Komodo and Rinca Divesites
Komodo and Rinca Islands offer a great diversity of diving options. There are colourful hard and soft coral reefs, home to thousands of reef fish that can be enjoyed by all levels of diver. There are also high adrenaline dive sites with extremely strong currents where sharks, manta rays and other pelagics can be seen.
Located to the east of Sumbawa Island and to the west of Flores Island in the Nusa Tenggara, most divers visit the Komodo area by liveaboard, usually sailing from Bali or Flores. In a week long cruise you can see the smallest pigmy seahorse, the largest whale shark and everything in between. You'll run out of space in your logbook to record all the species that can be see in Komodo which has one of the most diverse marine environments anywhere on the planet.
The seas are fed with nutrients from the deep upwellings which also bring cool waters, sometimes as low as 20°C. Of course the nutrients provide the food that pelagics come looking for. Mola Mola (Oceanic Sunfish) also love those cool waters. Between the islands the sea changes from deep to shallow and when the tides change, water is forced though the channels at speeds often too fast for boats to make way against. Reef hooks are often needed to stay on a dive site, an experienced captain and divemaster are essential and some liveaboards even provide personal location beacons just incase divers are swept away in the current.
The area is now protected above and below the water with national park status. Dynamite fishing, once a problem in the northern parts of Komodo, is now a thing of the past and damaged reefs are recovering. Southern dive sites were less bombed and are in excellent condition. In 1996 the Komodo National Park was declared a World Heritage site.
Liveaboards run all year round. Dive sites will vary depending on the time of year that you visit. Seas can be rough to the north of Komodo from January to March and to the south and Rinca from July to August. November to January provides the best visibility for Komodo diving which is often around 30m. The southern dive sites tend to have cooler water than the sites in north Komodo.
Overall Komodo will suit experienced divers who want a variety of large and small marine life away from the diving crowds.