentle souls, and meeting eye-to-eye with these magnificent creatures has the power to transform you and your relationship with nature. 

Manta Trust have put together a great guide and video to diving and swimming with manta rays that you should definitely check out before your visit!

Guidelines for swimming with mantas from the Manta Trust

  • Enter the water quietly and calmly, and no closer than 10 m (33 ft) to the manta rays.
  • In the water, keep splashing to a minimum.
  • Do not approach the mantas closer than 3 m (10 ft). Rather remain in one place and let them come to you.
  • Approach a manta from the side, and do not block its path ahead.
  • Do not chase after a manta ray – this will make them feel threatened, and they are much faster swimmers than you!

Have you had the experience of swimming with manta rays? If so, we’d love to hear all about it.

If you’re interested in a customizable Samata cruise for your next vacation, please contact us at for more information.

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