Komodo Marine Park has some of the most exhilarating scuba diving in Indonesia. It’s a region swept by strong currents and cold upswellings, created by the convergence of the warmer Flores Sea and the cooler Selat Sumba (Sumba Strait) – conditions which bring in a rich soup of plankton and an astonishing diversity of marine life. Mantas and whales are drawn to feed on the plankton here during their migration from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, while dolphins are also common in the waters between Komodo and Flores.
Due to the strength of the currents in the region, it’s best to ‘tune-up’ to local conditions first at sites such as Sebayur and the Sabolo islands, which have shallow coral plateaus sloping down to sandy bottoms at around 10m. Both also have nice coral bommies and lots of marine life; they’re ideal for inexperienced or ocean-rusty divers. Once you’ve got your buoyancy and confidence sorted, there are over 50 more sites in the Komodo region.
Crystal Rock and the sea mount Full Moon on the north side of Komodo offer nudibranchs and seahorses, batfish and reef sharks. Dozens of mantas can sometimes be seen at Lankoi Bay and Pulau Tala (September to January is the best season), while whale sharks are occasionally spotted at Nusa Kode off the southern coast of Rinca. For a real adrenalin surge, Gili Banta can throw up absolutely anything from huge schools of barracuda to hammerhead, bull and grey sharks. Batu Balong has long been a favourite with divers, but the currents can be ferocious here; sharks, Napoleon wrasse and turtles are seen regularly.
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