Duration: 7 Nights
Ports: Bima to Bima
Season: April - October
Located 200 nautical miles east of Bali, the Komodo National Park is nestled between the large island of Sumbawa and Flores in Indonesia, all of which are part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Officially declared a World Heritage Site in 1991, the Komodo National Park encompasses 132,000 hectares of marine waters making it one of the largest protected zones in the world.
Diving in Komodo National Park is best done by liveaboard, which allows you to explore the area to its fullest. The park and surrounding area boasts one of the world's richest marine environments, with over 260 species of reef building coral, 70 species of sponge, marine worms, molluscs, echinoderms, crustaceans, over 1000 species of cartilaginous and bony fish, marine reptiles, and marine mammals. Some notable marine species include pygmy seahorses, anglerfish, nudibranchs, manta rays, dolphins, whales, napoleon wrasse and groupers.
**PLEASE NOTE** the itinerary below is just an example of the route taken and the order and dive sites are not guaranteed. All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.
Day 1- Arrive Bima - 1 dive
Airport meet and greet, transfer to the port and board the SY Indo Siren. After boarding settle into your cabin and assemble your equipment with help from the friendly crew. The boat and dive briefings follow.
- Dive 1- Bima Bay: This is a great location for a check-out dive with the possibility to find some small critters. Juvenile harlequin sweetlips, peacock flounders, oriental bonitos, frogfish, wire- coral shrimps, pineapple headed shrimps and zebra crabs to name just a few.
Day 2- Sangeang Island & Gili Banta - 4 dives
Up to 4 dives at this small and active volcanic island, where lava ridges can be seen leading to pristine hard and soft corals.
- Dive 1- Techno Reef has dark volcanic sand dotted with black coral bushes and is home to critters such as pink squat lobster, popcorn shrimps, ghost pipefish, garden eels, long nose hawkfish and cuttlefish.
- Dive 2- Estuary: pygmy seahorses can be found clinging to the polyps of the sea fans along the reef slope whilst the sandy patches are a fantastic place to spot sawblade shrimp and a wide variety of nudibranchs.
- Dive 3- Hot Rocks: clown triggerfish, box fish, snappers, blue yellowtail blennies and dragonets, brightly coloured anemones really "pop" against the dark sand and the bubbles in the shallow waters are a fascination.
- Dive 4- After 3 dives at Sangeang Island you will cruise to Gili Banta where you make a night dive at the "Circus" where stargazers and blue-ringed octopus can be found. Following our dive we cruise a short distance into the Komodo National Park to anchor in the sheltered bay.
Day 3- Northern Komodo - 4 dives
You will spend the next 3 days diving within the Komodo National Park at a wide variety of dive sites - all offering pristine corals and a wide variety of marine life.
- Dive 1 - Coral Garden. The gentle coral slope with huge sea fans and coral bommies mixed with sandy patches makes for a great site for white tip reef sharks and the occasional eagle ray. We then cruise to Gilli Lawa Laut where we will spend the remainder of the day.
- Dives 2 & 3 - Choosing from Castle or Crystal Rocks dependent on the currents. These off- shore pinnacles barely reach the surface and are a haven for schooling fish. White tips and grey reef sharks are common, schools of fusileers, snappers and surgeon fish line up in the currents. Eagle rays cruise by and Napoleon wrasses are often inquisitive allowing divers to approach for a close up.
- Dive 4 - Night dive in the bay - where mobula and manta rays are known to visit!
Day 4- Komodo Island - 3 dives
- Dive 1- Shotgun! Starting the day with a fast paced dive we head to the reef formed between the island of Gili Lawa Laut. The reef is formed of vibrantly coloured soft corals, large table corals and sea fans. You will spend time at the coral bommies before moving into the channel and the "fish bowl" A deep ravine where the current gathers and schools of trevallies and snappers move in ever tighter formations. After spending time in the Fish bowl divers then face the "shotgun" as the current pushes you up and over the reef slope to drift behind the island and be collected by our attentive dinghy drivers. A truly memorable experience!
- Dive 2 - Batu Bolong - staying along the sheltered side of the reef we can see bumphead parrotfish, white tip reef sharks and manta rays gliding along. For the more adventurous, currents at the islands tip are the place to hang out for large schools of fish. After lunch you will stop at Pink Beach to go ashore for a walk on the wild side with the Komodo Dragons. You visit the ranger station and rangers accompany your group to look for the majestic dragons and their nests, whilst giving talks on the dragons development and unique features.
- Dive 3- Phinisi - sunset or night dive on the Phinis wreck site we can see mandarin fish, schools of bat fish, turtles resting and many critters darting about.
Day 5 - Southern Komodo - 4 dives
We make 3 dives at "Manta Alley" or "German Flag" - where you can expect to see large numbers of manta rays lining up to be cleaned. Hold on to the rocks and watch the graceful mantas glide by; twisting in the currents and making it all look so easy! Schools of surgeon fish, triggerfish and jacks along with numerous macro critters can all be seen but the mantas really do steal the show. Night dive at Pink Beach where we look for crocodile flathead, longnose hawkfish, Coleman shrimps and devil fish.
Day 6 - Komodo Island - 4 dives
- Dive 1 - you return to current city to dive at Batu Bolong or Makassar reef. Manta rays, bumphead parrotfish, white tip reef sharks are just some of the fantastic species we see here.
- Dive 2 - Gili Lawa Laut Lighthouse. Manta rays have made an appearance here, whilst the slopes full with barrel sponges and gorgonians are ideal for finding pink squat lobsters, cuttlefish, octopus and other molluscs.
- Dive 4 - Night dive in the sheltered bay
Day 7 - Gili Banta- 2 dives
- Dive 1- Roller-coaster - Manta rays, dogtooth tuna, rainbow runners, golden and blue fin trevallies. Currents here can be unpredictable and diving the rollercoaster is not recommended for all guests. However the coral garden is fantastic to explore for crustaceans, molluscs and turtles are often seen.
- Dive 2 - K2 a shallow reef slope with bommies and a picturesque coral garden in the shallow perfect for that final safety stop. Manta rays are occasional visitors so looking into the blue is needed from time to time. Ribbon eels, cuttlefish, banded sea snakes and plakobranchs are just a few of the creatures that draw our attention back to the reef. After our second dive we hoist the sails and cruise speedily back to Bima Bay. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon onboard or try your hand at some water-skiing. In the evening the chefs prepare a BBQ feast and you can begin planning your next adventure with blue o two and the Siren Fleet!
Day 8- Disembark Bima
After breakfast say your farewells, disembark the SY Indo Siren at approximately 10am and transfer to Bima Airport for your domestic flight to Bali.
Castle and Crystal Rocks
Two submerged pinnacles, lying just off Gilli Lawa Laut. The pinnacles teem with life and attract large pelagics including eagle rays, grey reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse and scools of snappers and fusileers. All are seen here whilst we hang in the current and watch the show.
Cannibal Rock and Yellow wall
Just two of the dive sites in the area of Nusa Kode. Colder water, as low as 20°C/ 68°F can be experienced here and the water often carries a greenish tinge. But the diving reward far outweighs the need to extra thermal protection! It is here we find the microscopic 'lady bugs', along with rhinopias, frogfish, pygmy seahorses, mantis shrimps and an array of nudibranchs.
As the name suggests this site attracts the manta rays which come regularly to the cleaning stations. It is common to see several mantas lined up at one time. We watch as 'the black bird' gracefully swoops down or hangs effortlessly in the current.
The Unusual Suspects
A favourite for macro photography, with so many weird and wonderful creatures we will often dive this site more than once! Tiny coleman's shrimp and zebra crabs cling to fire urchins, frogfish can be found grouped together, ghost pipefish, harlequin shrimp, sea horses and mimic octopus make this site a real delight.