Sangeang and Banta
The sometimes forgotten volcanic island of Sangeang is one of many customer’s favorite, black sand and fresh water create the perfect habitat for critters, so this is a critters´ fans destination.
Sites with black sandy slopes and black corals offer perfect protection for ghost pipe fish, zeno crabs, tozeuma shrimps, etc.
The gases from the volcano can be seen mixing with the sand. The union of fresh water and volcanic action has helped to develop colorful coral reefs in contrast with the black sand sea bottom. There are few fans in the area, but the ones that are there are favorite places for the pygmy sea horse to settle.
Bontoh is a never-ending critters discovery night dive with tiny baby frog fish, boxer crabs and stargazers among them.
Banta offers a bit more of action; the currents here play an important factor to decide where to dive and when and our DM will be monitoring the tide tables and the currents to dive at the best moment, just before or after slack tide. In the right circumstances dives like “GPS” or “Stairway to heaven” are among the best in Indonesia.
The hard corals are amazing, and if we consider that the status of health of a reef is determined by its hard corals, this place is Mr. Healthy itself! All kind of fish and the always guaranteed presence of pelagics and reef sharks, make this area a “big fish fans” favorite.
K2 with its bommies and sandy bottom gives us a relaxing dive with cuttle fish and turtles sharing territory with mushroom coral pipe fish and pegasus sea moth.
At night another collection of stargazers, bobtail squid, and hungry lion fish…will be performing for us.
North of Komodo
Stunning hard coral gardens, millions of tropical fish, white tips, friendly turtles, schooling barracudas, jacks and rainbow runners happen to be all living in harmony around Gilli Lawa Laut. Especially between June and September the daily show is observed with good visibility and the necessity of a neck massage after the dive will be a priority, you never know where to look, to many things happening at the same time!
Tatawa is a must, the big island has a slope with nice hard corals and is fully decorated with orange soft coral. Expect bumphead parrot fish, cuttle fish and some cruising mantas just to mention a few… The small island of Tatawa gives shelter to lots of sweet lips among its rocks and mantas like to pay us a visit very often, and Batu Bolong completes our journey in the north, a nice wall where encounters with big fish and a couple of big napoleon wrasses will be the highlight.
The upwelling of the Indian Ocean brings waters full of nutrients… and cold water! The visibility drops and the water is cold… so why should we go there, you ask?
Komodo would not be Komodo without Cannibal Rock, the only place we know of where it is almost impossible to find an empty space to park your pointer. Hard and soft corals, crinoids, black coral… the density of invertebrates per square inch, (meter or whatever) is in the top position already for a record of years and it will stay that way.
The menu of the critter’s restaurant in Rinca and Padar is endless, including the elusive blue ringed octopus, rhinophias if we are lucky and not to forget the parade of nudibranches!
Small life only? The lady bugs may agree, orangutan crabs, hairy squat lobsters will join the group, but some others? Ask the giant frog fish! Or the schooling fish! Or… just simply come and decide for yourself.
Still cold? We don’t think so!
Just across the strait we arrive in Tora Langkoi, our tired eyes after so many critters will appreciate the view of bigger stuff. In German flag and Manta alley we will just relax and enjoy the big flying plankton feeders!
This is Komodo, a perfect combination of all kind of diving Indonesia can offer, easy to access and plenty to see. By the way, did we forget to mention the world famous Komodo dragons…where do you think Cannibal Rock got it’s name? ; )
Fly out of Labuan Bajo