Manta ray in Gili islands – Lombok

Diving with Manta ray in Indonesia

The Gili Islands are famous for the two species of sea turtles that abound in these waters. Other remarkable species are sighted in our waters, including the famous Manta Ray.

Swimming with a Manta ray
Happy diver with a Manta ray

Manta sighting frequency in north of Lombok

The northwest of Lombok and the Gili Islands seem to be a passageway for Manta rays. Usually the magnificent ray swim pass these areas, however, if you are lucky, the ray would sometimes swim a few circles teasing the divers before heading off.

Snorkeling and diving with a Manta in Lombok
Nice eyes

That is why it is possible to see them but each time is a very pleasant surprise.

Flying Manta ray in Gili Trawangan
Flying Manta

Which dive sites around the Gili – Lombok ?

In 6 years of diving around Gili Islands, I saw Manta ray while diving in 3 dive sites:

  • Shark point, once (about 30 meters deep)
  • Sunset point, 3-4 times (between 0 and 18 meters)
  • Meno slope, 3-4 times also shallow.

Manta sighting are reported at other dive sites like Air wall, Bounty Wreck and Turtle city…

Diver with a Manta ray
Meeting with a Manta

Manta Point dive site in Gili Trawangan

Located on the South of Gili Trawangan, the dive site has 2 different names:

  • Sunset point
  • Manta point

Since 2013, my arrival in the Gili Islands, I have only seen Manta 3-4 times in this dive site, including once during snorkeling, a very lucky discover scuba diving and during fun dives.

Manta at the surface
Snorkeling with a Manta ray

Given the rarity of Manta Ray, the name Sunset Point is much more suitable. Indeed, the sunset view is very enchanting.

Manta rays are rare, but their look a like family Mobulas are more common and smaller in size. It is more likely to see Mobulas at Sunset Point compared to Manta Ray.
And sometimes, Mobulas are in a school of thirty individuals.
It is possible to see Mobulas all year and especially from October to December.

Manta ray in Gili islands and Lombok with a PADI dive center
A Manta appears
Manta at Sunset Point, south of Gili Trawangan island
Manta at Sunset point