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21 May 2016

Diving With Mantas in the Maldives

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Conrad Rangali, Maldives, Vilu restaurant

Vilu was my favourite restaurant at the Conrad Maldives. I say this having not even eaten anything other than breakfast and snacks there, but my reasons are clear enough with photos alone. It boasts picturesque views: a calm, turquoise ocean, the occasional boat sailing peacefully by and the odd heron skimming the water as it swoops in to land on the nearby white sand beach. During our stay, this was the restaurant we frequented the most, partly owing to Happy Hour drinks every evening between 5 and 6pm, served alongside freshly made canap├ęs (the selection changed daily). 

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Conrad Rangali, Maldives, Vilu restaurant happy hour
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Conrad Rangali, Maldives, Vilu restaurant happy hour
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Conrad Rangali, Maldives, Vilu restaurant happy hour

Wearing: Daisy Street top and ASOS skirt

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Conrad Rangali, Maldives, Vilu restaurant happy hour

To spend the day out at sea on a dive boat, enjoying the salty ocean breeze and the tranquility of the underwater world... then to return to the resort just in time to toast to a successful day of diving with a couple of refreshing (not to mention potent) gin and tonics in a setting like this - life doesn't get much better, really it doesn't.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Conrad Rangali, Maldives, Vilu restaurant happy hour
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Conrad Rangali, Maldives
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Conrad Rangali, Maldives, George the heron
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Conrad Rangali, Maldives

Now, about the diving. If you find yourself in the Maldives and you don't dive, you are truly missing out on something spectacular. I wasn't exaggerating when I said this was the best diving I've ever done, and I've been diving since the age of 12. I've been lucky enough to dive in Thailand, surrounded by leopard sharks, nurse sharks and large black and white tip reef sharks (absolutely incredible, and a close second best); in the clear waters of Malaysia with the most colourful of reefs; from the shores of Bali and around numerous wrecks and even a lake in the Philippines. 

Still, none of that compares to the experience of swimming with such striking and, sadly, vulnerable creatures, watching in awe as they dance around, circle you, swim so close over your head you have to duck to avoid being whacked in the face and gracefully somersault over and over as they feed on plankton. It's almost as though the mantas are showing off, eager to stick around and let us enjoy their company. Have you ever laughed underwater? I couldn't help myself, encountering these wild animals up close like this was intoxicating (ha - if you watch the second video below, you'll hear Jarv burst out in incredulous laughter himself as he films). 

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | scuba diving in Maldives, Conrad
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | scuba diving in Maldives, Conrad
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | scuba diving in Maldives, Conrad
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | scuba diving in Maldives, Conrad

Some facts: Mantas have spots on their bellies - each pattern is unique to the individual and can help to identify each manta, much as a fingerprint would be used to identify a human. Tragically, they are dangerously close to becoming an endangered species due to overfishing and unnecessary use in Eastern medicine, and although they are believed to live as long as 50 years, not too much is known about these mysterious, gentle giants. Reef mantas such as these have an average wingspan of 3.5 meters, whereas oceanic mantas can reach wingspans of up to 7 meters (!!). 

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | scuba diving with manta rays in Maldives, Conrad
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | scuba diving with manta rays in Maldives, Conrad
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | scuba diving with manta rays in Maldives, Conrad

I just have to share with you how majestic these fascinating mantas are in motion (that's me in the first video, just underneath): 


Undeniably beautiful.


This is Part III of a series on our Conrad Maldives trip. See also:

Part I: Etihad Apartments - A First Class Experience
Part II: A Beach Villa at the Conrad Maldives
Part IV: An Overwater Villa at the Conrad Maldives
Part V: The Quiet Island (Conrad Maldives)
Part VI: The Quiet Zone, Conrad Maldives

26 comments :

  1. Oh my word this looks incredible! Heading to the Maldives is pretty much top of my travel bucket list, and diving with the mantas there looks like a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. I'm not surprised, it completely lives up to expectations (if not exceeding them)!

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  2. Amazing photos as always!

    http://violettedaily.com

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  3. Beautiful photos! The top of my travel bucket list is to go to the Maldives when i'm older! Looks like the most beaut place! X

    www.emilyy.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Emily! Be warned - you'll fall madly in love when you go.

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  4. I heard nothing compares to the Maldives and you are definitely making that claim very true. And thank you for the video... I so needed some inspiration. I am so loving this post Kamara.

    Kia / KTS
    www.houseofkts.com

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    Replies
    1. So far, nothing does compare, you are quite right!

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  5. Wow this place looks great! Gorgeous shots
    xoxo

    http://www.myinfinitystyle.com/

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  6. Love that black wrap top. Also, you know you are living the dream, right? I drool every post at the places you go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I do know, and I'm very grateful. Thank you, Heather, I'm glad you're enjoying the photos!

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  7. These photos look amazing! A trip to the Maldives is at the top of my bucket list! Gorgeous snaps! XO

    Anna || A Lily Love Affair

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anna! Definitely go, you'll adore it!

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  8. You always look so beautiful and happy when you travel! What an incredible destination, I LOVED your Manta videos! They really are such majestic creatures. Have you watched Racing Extinction? It's a hard documentary to watch but very eye opening.
    T xo

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    Replies
    1. I am definitely always happy when I travel! Thank you, Tara :) I'm glad you enjoyed them - I haven't watched Racing Extinction but thanks for the recommendation, I'm definitely going to check it out. X

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  9. Looks like an amazing time! Great photos!

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  10. This place looks amazing and the food looks great too.

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  11. INSANELY beautiful Kamara!!!! You live a dream!
    Kira
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This place is an absolute dream! Thanks, my love xx

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  12. You look amazing in the side-on image showing the Daisy Street top and ASOS skirt, wow! This truly looks like the ideal place to completely relax and unwind - every photo is idyllic!

    aglassofice.com
    x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gabrielle! It is an absolute heaven on earth, I'm telling you...perfect blues, every day. Sigh. X

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  13. lovely post :) amazing photos!

    http://itsmetijana.blogspot.rs/

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