Komodo in Pictures
If you want to see huge manta rays swimming by, big pelagics and sharks, then Komodo should be your next dive destination. It has one of the richest marine areas in the world, captivating to any diver.
Marine Life in Komodo
Marine life in Indonesia is abundant and diverse. Coral reefs alive with tropical fish, macro critters form a stunning backdrop for the big guys cruising by. Komodo is best known for the enormous manta rays that you’ll encounter. There are about 1000 species of fish and 250 species of reef-building corals.
These rich waters are often visited by many large pelagic fish, mantas, cetaceans, whale sharks, dugongs, green and hawksbill turtles and much more.
Dive Conditions in Komodo
Komodo Island is one of the 17000 or so Indonesian Islands. Diving conditions in Komodo are varied and offer something for everyone. Strong tidal currents flowing through the Komodo National Park ensure exhilarating drift dives for the more experienced and bring the nutrients in to feed the exotic reefs. The climate is tropical and diving is from the land by speedboat or by liveaboard. Pinnacles, drop-offs and plenty of muck diving.
Best Time to Dive in Komodo
Indonesia has a tropical climate. Diving is possible all year round. The best time to dive Komodo is April to November with the mantas putting on their best show in the wet season – December to March. April to November is the dry season when the conditions are more friendly, the seas are calmer and the weather is usually great.
Water temperatures are 27-28°C (81-82°F) in the northern parts. Colder water from the Indian Ocean can reduce temp to Average water temperature: 23-24°C (73-74°F) further south.
Best Dive Sites in Komodo
Diving in Komodo includes gentle and powerful drift dives, reef diving, and strong currents. There are over 50 dive sites in the Komodo National Park. Here are the best of them.
The most famous dive site in the Komodo area, its must-dive and the best place to see the elegant giant manta gliding past. The dive site is in a bay on the south side of Komodo Island. The site can easily be dived more than one time and is suitable for all levels. You may also find other large rays, big parrot fish or barracuda here. Sometimes there is a strong current here and the water is a little colder.
Yellow Wall is another top dive in Komodo, located on the south of Rinca Island. The many brightly colored sponges, sea cucumbers and feather stars are an amazing sight, as are the larger fish, sharks or turtles may also pass by.
Batu Bolong, also known as Hollow Rock, is a small rock located between Komodo and Tatawa. The pristine reefs drop to over 70m and attract big shoals of fish in incredible numbers. Following the fish are the predators – massive tuna, Napoleon wrasse, white tip sharks and more. Currents here can be strong here and the site is recommended for experienced divers.
Another top dive in Komodo, there is a strong current that shoots divers through a channel in the north of Komodo’s marine park. The site gets its name from the sandy cauldron-like bowl at about 20m (75 ft.) From here the current intensifies as you move into “the shotgun,” flying up a steep wall and through a break in the reef. Reef hooks may be necessary! The site is full of life.
This large seamount is also a highlight. Rising from 30m (100ft.) on the seabed to 5m (15ft.) it’s a haven for fish and covered in incredible coral formations. Often spotted here are grouper, wrasse, reef sharks and dolphins.
How to Get to Komodo
To get to Komodo, you first need to travel to Bali and then to Labuan Bajo (Flores Island) by either plane or boat, and finally to Komodo Island by boat. There are a few airlines flying directly from Bali to Labuan Najo, or a 36-hour ferry from Bali. These ferries leave Bali every two weeks for Komodo National Park, so forward planning is essential. Liveaboards often leave from Bali itself which has an international airport.
Good to Know
Komodo Island is also home to the Komodo dragon, the largest living lizard on the planet. It has excellent hiking opportunities too.
Komodo has one of the world’s few pink-sand beaches which is well worth a visit.