Dive Sites

Komodo & other Islands

Dive sites in Satonda/Balahai:

Crab by Oliver Michaelis

Satonda: fringing reef around a small volcanic island; easy dives, good visibility, none to slight current; ideal for ‘warm-up’-dives. Selection of possible animals: turtle; cuttlefish; pygmy seahorse ‘Denise’; ornate ghost pipefish etc.

Balahai: Muck dive site; black sand slope with sea grass patches; rich macro fauna, many critters. Selection of possible animals: seahorse; pipefish; robust and ornate ghost pipefish; mimic octopus; wunderpus; nudibranchs; flying gurnard etc.

Dive sites in Gili Lawa Laut:

Castle Rock, Crystal Rock: submerged rocks, very clear water, typically current swept. Selection of possible animals: impressive schools of fish (giant trevally, sweetlips, snappers, rainbow runners, etc.); sharks (whitetip reef shark, silky shark, grey reef shark); turtles (green sea turtle and hawksbill sea turtle); dolphins; napoleon wrasse; giant grouper; eagle ray; etc.

Lighthouse turtle

El Toro, Shot gun: drift dives between islands. Selection of possible animals: huge schools of fish (giant trevally, sweetlips, snappers, rainbow runners, etc.); shark (white shark and blacktip reef shark); schools of bumphead parrotfish; manta ray etc.

Gili Lawa Darat Bay: Night dive site. Formations of living acropora with lots of small animals hiding between the branches. Selection of possible animals: Spanish dancer; sleeping turtle; nudibranchs; cuttlefish, bobtail squid etc.

Toko Toko: small isle. Main reason to dive around it is the chance to meet mantas or mobula rays.

Lighthouse: drop-off, strong current, for experienced divers only. Selection of possible animals: pelagic zone fish live (all sorts of sharks, tunas, trevallys etc.); known as a grouper spawning site & occasionally large quantities of very big groupers.

Dive site of Slawi Bay:

Slawi Bay, ‘Sea Cucumber City’: coral bommies on a grey and yellow sand slope. Selection of possible animals: frogfish; nudibranchs; stingray; rare sea cucumbers; crabs and other crustaceans etc.

Dive Sites in Nusa Kode:

Beauforts crocodilefish by Reinhard Dirscherl

Cannibal Rock: submerged rocks completely covered by a bewildering variety of soft and hard corals, sponges, black coral bushes, feather stars, etc. Selection of possible animals: frogfish; leaf scorpionfish; crocodilefish; rhinopias; whitetip reef shark; octopus; marbled electric ray; cuttlefish; nudibranchs; sea apples; fire urchins with zebra crabs and Coleman shrimps; critters in general but also schools of fish…

Yellow Wall of Texas: vertical, in places even overhanging, drop-off covered from top to bottom in yellowish dendronephthya (soft corals), very impressive. Selection of possible animals: turtle; sea snake; cuttlefish; frogfish; sea apple; ‘clouds’ of fairy basslets etc.

Torpedo Alley and Pasir: macro dive sites; habitat of small coral bommies scattered over a grey and brown sand slope; normally very shallow dives, very popular among photographers. Selection of possible animals: torpedo ray; ghost pipefish; nudibranch; large variety of crustaceans; Blue-ringed octopus; flamboyant cuttlefish; rhinopias; wobbegong shark etc.

Boulders: big boulders scattered over a rubble slope inhabited by anemones, soft corals, alcyonacea (fan corals, whip corals). Selection of possible animals: pygmy seahorse ‘Bargibanti’; orang-utan crab; octopus; ribbon eel; nudibranchs; crocodilefish etc.

Crinoid Wall: wall with a lot of cracks and crevices. Selection of possible animals: turtle; nudibranchs; moray eel; octopus; leaf scorpion fish; frogfish; groupers in small caves; white tip reef shark; chance of passing a whale shark, manta ray, etc.

Batu Luar: submerged rock in quite exposed location, therefore often a lot of swell and current. Selection of possible animals: sharks (whitetip reef shark, grey reef shark); very big barracuda; giant trevally; chance of hammerhead shark etc.

Dive site in Lehok Sera:

Lehok Sera Phinisi wreck: small wreck of a wooden phinisi boat, nice atmosphere for night dives. Selection of possible animals: rare species of cardinal fish; nudibranchs; large variety of sea squirts; mandarinfish; a lot of different shrimps and other crustaceans etc.

Dive sites in Langkoi:

Two mantas

Manta Alley: THE site for encounters with manta rays. Often quite a lot of swell. Dive site around and off a group of rocky outcrops. Very big chance to see schools of manta rays – very often we make two dives on this dive site. Selection of possible animals (apart from manta): whitetip reef shark; bumphead parrotfish; mola mola (ocean sunfish); also not bad for macro, although for obvious reasons often overlooked: ribbon eel; nudibranchs; blue ring octopus etc.

German Flag: another dive site for manta rays (the only times we dive this place are the rare occasions when we fail to have mantas on Manta Alley)

Langkoi Pinnacle and Langkoi Rock: submerged (one entirely, the other one partially) rocks off the south coast of Komodo, mainly known for the possibility to see schools of hammerhead sharks. Also from the point of view of underwater landscape very impressive dive sites, however, only for very experienced divers, conditions (swell, currents, and vertical drop off into the dark blue depth) can be extremely difficult. Due to their exposed location and sea conditions, these two sites are hardly ever accessible during the classical Komodo season (July – mid-October). Selection of possible animals: shark (white tip reef; grey reef; hammerhead); octopus; grouper; eagle ray…

Dive sites in Padar:

Pillarsteen, Payung, Three Sisters and W Reef: Rock formations with vertical walls, swim through small caverns, covered completely by small corals. Selection of possible animals: giant trevally; sea apples; turtle; white tip reef shark; napoleon wrasse; bumphead parrotfish…

Secret Garden: Very pretty dive place off a rocky outcrop, picturesque atmosphere with big black coral bushes and small caverns, chance to see manta rays. Selection of possible animals: ghost pipefish; leaf scorpion fish; schools of thousands of glassfish; juveniles of different sweetlip species; nudibranchs; squat lobster; ribbon eel etc.

Pasir Putih: Night dive site; small coral bommies on a white sandy bottom. Selection of possible animals: wide variety of nudibranchs and shrimps; bobtail squid; ghost pipefish; Spanish dancer etc.

Dive site in Wainilu:

Bluering octopus by Reinhard Dirscherl

Wainilu: Dive site for twilight/ sunset or night dives, chance to see mandarin fish just before nightfall. Not a very pretty dive site, gentle slope covered by rubble of dead acropora and padina algae, however, excellent spot to meet rare species. Selection of possible animals: harlequin shrimp; nudibranchs; sea hare; bobtail squid; octopus; devilfish; one of the waspfish family; pictured dragonet; fingered dragonet etc.

Dive sites in North Lintah strait:

Batu Bolong: small rocky outcrop, which is the top of a pinnacle whose northern flank drops vertically into the abyss; typically crystal clear water; coral growth on the drop off in pristine condition; truly spectacular dive site! Selection of possible animals: whitetip reef shark; turtle; huge clouds of fairy basslets; napoleon wrasse; huge sweet lips; moray eel; octopus; mackerel among others, the bigeye trevally; sea snakes; nudibranchs etc.

Tatawa Besar: drift dive along a sloping fringing reef, very healthy hard corals and huge barrel sponges. Selection of possible animals: manta ray; cleaning stations for groupers; moray eel; turtle etc.

Tatawa Kecil: a pretty and diverse underwater landscape is the defining feature of this dive site off a small islet; due to its occasionally very strong currents this site is also known as ‘Current City’. Selection of possible animals: schooling fish; giant trevally; white tip reef shark; turtle; manta ray; eagle ray; tuna; etc.

Dive sites in Gili Banta:

Small world: Night dive site. White sandy flat surrounded by hard coral reef. Also known as Circus or Gazer Beach. Selection of possible animals: a member of the family of stargazers; frogfish; octopus; many crabs and shrimps; nudibranchs etc.

K2:  Night dive site. Hard coral reef. Selection of possible animals: bobtail squid; nudibranchs; longtail carpet sharks; stingray; Spanish dancer etc.

Dive sites in Sangeang:

Two clown anemonefishes by Reinhard Dirscherl

Hot Rocks and Black Forest: Dive sites off a volcano or rather on the flanks of an active volcano. Black sand with yellow areas (sulfur deposits). In places gaseous sulfur is seeping out from the ground, creating an underwater Jacuzzi with a warm sea floor! Further down the slope actual ‘forests’ of black coral bushes – the vibrant, almost fluorescent colors of these bushes, contrasted by the black sand, create an almost surreal, magical atmosphere! Selection of possible animals: barracuda; jacks; pygmy seahorse ‘Bargibanti’ and ‘Denise’; ghost pipefish; leaf scorpion fish; frogfish; Jenkins’ whipray; longnose hawkfish; nudibranchs etc.

Deep Purple and Canyon: steep black sand slopes with mini drop offs and underwater ‘gorges’; very beautiful scenery with brilliantly colored black coral bushes and whip corals dotted around. Selection of possible animals: schools of big-eyed jacks; nudibranchs; xeno crab; stingray; frogfish; ghost pipefish; etc.

Pantai Kerbau and Masuk Sungai: gentle grey sand slopes with black coral bushes; good macro dive sites. Selection of possible animals: nudibranchs; ghost pipefish; frogfish; crabs and shrimps; schools of bannerfishes; turtle; octopus; stingray; dart goby; shrimp goby; mantis shrimp; blue spiny lobster etc.

Dive site in North of Bima:

Batu Putih: great dive site for night dives. Rubble plateau with coral bommies. Selection of possible animals: bobtail squid; moray eel; nudibranchs; Spanish dancer; slipper lobster; coral catshark; crocodilefish; wide variety of crustaceans; etc.

Dive sites in Moyo:

Angel Reef and Panjang Reef: sandy or rubble reef flat to about ten meters, then vertical drop offs with a lot of fan corals. Selection of typical animals: pygmy seahorses ‘Bargibanti’ and ‘Denise’; schools of red-toothed triggerfish; ghost pipefish; garden eels etc.

Little Angel: little hill piercing the surface, sandy to about 10 meters, then wall with sea fans on one side and coral covered slope on the other. Selection of possible animals: pygmy seahorse; frogfish; grouper; stingray; nudibranchs; etc.