Marine Conservation Dive and Yoga Retreat
UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives, in support of LAMAVE.org Bohol Fisheries project
One in a life-time experiences for a good cause! Experience the beauty and magic of swimming with hundreds of manta rays! We head to a special place in the Maldives where hundreds of manta rays congregate in a feeding cyclone, only snorkelling is permitted here so we will teach you the best way to swim with the manta rays with an introduction to freediving course, learn breathing techniques and how to freedive in a safe and recreational way being one with the ocean in a single breath. We also explore the marine life and coral reefs with a snorkelling excursion and picnic lunch on a sandbank or picnic island to enjoy the turquoise crystal clear waters in the Maldives. Learn about the biology of manta rays and why the species is being threatened by extinction with our nightly documentary and presentation on manta rays biology from experienced marine biologist. Qi Retreats pledges a portion of proceeds which will go to support LAMAVE.org Bohol Fisheries project. Learn about this project and help save the manta and devil rays.
Trip inclusions and highlights:
- Experience the feeding cyclone! Snorkelling with hundreds of manta rays in Hanifaru Bay, UNESCO biosphere reserve. One trip is not enough so we head there twice!
- Explore the rich biodiversity of the waters in the Maldives with a snorkelling trip to see turtles, eagle rays, maybe even sharks and more rays! Ending with a picnic on island/sandbank. Relax and swim in clear blue waters of the Maldives.
- Experience staying at a local island Dharavandhoo in Baa Atoll in the Maldives, and see the Maldivian culture for what it is.
- 3 nights twin-share accommodation at a lovely comfortable resort with dive center, aircon rooms, hot showers, wifi
- Full board meals
- Domestic roundtrip flight transfers from Male to Dharavandhoo worth US$190++
- Introduction to freediving course, learn how to hold your breath and freedive in a safe and recreational way. Scuba diving is not allowed in Hanifaru Bay, only snorkelling and freediving is permitted.
- Morning yoga session (optional, bring your own mats)
- Documentary night: screening of special documentary 'Racing Extinction'
- Presentation night: Introduction to LAMAVE and its Bohol Fisheries project, video and presentation
- Learn about the biology of Manta rays from experienced researcher from Manta Trust
- Fund raising with SEW MATES
- Optional activities: Scuba diving is possible from the dive center.
Package excludes: International flights and visa fees if any, other meals and drinks, snorkelling equipment (snorkeling equipment can be rented from dive center), optional activities like scuba diving, additional nights extensions subject to room availability. Due to limited rooms, we only have twin-sharing rooms, single rooms may be possible but subject to single supplement fees and availability.
PLEASE NOTE: No alcohol is permitted in the Maldives and is strictly prohibited. Please respect local culture, laws and regulations.
About the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve:
Baa Atoll is home to some of the richest waters in the Maldives
The Baa Atoll, Maldives has been declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve – an area of natural excellence recognised for its unique harmony between man and nature.
As the only UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in the country, Baa atoll is a global ambassador for the country’s vast biodiversity and astounding beauty. Chosen for the significant variety of wildlife species that inhabits its many reefs, the region is unique. The crown of Baa atoll is truly Hanifaru Bay, which is home to some of the largest congregations of manta rays in the world.
As well as being famous for its marine life, what’s above the surface is also fascinating. Large areas of fragile mangrove can also be found as well as one of only two precious roosting sites for the protected frigate bird.
The people of Baa atoll inhabit only thirteen of the seventy-five islands and make up a population of approximately twelve thousand. They have much to be proud of. Famed for producing some of the country’s most talented craftsmen and craftswomen, the local islanders produce beautiful lacquer woodwork and intricate woven cloth. Mainly fishermen by trade, the locals are skilled in all kinds of fishing techniques.
Large Marine Vertebrates Project Philippines or LAMAVE aims to support the protection of marine wildlife in the Philippines through scientific research and education. Read about their Bohol Fisheries project here.
Currently, these pelagic animals face significant threats in the Philippines as century-old mobula fisheries thrive on the island of Bohol. Although there is a law against targeted fishing of manta rays, they are still often caught as by-catch from mobula ray fishing, which continues to be a lucrative industry on the island. A LAMAVE team is currently monitoring the mobula fishery in Bohol by recording daily catch and tracking fishing vessel routes to examine and address possible over fishing. One of LAMAVE’s principal goals is to work with the community to develop and promote alternative livelihoods.
You can help LAMAVE.org by donating here http://www.lamave.org/get-involved/donate/
How to get there
The Maldives is served by Male International airport. For persons traveling from Singapore, we are recommending the Singapore-Male flights on Tiger airways. Alternative flights on Sri Lankan airlines (transit in Colombo), Silk air and Singapore airlines. For other international flights, please check with your local travel agent.
Contact us at email@example.com to register. Limited slots!
Documents required: Passport copy to reserve the domestic flights, and flight itinerary to Male.
Want to know what to expect? Here's a sneak preview of our pilot retreat in early August 2016, both aerial and underwater views of the marine life and the island and beaches. And our trip report here on our blog page.