Manta Ray, Komodo. Flores, Indonesia. July 2011.

The Manta Ray Who Cuckoo

  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

I don't want to do it anymore ! Before continuing to tell you about Flores, I MUST show you this video: a charming manta ray and her friends, met in the marine park of Komodo... A fabulous corner of Indonesia for divers, the ultimate goal of my crossing of Flores from east to west.

Diving with the mantas in Komodo

Manta Ray, Komodo. Flores, Indonesia. July 2011.
Face to face with a manta ray. (Komodo, Indonesia, July 2011)

The short video that you will find a little bit below was made at Canon 7DBy my little hands, a little feverish, in the Komodo archipelago. At the site called Karang Makassar, very exactly.

There, mantas keep on coming, often in groups of three, four or five... All this in water at 28°C, less than 10 meters deep. And (it is rare in this area), there was not too much current for once.

An hour of non-stop show. (Sigh…)

The video

Besides, they are not shy, the Komodo mantas. One of them, more curious than the others, came to greet me with a graceful roll of the wrist, uh... of the horn, uh... what is it called, this thing?

Ah, yes, it's a horn. A cephalic horneven, according to Wikipedia. Or a rostrum, as Johanne, a reader of the blog, pointed out to me.

Come on, I let you admire (re-sigh) ...


  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

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  1. I put myself in the stingray's position and ask myself: Who does she see? What film is she recording with her horn, her aquatic "wings" spread out?
    Whatever she's thinking, she's gorgeous, elegant, princely! Bravo and thank you for spotlighting her 🙂

  2. Wow, I love stingrays and especially mantas!
    I was lucky enough to see some in Polynesia on my 100th dive, great ❗
    Since then, I've been lucky enough to make a dive with a stingray for every new 100th 🙄
    Can't wait for the 500th one 😉
    In any case, congratulations for these beautiful images!

  3. @Elyes: It's the manta rays that are magnificent. As for the quality of the video, it can be improved, I assure you. You can clearly see, with the backlight, that I forgot to clean the glass in front of the lens... But as the mantas swam in as soon as we got in the water, I didn't think about anything else, in the excitement of the moment!

    @Ysbilia: I, too, wondered what was going through that manta's mind when I met her gaze, that little black eye that came to inspect me...

    @Laurence: Ah, mantas, we never tire of them... For me, it's soon the 400th: it would be nice if I could program mantas on the day!!!!

    @Morgan: Thank you very much! Manta rays are truly magical underwater. You'll find more underwater videos on this page:

    @Alimata: Arf. Happy, yes, that's nothing to say!!! The feverishness was mostly in my head, after all. I forgot to clean the glass a bit after launching the camera, and as a result, you can see some dirt against the light, grrrr. Also, I didn't have time to balance the white properly, so I had to readjust a bit in post-production... But hey, let's not quibble when a manta comes to greet you like that. I'm working on the long version, I've got mantas all over my hard drive !!!

  4. So happy ❓
    Very nice cuckoo from the manta and not the slightest visible tremor despite "little hands a little feverish".
    A video pro at Ko Modo our Ko Rine 😉

  5. Mantas must be the most elegant of fish! They look like long, living sails! These are magnificent! And bravo for your control and composure. Although I know they're not dangerous, I'm not sure I wouldn't have backed off at her approach. Because those little beasts are impressive.

  6. Hi Corine, it's Matthieu, Annabelle and Iohan, we met on the Tida Apa Apa from Bertrand on your cruise with Jérôme for an aperitif.

    We saw your superb photos, and I wanted to thank you for the advice you gave me that day, which was invaluable to me afterwards.

    We also dived at Karang Makassar the day after tomorrow and saw the manta rays. I've got photos and videos, and I'm waiting for our new computer with Adobe Premiere to work on the editing and rework the photos a little (in particular to remove the prevailing blue cast). I've been tinkering a bit with Picasa, and the results are already impressive.

    Imagine that for Iohan, the Komodo dives were his first after obtaining his Level 1, which he passed in the pool... we spoil him too much, don't we?

    Really, bravo for your shots, I find them very successful, and you were lucky enough to see the seahorses and nudibranchs. It's especially on the small fish that we see that you stabilize well because for me, the big ones are okay, but the small ones, it's a bit blurry.... and then especially by the time I positioned myself, they were already far away... But well, I don't have your experience since I have 30 dives in all and that will come with experience. I'm already delighted with my photos, I'll try to send you a couple if you're interested, I'm not sure where but if you want to let me know.
    It's still a beginner's job... but okay.

    We weren't able to dive at Maumere (zut! and rezut !!!!), as we booked too late. But we made up for it in Tulamben with John from Eco dive. I even treated myself to a dental cleaning by shrimps, usually assigned to groupers.

    I hope we'll be able to continue chatting. I'll make a note of your nickname and create an account on to chat with Titbulle.

    See you soon.


  7. @Melissa: "Long living sails"... Beautiful image, it's well seen. And I assure you, there's no fear when they approach. There's absolutely nothing to fear (they have no venomous stings or teeth). You're just hypnotized, fascinated by the beauty of the spectacle.

    @Matthieu: How happy I am to hear from you!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself with the photos and videos sub... you'll see, we're getting the hang of it! I'll reply to you by e-mail, privately. But I'll add here that Iohan is very lucky indeed to start his diving life with Komodo!!!!

    @Mohamed: I don't know if mantas are present all year round in Komodo. One thing's for sure, they're there in July. Matthieu, above, has seen them too!!!

  8. Hello Miss Bourbeillon,
    I read your blog, as a travel consultant, I learn every place from your writing, very useful for me, just like reading a travel book. You are amazing! People come to me to consult their trip around Indonesia (the place you visited is the place that the most my French clienteles ask to visit), all the time I just imagine I'm on this place, but you've already, there, given all the details information... It's my dream as a travel advisor, to have a travel journey like you've had. Thank you for giving us an inspiring travel experience through your writing. And I look forward to reading more about your journey in your blog.


  9. Ooh Komodo! I felt the call of the island when I was in the Gili and every day divers were telling us about trips there... One day soon, no doubt!
    Very nice video, but I'm sure it's nothing compared to the sensations you had at that moment, underwater!


  10. @Harvesto: Welcome to this blog, I am impressed that you can read my travel stories in French. Thank you for your message. Terima kasih baniak!

    @NowMadNow: I must say, Komodo is definitely worth the detour. The destination is now one of my top dive sites in Asia, along with Sipadan. I'll never forget that incredible manta ray dive at Karang Makassar...

  11. @Keev @Yann: Thank you, thank you!!! Now I've got to get on with editing a whole bunch of underwater footage stored on my hard drive... I've got plenty to keep me busy.

  12. @Travelogue: Well, they don't. Unlike smaller stingrays, large manta rays have no venomous sting at the base of their tail. So there's nothing to fear: they eat nothing but plankton.

  13. Ah, the mantas ... I'm still speechless in front of the show ... an intense moment of happiness that reappears when seeing your images ...

  14. @Manta: I can't believe how lucky we were. We were right in the middle of the manta-express. It was just me and my partner, no current, great visibility, and mantas kept coming... (sigh) I've got lots of other bits of video I need to edit... 😉