MARINE MEGAFAUNA FOUNDATION EXPEDITIONS

OCEAN GIANTS

VILANCULOS - TOFO, MOZAMBIQUE

23rd to 31st August 2018

JOIN MMF FOUNDER ANDREA MARSHALL AND MMF RESEARCHER ANNA FLAM

Assist with ground-breaking research

The coast of Mozambique is one of the wildest and most breathtaking locations to encounter ocean giants like whale sharks, humpback whales and manta rays. Join MMF researchers on this exciting expedition to meet the gentle giants of Mozambique and get directly involved with saving them from extinction. This expedition takes participants to some of the most diverse dive sites along Mozambique’s southern coastline with stays in both Vilanculos and Tofo (where MMF co-founder Andrea Marshall first discovered her passion for manta rays).

Many other fascinating species can be found in the schedules dive sites, including: sharks, mobulas, billfish, turtles and unusual macrofauna like leaf fish, frog fish, rare shrimps and moray eels.

Guests will get the opportunity to dive and interact with iconic marine creatures while gaining in depth knowledge about the species these see. During the trip participants will contribute to on-going research efforts by helping to collect ID photos of the animals they encounter during boat-based and aerial surveys. For example, each manta has a unique spot pattern on its underside that can be used to identify an individual, just like a fingerprint. By keeping photographic records of mantas, our scientists are building a photographic catalogue of the population that can tell us about individuals and the population as a whole.

In Vilanculos, guests will have the exclusive opportunity to dive with MMF’s Co-Founder Andrea Marshall - aka “Queen of Mantas” in the Bazaruto Achipelago National Park. Andrea was the first person in the world to complete a PhD on manta rays and has dedicated her life to the preservation and management of the manta ray population in Mozambique. Now a global ambassador for manta rays, Andrea continues to pursue international conservation initiatives for manta rays and fight for their protection worldwide.

The Tofo portion of the expedition will be led by MMF’s manta researcher Anna Flam who, over the past four years with MMF, has been collecting vital information on manta ray population size, structure and connectivity. Her data can be used to further understand populations and guide the development of management and conservation strategies. Anna is also the global coordinator for MantaMatcher.org.

ENQUIRE NOW

PLEASE COMPLETE THIS FORM AND A TEAM MEMBER WILL BE IN TOUCH

During the expedition, guests will learn how to:

> Interact with ocean giants without disrupting their natural behaviour

> Identify the maturity of an individual animal and distinguish between males and females

> Recognize different types of manta behavior

> Take identification photos

> Record environmental conditions

> Process and organize ID photos

> Identify different individuals using their unique spot patterns

Regular evening presentations will give guests a greater insight into the biology, ecology and behavior of ocean giants such as whale sharks and manta rays, outline global threats to them and describe research and conservation efforts around the world.

Book your spot on this unique trip for a unique and unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most sought-after dive locations.

Itinerary


23rd August (Arrival Day):

Guests arrive in the afternoon and prepare for an early start the next day. Optional group dinner to get to know the other expedition participants and your guide, Anna Flam


24th & 25th August - Bazaruto:

Double tank dives on both days led by MMF's co-founder Andrea Marshall. If conditions allow, one day will be spent diving at Bazaruto Marine Park and the other at San Sebastian (experienced divers only). Possible sightings include: Mobula Cleaning station (one of the two known ones worldwide), turtles, reef sharks. MMF Co-Founder will join the dives on these days and will also give an exclusive private talk on her world-class research. Accommodation in Vilanculos.


26th August - Vilanculos to Tofo:

Departing Vilanculos in the morning to drive to Tofo Beach with a dive in the afternoon


27th, 28th, 29th August - Tofo:

Diving the sites where MMF's founder Andrea Marshall started her research on manta rays. Double dives will be scheduled but guests have the option of substituting one for land work with MMF’s marine research team if they are interested. Tofo and the surrounding areas offer lots of deep dive site, which makes for a great opportunity to see “big stuff” such as: whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, turtles and more…


30th August - non-diving day in Tofo:

On the day before departure, guests will enjoy an Ocean Safari which is the perfect opportunity to see the breaching humpback whales which come to Tofo during this time of year


31st August - Departure to Vilanculos.

PACKAGE DETAILS

COST: 3,280.00 USD - 3,980.00 USD per person
depending on double or single occupancy for accommodation
maximum number of participants: 5

DESTINATIONS: 2
DIVING DAYS: 5-6
NUMBER OF DIVES: 11 - 13

INCLUDED

3 nights in accommodation Vilanculos, 5 nights in Tofo
>
 Transfers
>
 Breakfast & lunch
>
 5-6 days of diving
>
 Talks on manta rays, whale sharks, marine conservation
>
Involvement in critical marine conservation
Research activities

NOT INCLUDED

> Flights
> Evening meals
> Camera Gear


For more information on the accommodation during this expedition: Vilanculos Beach Lodge, Sentidos Beach Retreat

Expedition members must secure appropriate travel insurance.

MMF is a registered not for profit, all net revenue from running expeditions goes towards supporting the sustainability of the work we do. 

ABOUT ANNA FLAM

Anna’s research focuses on manta rays. For the last four years with MMF she has been collecting vital information on population size, structure and connectivity that can be used to further understand populations and guide the development of management and conservation strategies.

Anna leads MMF’s research on manta rays in Mozambique. She also manages the seasonal Thailand and Myanmar manta project and is the global coordinator for MantaMatcher.org.

Check out Anna's Instagram for a snapshot of what you might encounter on the trip
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