Komodo Diving

Part of Indonesia’s top diving destinations, Komodo diving is done in the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers some of the most vibrant and diverse marine life on the planet.

Komodo diving is all about crystal-clear waters, stunning coral reefs, and an abundance of marine species. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about diving in Komodo, from the best dive sites and marine life to essential travel tips.

Komodo Diving
An Overview of Komodo Diving

An Overview of Komodo Diving

The Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and consists of three major islands: Komodo, Rinca, and Padar islands, along with numerous smaller islands. The park covers over 1,733 square kilometers, with around 603 square kilometers of marine protected area.

With our very own Komodo Resort and Neptune Scuba Diving Komodo, we offer divers the unique opportunity to explore this diverse underwater world, characterized by colorful coral gardens, deep walls, and thrilling drift dives. Manta Rays, Mobula Rays, Eagle Rays, different types of sharks, these are just a few of the things that make Komodo diving so attractive.

The Best Dive Sites for Komodo Diving

When it comes to diving in Komodo, divers are spoiled with over 50 dive sites to choose from. Each dive site is unique, some with strong currents, some gentle drifts while some are simply stunning coral reefs. Here are some of the most popular dive sites divers must absolutely visit:

Batu Bolong

Batu Bolong

Batu Bolong is Komodo’s most iconic dive site, without a shadow of a doubt the most popular of all. Batu Bolong features a pinnacle teeming with vibrant corals and diverse marine life, including reef sharks, turtles, and large schools of fish.

Typically a zig zag dive, divers visiting Batu Bolong must be at least Advanced Open Water certified and with minimum 30-40 dives. This is because sometimes currents in Batu Bolong can be extremely strong which also makes timing a very important factor.

Although most often the dive plan should take us to Batu Bolong, sometimes the dive must be cancelled due to strong currents very clearly visible from the surface.

Maximum depth: 30m+ / 98 feet
Temperature: 27 to 29 Celsius / 80F to 84F
Currents: Often strong, requires planning
Minimum experience: Advanced Open Water

Manta Point

Manta Point

The name says it all, Manta Point is the place to be for divers who want to dive with the majestic Manta Rays. It’s not an every day guarantee to see the Mantas but we can say there are 80% chances to see them.

Manta Point is a drift dive on top of a rocky sandy bottom finishing off on top of a rock and coral formation.

Manta Point is not the only dive site in the Komodo National Park to see the Mantas. The other dive sites are Mawan and Manta Alley. Typically when there are no Mantas in Manta Point, they are most definitely in Mawan.

Maximum depth: 15m / 49 feet
Temperature: 27 to 29 Celsius / 80F to 84F
Currents: Drift, mild-strong
Minimum experience: Advanced Open Water

The Cauldron Shotgun

The Cauldron / Shotgun

Divers cannot visit Komodo for diving without trying The Claundron, also known as Shotgun. This is a unique dive site with an underwater channel that creates a swirling current, attracting large schools of fish and other marine life, often even Mantas but more often sharks.

As a drift dive, Shotgun is one of the most exciting dive sites in the Komodo National Park, drifting through the channel as a fast movie.

Maximum depth: 20m / 65 feet
Temperature: 26 to 28 Celsius / 78F to 82F
Current: Mild to strong
Minimum experience: Advanced Open Water

Tatawa Besar

Tatawa Besar

Tatawa Besar has one of the most rich coral reefs of all of the Komodo diving. Typically a gentle drift, divers here can enjoy amazing underwater life and simply incredible coral reef that rivals any such dive site in the world.

Diving at Tatawa Besar is good all year round and when conditions are not good here, divers can move to the sister dive site called Tatawa Kecil.

Maximum depth: 30m / 98 feet
Temperature: 26 to 28 Celsius / 78F to 82F
Current: Mild
Minimum experience: Open Water

There are many other dive sites for Komodo diving and we can mention the following: Castle Rock, Crystal Rock, Three Sisters, Siaba Besar, Siaba Kecil, and Cannibal Rock.

Marine Life in Komodo National Park

Marine Life in Komodo National Park

One of the main attractions of Komodo diving is the incredible biodiversity found within the park. The Manta Rays are of course the main attraction but here are some of the marine life divers can expect to encounter:

Manta rays: These gentle giants can be spotted at various dive sites, especially at Manta Point and Manta Alley.

Sharks: Reef sharks, such as blacktip, whitetip, and grey reef sharks, are commonly seen while diving in Komodo.

Turtles: Green and hawksbill turtles are frequently observed resting on the reefs or munching on coral.

Fish: Thousands of fish species, including schools of trevallies, barracudas, and colorful reef fish, can be found throughout Komodo National Park.

Critters: Macro enthusiasts will love Komodo diving for its variety of critters, such as nudibranchs, frogfish, and pygmy seahorses.

Best Time for Komodo Diving

Komodo diving is possible all year-round, but the best conditions will be found between the months of April and November. During this time, the water is calm, and visibility can reach up to 30 meters. Between December to end of February the rainy season comes with strong winds, big waves and bad visibility. But that is also the time when the Manta Ray migration takes place. So there are ups and downs to this.

However, divers should be aware that the park can get quite busy during the peak season from July to September.

Komodo Diving Safety Tips and Precautions

Komodo Diving Safety Tips and Precautions

While diving in Komodo is an incredible experience, it’s essential to prioritize safety. There are several dive centers in Labuan Bajo as well as a couple of dive resorts aside from the popular hotels and resorts already present in Komodo.

Choose the right dive operator

Research and select a reputable dive operator that prioritizes safety and has experienced dive guides familiar with the local conditions. This is because the dive sites are sometimes difficult and require special well experienced guides.

In Komodo, we are present with Neptune Scuba Diving Komodo and our very own Komodo Resort, always ready to welcome you for an amazing Komodo diving experience.

Be aware of the currents

Komodo is known for its strong currents, which can change rapidly and often with even stronger down currents as often found in Batu Bolong. Always dive with a guide and follow their instructions to ensure your safety. This is a good moment to also mention that divers should always pay additional attention to the pre-dive briefings.

Carry appropriate safety equipment

Ensure you have a surface marker buoy (SMB), whistle and horn, and a dive computer to help you navigate and communicate in case of an emergency. The SMB is mandatory while the whistle and horn should be non-negotiable. In the extraordinary and unlikely case that you become separated from your dive group or dive boat, they will be your only means to be discovered.

Some dive centers or Liveaboards provide a diver GPS such as a Nautilus Life Line.

How to Get to Komodo National Park

How to Get to Komodo National Park

Reaching Komodo typically involves flying from Bali, Jakarta or any other of the smaller cities such as Maumere, Ende or Kupang. The domestic flights to Labuan Bajo are sufficient and organized by the airlines Garuda Indonesia, AirAsia, Citilink, Batik Air and Lion Air.

Because the domestic airlines are famously known for last minute cancellations and delays, we recommend flying with Garuda or AirAsia as they generally are more reliable.

Accommodation and Other Activities

Finding accommodation in Komodo is easy as you will find big hotels and resorts such as: Ayana, Sudamala, or Plataran. There are also cheaper accommodation such as homestay which can be found in Labuan Bajo.

For divers, snorkelers and nature lovers, Neptune Scuba Diving owns the famous Komodo Resort, placed conveniently on Sebayur Island, just at the entrance into the Komodo National Park.

Contact us for availability or information about Komodo diving.

Frequently Asked Questions about Komodo Diving

Frequently Asked Questions about Komodo Diving

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Komodo diving refers to the scuba diving experiences around the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located within the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia. The park is home to the famous Komodo dragon and boasts a diverse marine ecosystem, making it a popular destination for divers from around the world.

The park is known for its rich marine biodiversity, including over 1,000 species of fish, 260 species of coral, manta rays, sharks, turtles, dolphins, whales, and even the occasional dugong. It is also a fantastic place to see macro life, with colorful nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, and frogfish among the many creatures that can be found.

The dive season in Komodo is year-round, but the best time to visit is generally during the dry season, which runs from April to November. The water visibility is typically better during this period, and sea conditions are more favorable for diving.

Water temperatures in Komodo can range from 68°F (20°C) in the south to 86°F (30°C) in the north. Visibility varies depending on the time of year and location but generally ranges from 16 to 98 feet (5 to 30 meters). Currents can be strong in certain areas, so it's essential to dive with an experienced guide.

Some popular dive sites in Komodo National Park include Castle Rock, Batu Bolong, Crystal Rock, Manta Point, and Cannibal Rock. Each site offers unique underwater landscapes and marine life encounters, so it's worth exploring as many sites as possible during your trip.

While there are dive sites suitable for beginners, it is recommended that divers have at least an Advanced Open Water certification due to the strong currents and challenging conditions often encountered in the area. Some dive operators may also require a minimum number of logged dives for certain sites.

Always dive with a reputable dive center and ensure you have a thorough dive briefing before entering the water. Pay attention to your guide's instructions regarding currents and safety procedures. Be aware of your surroundings and maintain a safe distance from potentially dangerous marine life, such as sharks and Komodo dragons.

There are various accommodation options available, including liveaboard boats, dive resorts, and hotels in nearby Labuan Bajo. Liveaboards are a popular choice as they allow divers to visit multiple dive sites and fully immerse themselves in the diving experience.

Yes, many diving trips to Komodo National Park include a visit to one of the islands where Komodo dragons can be observed in their natural habitat. Always follow your guide's instructions and maintain a safe distance from these large reptiles.

The nearest airport to Komodo National Park is Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, Flores. There are daily flights from Bali and Jakarta to Labuan Bajo. From there, you can join a liveaboard, book a private boat charter, or take a day trip to the park for your diving adventure.