Experience level: Intermediate
Typical depth: 20 meters / 70 feet
German Channel is the only man-made channel in Palau. It is named for the Germans who, during their occupation of Palau prior to WWII, created the channel for a more direct shipping route between Koror and Peleliu. The resulting topography of the dive site means that the currents help accumulate large quantities of plankton in the mouth of the channel and it is this plankton that attracts Manta Rays to the area. German Channel is therefore an excellent location to see Manta Rays feeding in "trains" or being cleaned on one of the many "cleaning stations" dotted along the site. Magical encounters are possible with experienced dive guides who place divers such that the Mantas pass very close by or even just over-head. www.mantaIDpalau.org website has put together a database of over 235 individual mantas with new Manta's discovered every season. Manta's are identified by the markings on their undersides. If you're lucky enough to photograph a Manta's belly and the markings cannot be matched to one in the database, www.MantaIDpalau.org offers you the opportunity to name your very own Manta Ray. Even if there are no Manta's to be seen, there are still plenty of other critters to find while exploring this site. Large feather tail sting rays and white tip sharks can be found sleeping on the sandy bottom along with garden eels, blind Gobies and Mantis Shrimp. German Channel is also a favorite for beautiful Leopard Sharks. Watch Giant Trevally and grey reef sharks hunt large schools of Scad, while Unicorn Fish school with Fusiliers in a large "feeding ball" at incoming tides above the reef.