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At Mikumba Diving, we offer liveaboard diving experiences at two locations: Komodo and Raja Ampat, but which should you choose? Well thankfully, there isn’t a wrong answer – they’re both fantastic places in their own right. However, it can still be useful to learn the differences between them. From the wildlife below and above the waves, to logistical questions including travel options, let’s answer all your most pressing questions so you can make an informed decision about whether you should dive Komodo, Raja Ampat, or even both! 

 

Biodiversity of Komodo vs Raja Ampat 

 

Komodo Dragons

You’ve probably heard the name “Komodo” before – with the giant reptiles that call Komodo island home, the Komodo Dragons, named after it. But this is just one of the many species you’ll find in Komodo. Komodo has world-renowned biodiversity below the surface too, although it’s worth noting that Komodo Dragons can swim! A plethora of creatures large and small call the Komodo coral reef home, including sharks, mantas, turtles, nudibranchs, and soft and hard corals. Whether above or below the waves, you can’t go wrong in Komodo on a Mikumba Diving Liveaboard. 

You’re not likely to see many Komodo dragons at Raja Ampat, with those particular reptiles tending to stay on and around the island they were named after. However, it’s a scientific fact that Raja Ampat has more underwater species than anywhere else in the world, making it a diver’s paradise. If you simply want to see as many underwater creatures as possible during your dives, experiencing Raja Ampat on a Mikumba Diving Liveaboard is quite literally unbeatable. 

 

Water Conditions of Komodo vs Raja Ampat, and the Best Time to Visit 

Thanks to its proximity to the active Sangeang volcano, Komodo’s water temperatures can vary a surprising amount, ranging from chilly to very hot, including streams of volcanic gases escaping through black sand. The unpredictable and often formidable currents of Komodo can also make diving conditions more challenging, which some more experienced divers might enjoy! 

On the other hand, Raja Ampat has very consistent water temperatures, varying only a couple of degrees at most throughout the majority of the year. Currents are much more gentle than Komodo, making Raja Ampat dives easier. 

While the best time to visit both Komodo and Raja Ampat coral reefs is the respective dry season of each place, these seasons are in opposition to each other. Komodo’s dry season is from April until November, while Raja Ampat’s is from November to April.    

 

Getting to Komodo vs Raja Ampat 

Getting to Komodo couldn’t be easier. Simply board a 60-minute domestic flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo and you’ll land at the border of the national park. From here, the Mikumba Diving Liveaboard vessel will collect you from Labuan Bajo and head out to your first dive site. Dive sites are close together as well, making travel between them quick and easy. 

Getting to Raja Ampat is a little trickier, requiring a flight from Bali to either Makassar or Jakarta, then on to Sorong. From here you can join the Mikumba Diving Liveaboard. The vast size of Raja Ampat and the distance between dive sites can make travel between them more time-consuming. However, once you experience the biodiversity of this amazing place, you’ll feel the effort was well worth it. 

 

Requirements for the Mikumba Diving Liveaboards for Komodo and Raja Ampat 

 

Liveaboards

Our experienced team carefully selects dive sites and schedules based on the skill level of our guests, ensuring a safe and enjoyable diving experience that allows you to fully appreciate the wonders beneath the ocean’s surface in Komodo and Raja Ampat. However, we do require guests have a minimum of Open Water Diver with 10 dives and the deep adventure dive,  recent dive experience within the past six to 12 months is also required – reach out to us if you need any assistance with meeting these minimum requirements and we can assist you.

Guests are responsible for obtaining their travel insurance, personal dive insurance, and trip cancellation insurance, which must not exclude coverage for Acts of God and Force Majeure events. This insurance information must be provided during the booking process. Personal dive insurance should cover the depth of your certification and include provisions for dive accidents, including recompression treatment. For those in need, Mikumba Diving offers short-term DAN insurance for a fee.  

 

Ready to Join the Mikumba Diving Liveaboards for Komodo and Raja Ampat? 

Have we made your decision easier? Or have we made it harder? There’s no shame in doing both! We’d encourage you to have a look at the various itineraries for both Komodo and Raja Ampat and details on the Mikumba Diving Liveaboard vessels. Then hit “Book with us now” in the top right corner and we’ll see you on board soon!