Best time to visit Kenya

Manta Ray in Kenya

One of the most mesmerizing water creatures, manta rays are also the least-known

Best time: October

Manta Ray
Manta Ray

Manta rays are one of the most understudied and least-known species in the underwater world. Therefore, it is one of the biggest and most mysterious experiences to go on a water safari and search for them. With their wide "wings" and smooth swim, they will impress you for sure. Moreover, they are entirely stingless!

Practical info

Where can I see manta rays in Kenya?

The Watamu Marine National Park is the ideal spot to view manta rays in their natural habitat. Additionally, Malindi Marine National Park and the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park also have these gentle sea creatures. Visitors should respect manta rays by not touching or feeding them, which can negatively impact their habitat and behavior. Snorkeling or diving offers great views of these creatures, and visitors can have an immersive experience. Show more

What is the best time of day to spot manta rays?

The most active time for manta rays is in the morning, giving visitors between 7 am and 8 am, the best chance to spot them in the Watamu Marine National Park. The high seasons for manta ray viewing are September through October, with warm water attracting more plankton, their primary food source. Visitors can increase their chances of viewing these sea creatures by considering the season and time of day when planning to visit. Show more

How long do manta rays live?

Manta rays can live a long lifespan of up to 50 years in the wild. Females live longer than males, with some reports suggesting that they can live up to 100 years. However, human activities like overfishing, pollution, and shark finning are threatening manta rays' survival. It is crucial to support conservation efforts both for the longevity of these sea creatures and to maintain their natural habitats in Kenya and the world at large. Show more

What is the diet of a manta ray?

Manta rays feed through their gills, filtering plankton and small fish. They can filter up to 30kg of plankton per day, and their small teeth are not useful for feeding. Manta rays are fascinating creatures that visitors can watch filter-feed while snorkelling or diving. Understanding the feeding habits and preferences of manta rays is essential knowledge for their conservation and protection from fisheries, overfishing and pollution, among other threats. Show more

How can I support manta ray conservation efforts in Kenya?

One way visitors to Kenya can contribute to manta ray conservation efforts is by practicing responsible tourism by not feeding, touching, or riding them. Visitors can also donate to local conservation organizations such as the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute or join research expeditions to learn more about manta ray behavior and conservation. Additionally, supporting local fishing communities that use sustainable fishing methods and purchasing sustainable seafood is a major contribution to maintaining marine ecosystems in Kenya and beyond. Show more

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