Batu Bolong – Hole in the Rock is one of the most famous dive sites in the Park. It’s a pinnacle dive, with the tip coming out of the ocean to provide a protected lee. The pinnacle disappears into the deep so a dive to 18 – 30 m max is perfect. We usually dive on the sheltered side and depending on the tides you’ll dive a mixture of walls and sloping reef. It’s like an aquarium with huge schools of colourful reef fish such as anthias, butterfly fish and angelfish, there’s also tuna, trevally, giant sweetlips, napoleon wrasse and many more so you will not be disappointed. We often see turtles and sharks and if you’re lucky, mantas cruising by.
Manta Point / Karang Makassar
The biggest dive site in Komodo National Park, 2.5 km long, makes the reef here a perfect drift dive to see manta rays at the cleaning stations. A shallow dive, we rarely go deeper than 12 metres, with all the action being in the shallows. Mainly rubble as you drift along you’ll come accross a number of coral bommies that are home to the yellow butterfly fish and moon wrasse that take care of cleaning duties. When you’ve seen enough mantas (can you ever see too many?) there’s also fantastic macro as well as bamboo and black tip sharks, and turtles.
Also known as Turtle Town, “big” Siaba is a lovely sheltered dive with seamounts being the home to numerous green and hawksbill turtles. With a sandy seagrass bottom you’ll find some of the best macro in the park here, seeing flamboyant cuttlefish, seahorses, mimic octopus and ornate ghost pipefish isn’t unusual and if you’re lucky you can even catch a white tip reef shark passing by.
Opposite Siaba Besar, Siaba Kecil “Small Siaba” is an amazing drift dive. This dive site has everything from overhangs, pristine reefs and coral gardens with plenty of fish life which is why it’s top of the list for many of our divers. The current can be strong and you end up feeling like superman as you fly along with sharks, giant trevally, huge sweetleips, and possibly the resident school of bumphead parrotfish.
An underwater rainbow, Tatawa Besar (Tatawa meaning happy in the local Manggarai language) is one of our favourite dive sites. You’ll be sure to be smiling when you drift along, relaxed and enjoying the movie in full colour. Full of life, you can see everything from batfish to crocodilefish, with turtles on the reef top to join you for your safety stop. Black tip reef sharks can also be spotted here, and keep looking out into the blue for the occasional manta passing by.
Mawan is one of the dive sites in Komodo where we commonly find mantas. There’s a mixture of coral plateaus, sloping reefs, sandy patches and manta cleaning stations here making it a perfect spot for finding everything from small macro critters to the big pelagics we all love. Depending on conditions it’s either a drift dive or we can just cruise along slowly seeing what we can find if it’s slack tide. White and black tip sharks along with cuttlefish, squid, ribbon eels and leaf scorpionfish can also be found here. We usually stay shallow on this dive looking for mantas but the reef slopes down to around 25m.
This dive site is a bit different to most of the others in the Park and it’s one of the best muck diving sites we have. The bottom is a mixture of sand, rubble, bommies and sea grass and we spend most of the time hunting for frogfish, sea horses, snake eels, sea moths, mandarin fish as well as a huge variety of shrimps and crabs such as the elusive coleman shrimps and zebra crabs on fire urchins. We have also spotted blue ring and mimic octopus as well as wonderpus and flamboyant cuttlefish. You never know what you are going to see here!
We dive on the protected side of this small island, where you’ll find walls, plateaus and a sloping reef. Be sure to spend plenty of time looking under the table corals for juvenile white tip reef sharks, and try to spot the frogfish camouflaging themselves amongst the sponges. You’ll find turtles and lobsters here, but we’re also looking for macro, with numerous shrimps, multi-coloured nudibranchs, and beautiful flatworms to be found.
At this dive site we jump on the split side of Castle Rock, hoping for current because that’s where all the action is. We’re here for the spectacular experience of watching “the big stuff” hunting and feeding – black and white tip as well as grey reef sharks are the highlight, but there are also massive schools of fusiliers and bannerfish, mesmerizing to see.
With the tip of this pinnacle peeking out at the surface, Crystal Rock is another site where we jump on the current side of the rock. Like Castle Rock, the action here can be incredible, we’re going to be checking out the big stuff again, and watching the massive schools with their synchronised dance. We end the dive in the protection of the top of the pinnacle, admiring the beautiful coral and sponges while we do our safety stop.
The Cauldron has a gentle start, a sloping reef with a sandy bottom where you’ll find blue spotted rays and sleeping white tip reef sharks in between the bommies. We’ll head towards the canyon to check out the busy snapper and batfish, and hopefully get a visit from a napoleon wrasse. We then swim across a huge bowl (the cauldron) formed by many years of current, where we get ready to exit through “the shotgun”! With the right current we shoot through the channel before ending up in the beautiful coral garden, where devil and manta rays can often be seen.
This channel between Gili Lawa Darat and Komodo islands, often described as a kaleidoscope is absolutely full of life. From the many garden eels swaying on the sandy bottom, to the schools of trevally and sweetlips, to the hundreds of glassfish and different types of anemonefish, you won’t be disappointed. Look out for the big rays, mantas, eagle and devil rays can be seen flying past before you end the dive with your safety stop in the coral garden.
These three pinnacles are the perfect depth to explore, from 30 metres up to your safety stop, with pelagics like sharks, rays and trevally to keep you entertained. There’s so much more to this dive site than the big stuff though, with colourful fans, sponges, tunicates and hard and soft coral, you don’t want to turn and look into the blue! Camouflage is a big factor here, with pygmy seahorses, frogfish and stonefish all trying to blend into the background, and no matter what the current is doing, you’ll have protection from these pinnacles.
The Secret Garden
Secret garden is a really mixed dive site with regards to the topography. You have a wall with a little cave where you can find a couple of resident white tip sharks, you have a sloping reef with plenty of colourful reef fish, you have a beautiful coral garden with numerous glassfish, and you have a sandy slope where you can find blue spotted rays while you look into the blue for mobula rays.
Named after the cute little robust sea cucumbers that look like hundreds of bright yellow nudibranchs, Yellow Wall can be dived both deep and shallow. Beautiful sponges, and pristine coral are the perfect place for finding all the colourful reef fish of this region. Known as the best wall dive in Komodo National Park, Yellow Wall will be another site where you don’t want the dive to end. Make sure you join our liveaboard to enjoy the South of the park, as it can’t be done on day trips.
Cannibal Rock is a dive you don’t want to end – in fact you’ll probably come to the surface asking for a second dive here! With everything from macro to pelagics, stunning coral, walls, sloping reef, overhangs and a sandy bottom, it’s another site where the biodiversity is incredible. We’re looking for anything and everything here, and it’s sure not to disappoint!