Komodo National park has one of the richest marine environments in the world!
Our first Komodo dive was in 1973 off the Pink Sand Beach. I will never forget the excitment I felt as I drifted down into that virgin wonderland of colour and action. Great schools of fish swirled through the water, brilliant corals and ascidians festooned the walls, the songs of whales filled our ears. We knew then we had found a very special place. Valerie Taylor.
The Komodo National Park is one of the most diverse and rich marine environments in the world, with over 1000 species of fish and 250 species of reef building corals. The park has two distinctly different marine environments in the north and south of the park. And the conditions in the park change seasonally. There are over 50 regularly visited dive sites.
Komodo is an exiting and can be a challenging place to dive. It is our job to make sure that the dive sites selected are suitable and safe, and that all of our guests are comfortable with the diving program . Please be sure to use an experienced responsible dive operator and guide, and also check that the dive sites visited are suitable for your experience level.
In addition to the diverse marine habitat, Komodo offers a complete range of diving conditions:
Current dives; gentle drift dives; walls of color; monumental boulders, caves and swim-throughs; colourful reefs; seamounts and pinnacles; both black and white sand slopes, muck dives. Large pelagic fish, mantas, 18 species of cetaceans, whale sharks, dugongs, green and hawksbill turtles and much more is waiting to be discovered.
What about the Currents in Komodo?
Most of the dive sites in Komodo are affected by current. The strong tidal flow running north and south through the park is also a part of what make it so special. The constant flow, combined with nutrient rich water from upwellings, works more or less like marine hydroponics…constantly bring in new food to the filter feeders and plankton feeders, such as corals, small fish and Manta’s!
The strength of the current primarily varies throughout the month along with the lunar cycle, and also can vary throughout the year in conjunction with spring and neap tides. Naturally stronger currents are associated with new and full moons.
We need to run our itineraries with the currents in mind. And of course the experience and preferences of the guests. We might choose to do certain dive sites whilst there is a reasonable amount of current ( to help promote the chance of encounters with shark and other big fish) or choose one of the drift dives for this time of the tidal cycle. Wether we choose a more protected site, or the slack tide to dive certain sites, will be the final decision of the guide.
Whilst we have a very good handle on the conditions on the sites, unexpected changes can still occur. So please pay attention to the briefing and your guide whilst in the water! And give feedback based on your experiences.
Northern marine environment of Komodo National Park:
- Average water temperature: 27 – 28 degrees C (80 – 82 F)(Recommend Min 3 mm Short Suit)
- Visibility: 25-35 meters +
In the north the water is warm and very clear. The marine-life is similar to that found in most tropical seas. The coral reefs in the north of the park are rich and colorful combinations of hard and soft corals. Be delighted by the ever
present schools of Anthias, Wrasses, the majestic Angel Fish, and the larger predators; reef sharks and Giant Trevally. Sport divers tend to prefer the conditions in the north year round. Generally speaking the best season for diving conditions in the North is from April through December.
Southern marine environment of the Komodo National Park:
- Average water temperature: 23-24 degrees C (73 – 75 F)(Recommend Min 3+ mm full length suit and hood.)
- Visibility:7 – 18 meters
From Pantai Merah (Pink Beach) and further south, you move into the cooler plankton rich water upwelling from the depths of the Indian Ocean. The upwellings, caused by ocean currents colliding with the continental shelf, force an endless supply of planktonic food in to the area and result in an explosion of marine-life. The reefs in the south are vibrant in soft coral life, large branching corals, and fans.
The invertebrate life here is amazing, and loved by experienced divers and photographers year round. You can see so much, but it is especially rich for invertebrates. There is just so much, nudibranchs, holythurians, frog fish, pygmy sea horse, torpedo rays, and of course the larger filter feeders: such as Manta rays.
For sport divers the best season for diving in the south is from October through April, as we frequently get clearer warmer water flooding the sites. (The north west monsoon can make for rainy and windy condition during January and February, but south is protected, and the weather is still mostly fine during the period.)