8 Days / 7 Nights
You must be a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent and have logged a minimum of 30 dives to join this safari.
As with all diving activities, the dive guide has the final decision regarding any divers competency to complete any particular dive.
This itinerary allows you to dive some of the best sites in the Nusa Tenggara and Komodo National Park areas, finishing with some amazing critter diving in Maumere .
The Nusa Tengarra region covers hundreds of kilometers, navigating through breathtaking scenery such as; volcanoes, mangrove forests and the stunning blue of the wide open sea contrasted with sun-scorched, red earth islands. Komodo offers world class diving and snorkeling in an amazing variety of sites with walls, coral gardens, pinnacles, drop offs as well as quiet bays for macro photographers seeking rarely seen critters in black volcanic sand. Komodo is blessed by a through flow of currents and cold water upwellings flowing to and from the Indian Ocean providing nutrient rich waters where swathes of soft corals, sponges, ascidians and clouds of brightly coloured fish thrive. When the current´s right exhilarating blue water, fish soup diving with explosions of fusiliers, trevallies, sharks and other pelagic fish will leave you mesmerized for hours. Hang out with congregations of Manta Rays while they feed, clean and dance on the shallow reefs and rock formations. Diving in Maumere is considered to be a real muck diving paradise.
The M/V Mermaid II comfortably accommodates 18 guests in a variety of cabins, all have en-suite bathrooms, a fridge, TV and modern amenities for a comfortable journey of discovery. Eight deluxe cabins (main deck) offer panoramic sea views and feature a double bed and single bunk (max occupancy is two), en-suite bathroom and air conditioning. The budget cabin (below deck) features twin bunks, shared bathroom and air conditioning.The boat features a large dive platform at the stern, with two exit ladders and plenty of space and facilities for cameras. The restaurant offers Asian and European cuisine. Take time to relax between dives in the comfortable saloon or up on deck where there are shaded areas available.
The itinerary will vary depend on several factors including, but not limited to, weather, diving ability of guests & the number of other boats already present at the various dive sites.
Moyo Island: Here you will see massive elephant ear, barrel sponges, schools of long fin banner fish, red tooth triggers, frog fish, nudibrancs, eels, surgeon fish, snapper and dog tooth tuna.
Sangeang and Satonda: Sangeang Api, a huge twin peaked volcano thrusting out of the ocean is one of the most active volcanoes in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Two large volcanic cones, 1,949m/6500ft - high Doro Api and 1,795m/5980ft - high Doro Mantoi, are in the centre and on the eastern rim, respectively, of an older, largely obscured caldera. Aside from the stunning mountainous scenery, wild horses and domestic buffalo can sometimes be seen on the beaches. The underwater world of Sangeang is every bit as impressive as the island itself with caves, canyons and mysterious reefs bubbling like champagne due to the volcanic activity below. These volcanic islands have ideal muck diving conditions. Bury your head in the sand to find a whole cache of hidden creatures, such as ghost pipefish, seahorses, frogfish, flatworms, arrow crabs and sea moths, plenty to keep photographers happy.
Gili Banta, The Sape Strait: The imposing and impressively desolate island of Gili Banta sits in the Flores Sea at the top of the Sape Strait, the current washed channel that separates the islands of Komodo and Sumbawa. There is little in the way of vegetation on Banta save for a few sparse trees and bushes growing on the rocky slopes and ledges above the beaches. Majestic sea eagles have made their homes on the vertical rock faces that plunge into the deep blue sea and are frequently seen soaring, swooping and even fighting with each other while hunting for a meal. Gili Banta's main dive sites are situated in and around this north facing bay close to the edges of what is almost certainly the caldera of a massive but long extinct volcano. There are two points on the east and west ends of the bay; one a picturesque and teeming coral reef underneath a rocky peninsula (Starwars), the other a current swept promontory with breathtaking marine architecture ( Rollercoaster). For divers wanting a more sedate time there are some pretty white sand and coral reef sites such as The Circus and K2. These two sites are inside the bay and regularly come up with unusual marine critters and are ideal for underwater photography and night dives in easy calm conditions. The main attraction at Gili Banta however is the infamous GPS Point, a high voltage coral covered underwater mountain and one of the most unpredictable and demanding dives in the Komodo area; but so rewarding when dived in the right conditions at the right time.
Lighthouse Reef: On the corner of the reef behind a very large rock there is a drop off covered in boulders, with many swim holes in between. This is excellent grouper country and if divers are there at the right time, especially in October and November, they will see many aggregate to spawn. Other highlights are the numerous golden trevallies, snappers and occasional huge napoleon wrasses.
Crystal Rock: A sea mound covered with nice soft coral. The fish life is excellent with whitetip and blacktip sharks and grey reef sharks in deeper water. There are also batfish, giant trevallies and dogtooth tuna. The current can be very strong but the water is extremely clear
Pink Beach: An amazing dive site in a small area around a rock that breaks the surface only at low tide. There is a great variety of marine life here with a good selection of critters such as leaf scorpionfish, blueribbon eels, crocodile fish, nudibranchs and more. This site is also excellent for night dives.
Three Sisters: These three submerged pinnacles are located near Padar Island. Each pinnacle is covered in pristine coral and the topography of the site allows it to be dived under a varying conditions. The walls of the pinnacles are covered in soft corals, Tubastrea, and Crinoids and the tops offer stunning hard and soft coral gardens. With little to no current the site offers multiple species of eels, scorpionfish and nudibranchs. More experienced divers can attempt the site on a mild rising or falling tide increasing the chances of seeing big schooling fish and witnessing feeding behaviour around the pinnacles. Look out for hunting giant trevally, great barracuda and eagle rays working their way around these magnificent underwater peaks.
Batu Bolong: At the surface, you can just see a small rock with a hole in it, but underwater it goes deep into the blue down to 70m. The rock is full of marine life with an amazing hard and soft coral cover and numerous cracks. There are some huge schools around the surface, many pelagic fish such as dogtooth tuna, giant trevallies and Napoleon wrasse . Deeper down you can see white tip sharks sleeping on the slope. The current can be very strong and divers must be experienced and take care.
Horseshoe Bay (Nusa Kode) at Rinja Island: One of the top 10 dive sites in the world and a diver’s paradise. The Yellow Wall of Texas is one of the Komodo National Park's signature dive sites, so called because of the proliferation of robust sea cucumbers - they are all over the place and their bright yellow hue dominates the vista. You can also feast your eyes on clown triggerfish cruising around the reef amongst the thousands of fork-tailed fairy basslets and butterflyfish. Not only does the wall itself promise much in the way of entertainment but sharks, manta rays and turtles are all frequent passers-by. Torpedo Alley is famous for its electric rays and one of the best night dives you will do for critter sightings. Cannibal Rock has been described as being in the top five dives on the planet, the site has marginal visibility but more than makes up for it in terms of density of life. This small seamount rises to within a few feet of the surface, and it is easy to circumnavigate in a single dive. Sea apples and other varieties of the sea cucumber family are especially abundant here, as are nudibranchs, puffer fish, octopus, and all weird and wonderful manner of blennies.
Manta Alley: The water clarity can sometimes be only about 40 feet, but the plankton that clouds the visibility also consistently attracts manta rays. Here divers can see manta rays cruising the shallows along the sloping face of the reef, and with a bit of luck and a careful approach can get fairly close.
Maumere: Known for its endemic species and bio-diversity, coral gardens and plenty of interesting marine life such as Trevally, Mackeral, Flatworms and Shrimps abound. South-east of Palau Besar is a current-washed channel where there is a chance to see Sharks and Eagle Rays. At Wairterang there is a Japanese shipwreck lying at 12m–32m depth, some of its body overgrown with hard and soft corals. Schools of trevally, mackerel, grouper and batfish can be seen swimming around its surface and the wreck is a perfect hiding place for all kinds of marine animals. Abundant soft corals and crevices, hiding macro delights such as Frogfish and Pygmy Seahorses with occasional Sharks and Eagles Rays, can be found at Palau Babi.