Scuba Diving in Sangalaki Island
As the name of this Sangalaki dive site indicates, majestic manta rays parade up and down this manta highway, coming to you from all directions. More often than not, you'll find them just breaking the surface as they feed on the rich plankton to be found in these waters. For that reason, snorkelling at this site is just as good as diving at it.
Located at the north of Sangalaki Island, Manta Parade is actually 1 of the 3 dive sites which form manta highway land. If the mantas are not feeding in the waters, they're usually being preened by cleaner wrasse at cleaning stations.
The sight of the manta rays is awe inspiring. They glide and swoop by you; the friendlier and more inquisitive will come right up to you. Watching their sleek movements underwater, one is reminded of fighter jets in the skies - in fact, black manta rays look just like a stealth bombers (if you use your imagination!).
The topography of this Sangalaki scuba diving site starts with Manta Avenue which is a set of coral steps where, besides mantas, you'll find elegant fire gobies and dancing gobies. It then continues onto Manta Parade where the reef is a set of ridges which rise up and down like little underwater hills. Here small coral heads, gorgonian fans and large barrel sponges lie on a flat sandy bottom, littered with alabaster sea cucumbers and feather stars. Within them, you'll find sea anemones with clownfish, flat worms, fan worms, sea stars, cushion stars and reef fish like frogfish, crocodilefish, parrotfish, angelfish, triggerfish, snappers, fusiliers, sweetlips, lionfish, scorpionfish and stonefish.
When you start seeing rocky coral outcrops and bommies, you're at Manta Run. Here, you'll find more gorgonian fans, soft corals and barrel sponges, all topped off with feather stars. Within the numerous crevices and overhangs, there are leaf fish and frog fish which, if you happen to stumble upon them during feeding times, you'll witness preying on the somewhat gullible cardinalfish.
Manta Parade Reef Basics: Shallow long reef
Visibility: 10 - 30m
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 28 - 30°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: 3
Diving season: All year round
Distance: 2 km (5 minutes) from Sangalaki
Access: Sangalaki liveaboard diving
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