Komodo Liveaboard Diving
Komodo Liveaboard Diving Includes Manta Rays At Cleaning Stations And Strong Drift Dives At The Cauldron
Popular Komodo Liveaboards
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Liveaboard Diving in Komodo
Komodo liveaboard diving is about nutrient rich waters with manta rays at Manta Alley and Manta Point, Nudibranchs and macro life at Rinca, a swirling drift dive at The Cauldron and muck dives at Bima. Komodo liveaboards typically offer up to three dives per day and a possible fourth night dive too.
Komodo liveaboards are exciting for two main reasons, seeing Komodo Dragons on land excursions and diving in seas that have abundant marine life with thriving pristine corals in Komodo National Park.
“These volcanic islands are inhabited by a population of around 5,700 giant lizards, whose appearance and aggressive behaviour have led to them being called ‘Komodo dragons’. They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution. The rugged hillsides of dry savannah and pockets of thorny green vegetation contrast starkly with the brilliant white sandy beaches and the blue waters surging over coral.“UNESCO
Underwater in Komodo National Park you will find teaming shoals of fish, vibrant coral reefs, seahorses, pigmy seahorses, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, cuttlefish, octopus, nudibranchs of all shapes, colours and sizes, turtles, box fish, frogfish, trevally, snapper, sunfish, manta rays, spotted eagle rays, dolphins, pilot whales, sharks and lots more besides.
When Can You See Mantas in Komodo?
The best time to see manta rays in Komodo is in December, which is the start of the rainy season in Komodo. Larger numbers of manta rays can be seen from December through March, which is when these gentle giants come to the shallow waters of Komodo National Park.
The Best Dive To See Manta Rays Komodo
The best places to see Manta Rays in Komodo National Park are Manta Point and Manta Alley. Manta Alley is a shallow drift dive where divers watch manta rays float by and Manta Point is where mantas are cleaned of parasites at this cleaning station.
Best Time to Dive in Komodo
The best time to dive in Komodo and Komodo marine reserve is from March to October, but Komodo is a year-round diving location. The best time to dive in Komodo for good visibility is November to January when visibility is 30+ metres (99+ feet).
The best time to dive Komodo for manta rays is in the rainy season, which is from December to March.
If you are are likely to suffer seasickness on a liveaboard, you need to be aware that from January to March the sea can be a bit choppy, so you may want to miss these months. Sea conditions are not too bad, but tend to be worse in the northern dive locations.
The water temperature ranges from a low in July of 25.7°C (79.1°F) to a maximum of 31.1°C (87.1°F) in December. Water temperatures remain high from October through April averaging of between 27-30°C (80.6-86°F), which is very warm.
Water temperatures in Komodo means you only ever need a 1-2mm wetsuit at most, but if you don’t feel the cold a shorty or even a rash vest will be sufficient in the warmer months.
Table of Komodo National Park liveaboards
This list of Komodo liveaboards is in descending customer rating order, so the liveaboards with the highest customer rating will be at the top of the list. To filter this table for the features that are important for your Komodo National Park liveaboard trip, select from the list of filters below.
|Discover Liveaboard||Customer Reviews||Price Per Day|
|Review: Jakaré; Book: Jakaré||10 Exceptional||from £255; $311; €291|
|Review: Leyla; Book: Leyla||10 Exceptional||from £267; $326; €304|
|Review: Cahaya Bersama; Book: Cahaya Bersama||10 Exceptional||from £197; $240; €225|
|Review: MV Tarata; Book: MV Tarata||10 Exceptional||from £166; $203; €189|
|Review: Seven Seas; Book: Seven Seas||10 Exceptional||from £378; $461; €431|
|Review: MV Seaisee; Book: MV Seaisee||10 Exceptional||from £281; $343; €320|
|Review: Scubaspa Zen; Book: Scubaspa Zen||10 Exceptional||from £450; $549; €513|
Note: The above “Price Per Day” was correct at the time of producing this article, as was the exchange rate used to convert the GBP cost to US Dollars and Euros. For an up-to-date cost for your chosen liveaboard, please visit the “Book” link above.
Dive Sites Of Komodo National Park
A Komodo liveaboard cruise gives divers the chance to dive many dive sites, which include the following:
- Manta Alley, which is possibly the most famous dive site in Komodo National Park, which is known for diving with manta rays. Manta Alley is located in the far south in the bay of Komodo Island. The section of the ‘alley’ dived is at a depth of 10-15 metres (33-49 feet). There is often a strong current at this dive site (see video below).
- Manta Point is where manta rays come to get cleaned of parasites, as this is a manta ray cleaning station. There are often a number of mantas here, each waiting their turn to be cleaned. Manta Point is located close to Komodo island on the northeast side. You may also find eagle rays and reef sharks here too.
- Batu Bolong (or Hollow Rock) is a small rock that lies between Komodo and Tatawa where the bottom is at about 70 metres (230 feet). Batu Bolong has a healthy coral reef where you’ll find huge shoals of fish, including tuna, together with Napoleon wrasse and whitetip reef sharks. Currents can be strong at this dive site, which means it isn’t good for beginners divers.
- Castle Rock is located north of Komodo Island on the north side of Gili Lawa Laut. The currents can be very strong on this dive, which has a number of pinnacles rising up to up to 4 meters (13 feet) below the surface and drop to 24 metres (79 feet). A great dive for whitetip reef sharks, blacktip sharks and dolphins, together with barracudas, jacks, trevallies, plus large shoals of fusiliers and surgeon fishes.
- Crystal Rock is a pinnacle that just breaks the surface at low tide, which is only a few hundred meters from Castle Rock. At Crystal Rock you are likely to see Napoleon wrasse, sweetlips, snappers, giant trevally, turtles, cuttlefish and whitetip reef sharks. There are also very strong currents here, so Castle Rock is best dived on a slack tide.
- The Cauldron (also known as The Shot Gun) is in the North area of the Komodo National Park, between Gilli Lawa Laut and Gilli Lawa Darat. The Cauldron is a sloping coral reef reaching down to a white sandy bottom at about 23 metres (75 feet), which is a huge basin carved into the seabed by the currents, which is what gives it the name “The Cauldron“. At The Cauldron you will enjoy the thrills of a fast drift dive. On the approach to the drift dive, you will find garden eels, glass fish, whitetip reef sharks, manta rays, stingrays, and small critters such a frogfish and nudibranchs (see video below).
- Cannibal Rock is a small seamount located in the Southern part of Komodo National Park, in Loh Dasami Bay, between Rinca and Nusa Kode Island. Cannibal Rock is an easy dive as it is in the shelter of the bay, which makes it suitable for beginner divers.
- Rinca Island is a great place for nudibranchs and macro critters, making it the perfect location for underwater photographers. The water around Rinca island is ringed with beautiful coral reefs and is swept by fierce currents, which makes for a challenging dive and one that’s not suitable for beginner divers. Diving at Rinca Island offers encounters with sharks, rays and tunas. Rinca Island is also where you get the chance to see Komodo dragons on the beach.
- Sangeang Island is an interesting active volcanic island. Sangeang Island consists of two volcanic cones, Doro Api and Doro Mantoi. Sangeang is one of the most active volcanoes in the Lesser Sunda Islands. The island has bubbling black sand at bubble reef. The bubbles come from underwater vents beneath the island.
- Bima dive site is a great muck diving site where you will find calm waters. The seabed at first site looks bland and uninteresting, until you start to see that it is full of nudibranchs, with the chance to see blue-ringed octopus, Mimic octopus, White V octopus and Wonderpus too. Other strange creatures found on the seabed at Bima inlet include zebra crab, Coleman shrimp, thorny seahorses, ghost pipefishes, frogfish, puffer fish and porcupine fish. Bima offers a great night dive too to see fighting crabs and shrimp.
I hope you enjoyed this page about Komodo liveaboard diving
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about Komodo liveaboard diving), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.
Have fun and be safe!
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