Marine Discovery Centre
Located on the island, the Marine Discovery Centre works to enrich the guest experience through education, research and conservation of the marine environment. It is the base for pioneering research on manta rays and coral reefscaping, leading to knowledge that will help preserve these at-risk species.
|Every day||9:00 am – 6:00 pm|
Activities for children
The Marine Discovery Centre's dedicated children’s section allows kids to immerse themselves in fun displays and a range of activities, including helping the marine biologists transplant coral frames, visiting the Fish Lab, and learning to snorkel in the Coral Garden amongst the work of the Reefscapers. A large touch tank offers opportunities to interact with sea cucumbers, starfish and crustaceans.
The area also introduces Kaku, Landaa’s resident journalist: a hermit crab that lives in the third hole on Landaa’s Palm Tree Road. As well as guiding film and language selections throughout the MDC, Kaku pens a nightly "Reef News" article about his adventures with his many reef and island friends.
When you sign up for the Manta-on-Call service, you'll be contacted immediately when manta rays are sighted near the Resort. Once you get the call, you can hop on a speedboat to embark on an unforgettable experience.
2018 and 2019 Manta Hot Dates
Improve your chances of seeing manta rays during your stay at the Resort by planning your trip to coincide with the following key viewing dates, identified by our manta ray specialist as times when mass manta ray feeding sessions are most likely to occur.
- June 11 – 15
- June 26 – 30
- July 11 – 15
- July 25 – 29
- August 9 – 13
- August 24 – 28
- September 7 – 11
- September 23 – 27
- October 7 – 11
- October 22– 26
- November 5 –9
- November 21 – 25
- June 1 – 5
- June 15 – 19
- July 1 – 5
- July 15 – 19
- July 30 – 31
- August 1 – 3
- August 13 – 17
- August 28 – 31
- September 12 – 16
- September 26 – 30
- October 12 – 16
- October 26 – 30
- November 10 – 14
Sightings are subject to weather conditions and the temperament of these gentle giants of the sea.
MANTA RAYS AND WHALE SHARKS
Every year between June and October, plankton levels in the Maldivian waters peak at specific locations, attracting larger numbers of manta rays, whale sharks and other large fish to these areas. Guests of Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru can take advantage of this rare opportunity to see these elusive sea creatures with a guided underwater tour of many nearby manta ray and whale shark feeding sites.
MALDIVIAN MANTA RAY PROJECT (MMRP)
Landaa Giraavaru is home to the Maldives' only full-time manta ray research project. Founded by Senior Marine Biologist Guy Stevens, with the support of Four Seasons and Save Our Seas, MMRP has amassed the largest number of identified manta rays on record anywhere in the world, combining new discoveries with active conservation and education.
SIGHTINGS AT WORLD-RENOWNED HOTSPOTS
Landaa Giraavaru is just 20 minutes from one of the world’s most renowned manta ray hotspots – Hanifaru Bay. Every year between June and October, the lunar tides and monsoon currents trap high concentrations of plankton in the bay’s steep side, attracting manta rays and whale sharks from all over the Maldives. With mantas swimming to the surface to feed, snorkellers can easily experience the thrill of the feast. Bathalaa, another renowned manta hotspot, is also within easy reach of the Resort.
Please note that sightings are subject to weather conditions and the temperament of these gentle oceanic giants. At Hanifaru Bay, a marine protected area, diving is not permitted but snorkelling is allowed. There are also regulations regarding the dates and times of visits. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru will donate USD 5.00 to the Hanifaru Bay NGO fund on behalf of each guest entering Hanifaru Bay. For further information or to reserve a space, please contact the Resort directly.
The stunning azure waters surrounding Four Seasons Resorts Maldives are home to stretches of delicate coral reef. In 1998, 90% of Maldivian shallow water corals were bleached and killed by unusually warm waters caused by an exceptionally strong El Nino. At that time, Four Seasons enlisted the help of Seamarc Pvt. Ltd to see what could be done to help these ailing reefs and generate new ones. The resulting coral propagation project has grown to become one of the most successful of its kind in the world; having transplanted over 60,000 fragments of coral between 2005 and 2009 alone, it is hoped that the project’s ground-breaking clone selection research will one day lay the foundation for the worldwide use of coral frames to help protect reefs against global warming. Guests can see the reefs and participate in their renewal through the following program offered by the Resort.
Reefscapers offers guests the unique opportunity to participate in the building of coral reefs. Venture out into our lagoon to witness the pioneering work of Reefscapers. You can also join a Build-a-reef session in the Marine Discovery Centre at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru where you can even sponsor your very own coral frame and watch it grow on Marine Savers website.
Landaa Giraavaru's stunning two-kilometre (1.2-mile) lagoon has had artificial reef structures successfully planted within its waters. During the Landaa reef snorkel, you'll tour these reef structures with a reef researcher who will explain the reasons for building them and share the ways in which the Resort is working to protect these ecologically vital creatures of the sea.
Landaa’s Fish Lab is striving to cultivate a sustainable aquaculture of ornamental fish that can be developed, in time, to create an alternative source of income for local communities. With a focus on clownfish (Amphiprion nigripes and A. clarkia), the Lab also rears Gobies (Nemateleotris magnifica and Valencienna sexguttata), Humbug Damsels (Dascyllus aruanus) and Pipefish (Corythoichthys haematopterus) in its 40 tanks. Two full-time fish-breeders care for the fish, monitoring the spawn, producing live food for larvae and juvenile fishes, and controlling the larvae growth patterns at the heart of the Lab’s scientific studies. In addition, wild fish larvae are collected at night with a light trap to be raised in captivity, an alternative to rearing marine species difficult to breed in aquariums.
Landaa Giraavaru is a nesting island for two species of sea turtle – the hawksbill turtle and the green turtle – both of which can be seen in the waters around the Resort year round. Commonly sighted in the waters around Landaa Giraavaru, they nest on the Resort's beaches, burying their eggs in the white sand.
The Resort has implemented a number of measures to ensure that turtles can continue to nest and breed on the island. As well, our marine biologists monitor and record data on the turtle nests, passing the information along to researchers who are working to preserve these globally threatened species. The Resort has also set up an on-site turtle rehabilitation centre to care for sick and injured turtles from the wild.
TURTLE TALK AND SAFARI
Guests can learn about and observe sea turtles in their natural habitat. This activity begins with an educational briefing led by our marine biologists, who provide insight and understanding into the lives and habits of the turtles. Then, guests travel to a nearby snorkelling site where they have the opportunity to see the turtles up close.
Spinner dolphins are small dolphins famous for their acrobatic leaps and spins. Encountering these clever creatures is a fun and entertaining experience. The waters around Landaa Giraavaru are home to hundreds of dolphins, easily reached by a short boat ride.
DOLPHIN TALK AND CRUISE
The dolphin experience begins with a short briefing from our marine biologist, who offers information on this fascinating marine animal. Then guests hop on board a boat and cruise through the atoll, where they will watch schools of dolphins swim around them, just centimetres away.
MARINE LIFE PRESENTATIONS
The reef of the Maldivian archipelago represents one of the richest marine ecosystems on earth. Guests who are interested in learning more about the area's underwater life are invited to attend a marine life presentation by our resident marine biologist.
The presentation is offered five evenings a week in the Marine Discovery Centre. The following afternoon, guests enjoy a snorkelling excursion with our marine biologist, a unique way to discover the underwater world of the Maldives. Talks also take place prior to some activities, such as the turtle safari.