Immerse yourself in the diverse underwater world of Komodo Island!Since 1991 the Komodo National Park is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is located in the region of the Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara). The Park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands, with a total area of 1817 square km. Originally the park was established as a sanctuary for the Komodo dragons. Later the protection was extended to include the entire flora and fauna, above and below the sea.
This trip will start in Bali and head east toward Komodo, ending in Maumere. We’ll dive some of the lesser visited areas around Moyo, then on to Sangeang, Banta, Rinca & Komodo, Tatawa Besar & Gili Lawa Laut, and end in Maumere on Flores Island.
SangeangA definite highlight is the dive site at the hot underwater springs. These send up gas bubbles from the black sand forming a magnificent contrast to the huge black corals and sea fans. If you look closely here you find pygmy seahorses in big numbers on the sea fans. Other places around the island, such as Masuk Sungai, Bohon Mera and Tanjung Barat offer fascinating dives. Soft and hard corals are fighting for the best places, countless nudibranchs, pipefish, frogfish, seahorses and cuttlefish can be admired.
On the island itself there are two active volcanoes, the Doro Api and Doro Montoi. At the hot and dry coastal area, savannah-like grasslands have formed with shrub vegetation. From the deck of the Pindito you can regularly observe large water buffalo grazing. Due to the volcanic origin the sand is black, which offers a stunning contrast to the remaining vegetation, both above and below water.
BantaBanta has two of the most famous dive sites, the “Banta Wall” and the “GPS point”. With regular strong currents in the open water, these dive sites are just made for big fish encounters. With a little luck you will find swarms of surgeon fish, red snapper, mackerel of all kinds, and of course barracudas, white tip sharks and grey reef sharks. If you like adrenalin rushes, the “Highway to Hell” will top this experience with a roller coaster dive. This beautiful wall, surprises ever again with its varying strong currents. For lovers of night-dives at the cozy “Critters” is a highlight of the tour! Here, all the animals “hang” out in the sand: hunting lionfish, stonefish and wandering octopuses. The stars of the evening, however, are the Stargazers who bury themselves almost unrecognizable in the sand, waiting to be discovered.
Rinca & Komodo The waters around Rinca are fairly cool for this part of the world and can drop to 22 C degrees. A 5-7mm wetsuit is strongly recommended to enjoy the beauty of the Horseshoe Bay. The “Yellow Wall of Texas” and “Cannibal Rock” are world famous sites. They offer many colorful soft corals and feather stars in a small space. Every millimeter is overgrown and invigorat
Another highlight of the tour you are all waiting for is a visit to the Komodo dragons! The Komodo dragon lives exclusively in Indonesia and has its maximum length of 3 meters and weighs more than 70kg. It is the largest living lizard. Due to the enormous size they are referred to as the “dragon”.
Accompanied by a park ranger, our tour through the National Park starts early in the morning. Not only the dragons can be observed at close range, but also macaque monkeys, wild boar, deer and water buffalos. With a bit of luck we can watch the lizards eating. Their saliva is poisonous and their bites kill quickly. The otherwise rather sluggish animals are very active when they hunt and to track their prey. They can reach enormous speeds for up to 15 seconds. Younger lizards prefer rodents and birds, adult lizards can kill bigger animals like deer, wild boars, macaques, snakes, wild dogs and horses. From a hilltop, one has a fantastic view over the valleys and the large bay where Pindito will be on anchor.
Tatawa Besar & Gili Lawa LautThe small island of Tatawa Besar is locatedto the north of Rinca which means warmer waters! The island always has some slight current. It is perfect for a relaxing drift dive along the approximately 1km long island. You drift very relaxed along a slanted slope that is covered with beautiful yellow and orange soft coral. With a bit of luck, Mantas can be seen here.
PinditoOne of the most beloved and longest running liveaboards in all of Southeast Asia the MV Pindito’s crew is unmatched for its diving knowledge and experience in Indonesia.
Standard Package Includes:
- 12 nights aboard the Pindito, twin shared cabin
- All meals, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks (except wine)
- Harbor fees
Pricing:$5,999 per person
- International airfare to Bali (DPS)
- Domestic airfare from Maumere to Bali
- Accommodations and activities before and after the cruise
- Airport – Hotel transfers
- National Park Fee
- Trip Insurance
- Crew tip
- July 8 (or earlier): Arrive in Bali (DPS)
- July 9: Board Pindito in Bali
- July 21: Disembark Pindito in Maumere and fly back to Bali
Divers Alert Network (DAN) or equivalent evacuation insurance is MANDATORY on all trips. Comprehensive Cancellation, Accident, Medical and Baggage insurance such as Dive Assure is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Berkley White is the owner and founder of Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo. Berkley is one of the leading underwater imaging professionals, who’s passion for underwater imaging is equaled by his passion for educating others. His images and articles are regularly seen in national and international scuba diving publications, and he leads several educational underwater imaging expeditions each year, such as The Digital Shootout. To view his online portfolio, please visit berkleywhite.com.
Erin Quigley is a Adobe ACE certified digital imaging consultant specializing in customized workflows and editing strategies using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. She is an award-winning underwater photographer and video editor, and creator of GoAskErin.com, which provides one-on-one instruction, custom video tutorials, and Photoshop and Lightroom resources specifically developed for underwater shooters.