Manta Watch Camp

Manta Watch Camp, Alotau: Address, Phone Number, Manta Watch Camp Reviews: 5/5

Manta Watch Camp
5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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About
The Island Manta Watch Camp is located on the remote and stunning paradise Island in the South Pacific. Gonubalabala, Papua New Guinea. It's so remote that it's not even on google maps yet! Milne Bay reefs are full of life with anything from the tiniest weird and wonderful critters, to the large pelagic trophies such as Hammerheads and Whale Sharks. PLEASE CONTACT US FOR FULL DETAILS BEFORE BOOKING
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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5.0
4 reviews
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RebeccaKl153
6 contributions
Jan 2017 • Solo
Staying for 6 weeks on the small and remote island of Gonubalabala in the Milne Bay province has been a wonderful experience!!!

Throughout the whole preparation process, the team was very supportive and answered all my many questions. Arriving on the island, I was greeted like a friend and quickly felt like being home. The whole team of guests and volunteers was a great mix of people of different ages and nationalities. Everyone got on really well and it was good fun to live, dive and work with them.

Carmen and Adam are just great!! Their dedication towards conservation and their knowledge about diving and aquatic life is remarkable and has deeply impressed me. They teached me not only about manta rays but also about turtles, sharks, nudibranchs, corals and, and, and...
With Carmen I did my Padi Divemaster course. She is by far the best teacher I've ever had: patient, experienced, enthusiastic, always open for any questions or discussions and a real role model.

Co-living with the locals has also been a great experience for me. Everyone was kind and forthcoming. They hosted us in their beautiful homestays and were always available for any questions or requests. With two other volunteers I shared the room with a great view on the ocean.
Three times a day, the cooking ladies prepared amazing and fresh food for the many hungry volunteers - so delicious.
While we were teaching them about ocean protection, pollution, waste recycling and so on, we could learn so much from them as well - especially about their culture and traditions. We could help out in the kitchen and learn new recepies, learn a little bit of the local language and join music sessions.
With the children we did classroom sessions and activities like painting, frisbee, beach clean ups, football and many more. All together we had various movie nights at the beach showing documentaries or short movies of the island created by Adam.

If you are thinking of staying with MWC, please don't hesitate because PNG is often said to be unsafe - not even for one second did I feel unsafe or threatend by anything or anyone during my stay. With the project everything will be organized for you: pick up from the airport and transport with the boat straight to the island. People in Milne Bay area are genuinely friendly and are always curious about visitors and interested in their stories. The island itself is very remote and everyone knows everyone. So, no need to worry!

What is often not mentioned in the news, is the underwater world of PNG which is just breathtaking! The reefs are so prestine. Many times, we went to some dive spots which have only been dived a few times before or discovered completely new ones. Nowhere else have I done that before.

Every day on the island is different but in principle the everyday life looks like this: We have breakfast all together (sometimes we have an early morning workout or yoga session before) and then head to the dive deck, preparing for a dive on the house reef. The manta ray cleaning station is located right in front of the island. The reef is rather shallow allowing for very long dives up to 1.5h or more. When we see manta rays, we take pictures of their belly to identify them later on. After the dive we discuss about what we have seen, enter the data for the mantas or work on various community projects like building a chicken coop for example.
In the afternoon, we often went out with the boat, diving or snorkling at other manta spots. People doing a course had a training session or did some studying.
Otherwise, you could keep on working on an ongoing project or just relax.
For sunset we would always get together, talk and drink fresh coconuts. Afterwards, we head for dinner and watch a documentary with all the islanders.

To cut a long story short, I honestly recommend this project to everyone who has an interest in diving and marine conservation. Staying with MWC is so special because it is much more personal than staying in any 5 star resort in the world. You can learn a lot and make a real difference.

I would come back at any time!
Written 14 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tanja K
Canton of Bern, Switzerland26 contributions
Nov 2016 • Solo
I spent a week on Gonubalabala island, and i can honestly say it was one of the best weeks of my life. Adam, Carmen and the locals welcomed me with open arms, ready smiles, flowers and songs. The 1h30 boatride from Alotau offers amazing landscapes and the opportunity to get to know your hosts. The food on the island, cooked by the amazing Nydia, makes me salivate just reminiscing about it. And the diving, oh my god, the diving! I had dived in Thaïland and on the great barrier reef but they have nothing on PNG! Imagine watching, mesmerized, Manta rays playing near the surface just 5-10m from the beach and then going into the water and spend your time below the surface admiring these majestic creatures glide below/above you. And if one of your many (included in the price) dives happens to fall on a Manta-free period, there is enough here to excite even the most demanding of divers, from ornate ghost pipefish, cuttlefish and turtles all the way to the most amazing nudibranchs and slugs.
Carmen and Adam help you make the most of every day, organize excursions and help you identify all the beautiful creatures you saw on your last dive.
Written 22 November 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Tanja, it was so wonderful hosting you on the island. We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your time with us and we thank you for being part of our story. You are now part of the Manta Watch Camp family and we would love to keep in touch and dive with you again in the future. You were a pleasure to host and safe travels. Your new friends, Carmen & Adam.
Written 23 November 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

karryne56
United Kingdom21 contributions
Jun 2016 • Solo
While living near Alotau I had to make a visit to the beautiful island of Gonubalabala, a 2-3 hour boat trip from Alotau. Luckily for me I met Carman and Adam who are diving instructors, I am a snorkeller not a diver and it was just wonderful, I experienced the closeness of a Manta Ray. Being in the water about 5-10 metres from shore and swimming with the hugest of creatures who are completely harmless but inquisitive. We were privy to 2 Manta Rays copulating, a rare sight to see!! Adam & Carmen are great instructors, cool, calm, reassuring and knowledgable of the environment and explained what to expect if a Manta Ray comes up close, Boy they come up close too! They can quickly loom up in front of you, but stay mainly below, The water is warm so no need for a wet suit just a good mask, snorkel n flippers. This is a great experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with these amazing creatures. This is a full day event.
Written 20 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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