Diving Around Komodo National Park

Komodo Watching
September 4, 2019
Kelimutu National Park
September 4, 2019

Diving Around Komodo National Park

1150101651

You can jump in the water almost anywhere in and around the Komodo National Park and have good fish life and coral cover. This list of brief descriptions covers some of the more exceptional and popular dive sites in the Park. Please note; when diving with us or another operator, please listen to the advice of the dive centre about what is the best site to dive the following day. We often have guests requesting certain sites because they have heard of great things about the site. However many sites are seasonal, and all are affected by currents and sometimes not suitable to dive. We have stronger currents around new and full moon and will choose our dive sites wisely to balance safety with fun.

1139732064

If you dive with us we will aim to take you to the best sites, with the best conditions, and accommodate your preferences. The final decision on where to dive is up to our experienced dive guides on the boat on the day. Please trust that we will provide the best diving possible, given the conditions!

LOCAL SITES
These sites are not in Komodo National Park but offers some great diving and snorkeling too. Although we usually head into the park for our daily trips, we can also arrange cheaper trips to these local dive spots upon request, and there would be no National Park fee to pay too! For group bookings arriving too late for a full day trip we can arrange an afternoon trip with two dives here.

Sabolon Islands
Sabolon islands offers great dives close to Labuan Bajo. The seamount offers clear water, schools of surgeon fish, large see fans, and stunning coral life in the shallows. it is a great place to start your diving adventures into Komodo, or for photographers who appreciate the critters than can be found here. Look out for devil scorpion fish, pygmy seahorse, orangutan crabs and frog fish.

Sebayur Kecil

The north western corner of Sebayor Kecil is one of the better dive sites at close distance to Labuan Bajo. A small reef is extending towards the north west and around the edges where it drops of to greater depths, at a few hundred meters from the shore, there are some large boulders around which we can usually see groups of giants trevally, white tip reef shark, coral trout, snappers and emperors. Most of the wall is well protected from current and usually has warmer water and good visibility.

Mini Wall

Mini Wall is also located on north face of Sebayor Kecil but further to the east. Usually we jump close to the boat mooring and start the dive with exploring a white sandy slope. Look out for ornate ghost pipe fish, shrimp and nudibranch in the small coral bummies. Continuing reef right we approach a beautiful hard coral reef that quickly develops into a coral wall with 5 to 30m depth. We explore the wall for macro life, also look out for bluefin trevally and the occasional Hawksbill turtle. If you go far enough there are also schools of bat fish and fusiliers and perhaps eaglerays too. This site usually has no currents but be aware that current may be present further along if we swim far enough to enter channel between the islands. For advanced divers we can also start this dive at a coral filled seamount about 40m away from the wall.

482082283

CENTRAL SITES
The central sites are reachable by our day boats and we often dive here with our liveaboard too. The variety of types of sites here in the upper half of the park is incredible and there are sites suitable for both beginners and experienced divers.

Tatawa Besar

Starting at the northern tip of Tatawa there is a magic drift dive down both the eastern and western sides of the island during a falling tide. The reef is best between 8 to 20 meters depth. There is good reef fish life, including giant trevally, schools of fusiliers, angel fish and lots of sweet lips. Reef sharks and Hawksbill turtles resides here and we usually see several on a dive. There are endless fields of hard corals and orange soft corals, among which you can find crocodile fish and octopus. Mantas are sometimes seem in this area also. Normally it is an easy drift dive but can become quite fast on a strong falling tide, but don’t worry, enjoy the ride, as we will end the dive in an area protected by the main current. Here we will normally have a 5-10 minute stay in the shallows looking for mandarin fish and other critters.

Tatawa Kecil

Tatawa Kecil is probably the anthias (small colorful fish) capitol of the world! Its best to dive the western side of the island which has great topography including big boulders and caverns with sea fans. Here we find large schools of snappers, sweetlips and jacks. There are also large groupers, sharks, often mantas on the south side and Dugongs has been spotted on several occasions. The shallow coral gardens are healthy and beautiful, a great place to spend your safety stop. This site has wild currents around new and full moon strong and may not even be suitable for experienced divers in these periods.

Batu Bolong


Batu Bolong is a tiny rock island in the strait between Tatawa and Komodo islands. This is the most famous dive site in Komodo National Park, and we dare to say it is one of the best in the world. The usual dive plan is to jump in on the side protected from the current, descend along the steep slope covered in hard corals and surrounded by a cloud of small fish. We then spend the dive zigzagging between the current lines whilst seeing more marine life than we can possibly point at; including white tip reef shark, large turtles, giant trevally, enormous sweetlips, napoleon wrasse and much more. Batu Bolong is not always suitable for inexperienced divers as even the “protected” area has some shifting currents coming if the current is very strong. Good buoyancy is vital on this dive site and we always remind divers to stay close to the reef and behind the dive guide.

Karang Makassar / Manta Point

Famous for its aggregations of up to 100 manta rays! Makassar is a long gentle drift dive. Although the bottom composition is mainly coral rubble, it is dotted with beautiful coral gardens full of life. Mantas, and other large fish, can be found hanging out at these “cleaning stations” getting a cleaning service from the small fish living there. Certain times of the year manta mating trains are frequent and sometimes we see the mantas feeding on their prey of choice; zooplankton. Other common marine life includes bamboo sharks, marble rays, eagle rays, bumphead parrot fish and unicorn fish. A dive not to be missed!

 

 

Mawan

Mawan is a smallish island with a fringing reef and a white sandy slope. We frequently encounter reef mantas here at the cleaning station but they are often also encountered swimming back and forth along the reef. White tip reef sharks, bamboo sharks large cuttle fish and a three legged Hawksbill turtle are often seen here too. The site is often suitable for beginners as an easier dive plan can be adopted whilst the more experienced can sometimes enjoy a good drift. Close to full moon and new moon this site can however be too tricky for beginners due to strong currents. Be extra careful to stay close to the reef and follow your dive guide when the currents are strong. Snorkelers has a large shallow reef to explore and can easily see mantas from the surface too.

Siaba Besar

Located inside a calm bay you can find this dive site with a huge hard coral reef which is home to many green turtles (really a lot!), sting rays, sweet lips and starry pufferfish. The sheltered location means that the reef is also a nursing ground and you can find many juvenile species, look our for baby bumphead parrot fish and Napoleon wrasse. We usually spend half the dive time in the sand though because it is an amazing macro dive with various species of frogfish, flamboyant cuttle fish, ghost pipe fish and nudibranchs. Dugongs do visit this site sometimes so don’t forget to keep an eye on your surroundings. This is a great snorkeling spot and exciting night dive during our liveaboard trips.

Siaba Kecil

Siaba Kecil offers one of the best drift dives in the park. This dive can be done on a falling (reef right) or rising tide (reef left). When the current is strong a fast decent is crucial, then follow the reef edge at about 8 and 20 meters. The reef face is filled with small caverns harboring Gorgonian fans, angel fish and sweetlips. Giant Trevally, balck and white tip reef sharks and sometimes Napoleon wrasse cruises past in the blue. At the end of the dive we swim into a protected coral garden area, the coral garden in the north is healthy with schools of fish and good chance of turtle and shark. The southern safety stop area is great for macro, turtles and giant moray eels, look out for manarin fish! Beginner divers can dive here if current is mild or dive on the protected side.

Pengah Kecil

This is perhaps one of the most under-rated sites in the park but this small island is the top of a deep pinnacle and can be as spectacular as other famous sites such as Tatawa Kecil and Batu Bolong. Rich hard and soft coral cover almost every inch of the pinnacle and on the west side a large coral garden sits at 8-14m depth where baby reef sharks can be found under the large table corals. The site is fantastic for schools of long nosed emperors, floaty red-tooth trigger fish, large turtles, angel fish and scorpion fish just to name a few. Sharks patrol in the depths and jacks play on the edges of the currents. Small critter include whip coral shrimp and various nembrotha nudibranchs. At strong current this site may not be suitable for beginners but this is one of our favorite dives when the conditions are right.

Waenilu

A small island with a gentle sloping reef full of a multitude of macro life. Look out for frog fish, ribbon eel, zebra crabs in fire urchins, cow fish, flying gurnard, various scorpion fish, strange and wonderful nudibranchs and many different camouflaged crabs and shrimp. The visibility is typically only 5-10m but can clear up to 25m at times. This site can be dived whilst other guests are dragon trekking on Rinca island. Great for night dives too.

One Tree

Again a much neglected site. With the right current conditions it provide a great big fish dive with Napoleon wrasse, white tip reefs sharks and schools of fusiliers and Giant Trevally. The complex topography has reef walls, slopes, rich overhanging caves, and fantastic hard corals gardens in the shallows. This site can only be dives in the calmer periods of the quarter moon phase.

Batu Sabun
(central)
Batu Sabun is usually found by boats who don’t know the waters! It is a treacherous rock just one meter under the surface,  not far from Batu Bolong and it also offers a great big fish dive for those who know how to dive it. Recommended for experienced divers only under the right conditions.

Batu Tiga

Batu Tiga is without a doubt one of the most current affected sites in Komodo. Situated southeast of Tanjung Kuning in Linta strait. Batu Tiga is an excellent big fish dive when you can get on it. Best place to enter is at the northwestern side of the three rocks. A rocky reef extends below the surface out towards Komodo island. Down in the deeper water to the west and  below the reef, the big boulders offer excellent habitat for groupers and other creatures. Mantas, giant trevally and other pelagics are frequently seen here. Most of the coral growth is stunted as a result of the strong currents that prevail.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *