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Marine Megafauna Foundation


Ray of Hope Expeditions

Most people that love the ocean dream about playing a more active role in education, research or conservation. Who wouldn’t want to get more involved in something that they are passionate about? To that end Dr. Marshall has always encouraged that people take a proactive approach to their travel or ocean hobbies.


Demand from her supporters combined with the need to fund her international research has inspired Andrea to create ‘Ray of Hope Expeditions. Each year, the Queen of Mantas and other senior scientists from the Marine Megafauna Foundation embark on international expeditions to the world’s foremost manta ray aggregation sites to engage in field research.


Explore new aggregation sites with us, encounter mantas in remote destinations, participate in research activities, investigate manta ray fisheries and receive lectures from world-class biologists as a part of your package. The goals of each of the Ray of Hope expeditions are unique but every trip is tailored to engage participants while producing high quality science.


Ray of Hope Expedition is not a part of the Marine Megafauna’s 501c3 Foundation but each expedition helps MMF scientists achieve research or conservation goals in the field and a percentage of proceeds from each participant goes directly back into the MMF global manta ray program to support on-going research projects. 


Your Hosts

Dr. Andrea Marshall is a world-renowned expert on manta rays and the director of the Marine Megafauna Foundation, a not for profit organization which spearheads conservation efforts for manta rays across the world through rigorous research programs and the application of sound management practices. Andrea, dubbed the “Queen of Mantas” in 2009 by the BBC in the Natural World documentary by the same name, was the first person in the world to receive a PhD on the ecology of these mysterious animals.


Janneman Conradie is an MMF conservationist specializing in aerial surveillance and underwater filming. Traveling the world with Andrea, Janneman over-sees project logistics and ensures that our field teams are using the most efficient and state of the art technology to conduct our research. Having filmed with the likes of National Geographic and the BBC, Janneman is a skilled cameraman, helping participants learn more about capturing incredible underwater imagery.


Dr. Fabrice Jaine is a French marine ecologist and oceanographer who joined MMF after completing his PhD research on the movement ecology of reef manta rays in Eastern Australia. Fabrice is an avid free diver and scuba diver who comes with a mix of experiences, having previously worked in marine education and environmental awareness, eco-tourism, volunteer programs, as well as world-class scientific research on manta rays and other elasmobranchs. Fabrice is passionate about science communication, photography and new media, and tries where possible to combine these disciplines to educate and attract public attention to the particular environment or conservation-related topics.


Ray of Hope Expeditions poster.


2017 Expeditions


Raja Ampat, Indonesia (Successfully completed)
Join the MMF team in early January 2017 at their research base in Raja Ampat as they explore the Arborek region of the Bird’s Head Seascape in search of manta ray aggregations. This is one of the most exciting destinations for manta rays in the world and the expedition includes dives to well known cleaning station and feeding areas for both species of Manta.

To see the itinerary, click here >


Raja Ampat, Indonesia (Successfully completed)

Join Andrea on her quest to find both species of manta within the Bird’s Head Seascape!Choose from two exciting expeditions to Raja Ampat in February 2017 on the luxurious Arenui Boutique liveaboard.

To see the itinerary, click here >


Thailand & Myanmar (Fully booked)

Join Andrea, Janneman and Ric Parker as they follow the path of the giant manta rays through the Similan and Surin National Parks in Thailand and the Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar!

To see the itinerary, click here >


Wild Coast, South Africa (Spaces available)

Join Andrea and Janneman in June 2017 as they head to the Wild Coast of South Africa on this megafauna adventure of a lifetime. Join the team on the sea and in the air as they try to find out more about giant mantas at their most southern aggregation site in Africa. The trip will run during the Sardine Run giving guests the opportunity to simultaneously experience all of the action and excitement of the run while engaging in top quality scientific research.

To see the itinerary, click here >

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