Komodo liveaboard diving is an incredible experience for divers to explore the unique and diverse marine life in the region.
Komodo is located in Indonesia, the Komodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts some of the best diving sites in the world. The park is home to over 1,000 species of fish, 260 species of coral, and a range of large marine life such as: Manta Rays, White Tip Reef Sharks, Mobula Rays, and more.
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Komodo Liveaboard Diving Highlights
Best time to go diving in Komodo
The best time to dive in Komodo is between the months of April to November, when the weather is dry and the water is clear. Diving during these months is better because between November and March the waves can be big, and often impossible for liveaboards to enter into the national park.
During this time, water temperatures range from 26-29°C (79-84°F) so generally a 3mm wetsuit is perfect.
Regardless of the season it is important to know that Komodo is famous for strong currents so divers should expect them. But with the strong currents also come some of the best dives as divers can enjoy sharks feeding or schools of Manta Rays.
From December to March, the monsoon season brings heavy rains and rough seas, making it difficult to dive in Komodo. This time is generally not recommended for diving but this is also the time when we can see Manta migration in the famous spots of Manta Point and Mawan.
Komodo Diving Safety Details
Before embarking on any Komodo liveaboard trip, safety should always be your top priority. When diving in Komodo, it is important to be aware of the currents, as they can be strong and unpredictable. Safety wise, it is recommended that divers have at least an advanced open water certification and a minimum of 25-30 logged dives before diving in Komodo.
When choosing your Komodo liveaboard, note that you will find a lot of options and operators. Some are local, some are foreign owned and ran, each with different standards for safety and different itineraries. Read the reviews before you book your chosen Komodo liveaboard.
In terms of diving equipment, it is recommended that divers bring their own dive gear, it makes all the difference during the several days you will spend on the liveaboard. Most of the Komodo liveaboard operators will provide tanks, weights, and other necessary equipment for rental but you should consider booking in advance because diving equipment is limited on liveaboards.
The Five Most Popular Dive Sites in Komodo
Batu Bolong is a small rock island that rises up from the sea and is home to a wide variety of marine life, including reef sharks, turtles, and schools of fish.
For Komodo Liveaboard, Batu Bolong is by far the most popular dive site because the coral reef is simply stunning. However, the currents at this dive site can be insanely strong, so diving here requires excellent timing.
No surprise that Manta Point is one of the most popular dive sites. This is where divers can see the majestic Manta Rays, which can often be seen feeding on plankton near the surface. This site is suitable for all levels of divers and is a must-visit for anyone who loves diving with these graceful giants.
Snorkeling here is also proper.
Castle Rock is a pinnacle dive site that is home to a huge variety of marine life, but especially reef sharks feeding on schools of fish. With the right currents divers here may need to use reef hooks so it’s mostly recommended for advanced divers.
Crystal Rock is a beautiful dive site with crystal-clear waters and an abundance of marine life. Very similar to Castle Rock, this dive site brings predator species of fish like trevally, snapper, but the highlight are the reef sharks.
Tatawa Besar is generally a drift dive that is suitable for all levels of divers. The entire dive is gliding on top of an amazing beautiful coral reef where you can see a range of marine life, including sharks, turtles, and schools of fish.
How to Arrive in Komodo
Komodo National Park is located in the beautiful region of Flores in Indonesia. The nearest airport is Labuan Bajo International Airport (LBJ), a short 10 minutes away car trip between the airport and the Labuan Bajo harbour.
Komodo is a new travel destination for Indonesia, still largely undeveloped so the flights are also limited although new flights are added yearly. The most easy way to arrive in Komodo is either from Jakarta or from Bali but the Bali flights are most popular because it’s a short 45-60 minutes travel.
Best Diving Itineraries in Komodo
There are just 2 or 3 options for the diving itineraries in Komodo, mostly ranging from short 3-day trips to longer 7 or 10-day trips that cover a wider range of dive sites throughout the Komodo National Park. Here are some of the most popular Komodo diving itineraries for liveaboard trips:
Short Komodo diving liveaboard Trips
North and Central Komodo
This itinerary typically covers the dive sites in the northern and central parts of the Komodo National Park. Divers will dive in dive sites such as Castle Rock, Crystal Rock, and Batu Bolong, but also the manta ray cleaning stations at Manta Point or Mawan. This itinerary is typically 4-5 days long and largely preferred.
Southern Komodo and Flores
With this itinerary divers will visit the dive sites in the southern part of the Komodo National Park, as well as sites off the coast of Flores Island: Cannibal Rock, Yellow Wall, and Manta Alley. This itinerary is typically 5-7 days long.
Extended Komodo Liveaboard trips
Perhaps one of the most popular itineraries that covers the entire Komodo National Park, including the northern, central, and southern areas. Divers will have the opportunity to explore sites such as Tatawa Besar, Siaba Kecil, and the Pink Beach. This itinerary is typically 7-10 days long.
Frequently Asked Questions about Komodo Liveaboard
What is a Komodo liveaboard?
A Komodo liveaboard is a type of tour in which participants stay on a boat for several days while exploring the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. The tour typically includes diving or snorkeling trips, as well as visits to the Komodo dragons, which are the world's largest lizards.
What are the benefits of a Komodo liveaboard?
A Komodo liveaboard allows participants to experience the beauty and diversity of the Komodo National Park in a unique and immersive way. By staying on a boat, participants can easily access different dive sites and remote islands that are difficult to reach by land. Additionally, a liveaboard tour often includes all meals, accommodations, and activities, making it a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the area.
What should I expect on a Komodo liveaboard?
On a Komodo liveaboard, you can expect to spend several days on a boat with other participants, traveling to different dive sites and islands. Most liveaboard tours include multiple dives or snorkeling trips each day, as well as opportunities to go ashore and explore the islands. Meals are typically provided on the boat, and accommodations are in shared cabins. Some liveaboards may also offer additional activities, such as kayaking or hiking.
What are some popular dive sites in the Komodo National Park?
The Komodo National Park is home to a wide variety of dive sites, including Batu Bolong, Castle Rock, and Manta Point, which are known for their vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine life. Other popular sites include Cannibal Rock, Tatawa Besar, and Siaba Besar, which offer opportunities to see rare and exotic species such as pygmy seahorses, frogfish, and manta rays.
Do I need to be an experienced diver to join a Komodo liveaboard?
While some liveaboards cater specifically to experienced divers, many tours are suitable for divers of all levels, including beginners. However, it's important to note that the currents in the Komodo National Park can be strong and unpredictable, so it's recommended that participants have some prior diving experience and are comfortable in the water.
What is the best time of year to go on a Komodo liveaboard?
The best time to go on a Komodo liveaboard is between April and November when the weather is dry, and the waters are calm. However, the peak season is between July and August, so booking in advance is recommended.
What types of marine life can I expect to see on a Komodo liveaboard?
Komodo liveaboards offer the opportunity to see a wide variety of marine life, including manta rays, sharks, turtles, and a vast array of colorful fish and coral.
How long are Komodo liveaboard trips usually?
Komodo liveaboard trips can range from a few days to a week or more, depending on the itinerary and the region you are visiting.
What level of diving experience is required for a Komodo liveaboard?
Most Komodo liveaboards require divers to have at least an Open Water certification. Some boats may also offer beginner-friendly dives, while others require advanced certification.
What is the accommodation like on a Komodo liveaboard?
Accommodation on Komodo liveaboards can vary, but generally, cabins are comfortable and equipped with air conditioning, private bathrooms, and storage space.