Why should you dive Komodo? The better question would be why shouldn’t you dive Komodo! This stretch of Indonesian paradise is one of the world’s most treasured diving locations. Visited by 150,000 tourists annually, there are many things that make diving Komodo unique. Biodiverse marine life, abundance of drift diving sites, affordability and access to the world’s most elusive and dangerous lizard, the Komodo Dragon, are just a few of the reasons to pack your bags, buy your flight and embark on a thrilling adventure to Flores, Indonesia.
If you aspire to dive Komodo, keep reading for exactly what makes this region of Indonesia so special to so many scuba divers around the world.
Why Should You Dive Komodo?
Incredibly Biodiverse Marine Life
Komodo National Park is widely considered to have some of the best scuba diving in the world…and the best scuba diving in Indonesia. Komodo is awarded this distinction mainly because of its vast biodiversity of marine life.
When you dive Komodo, you’re likely to observe all kinds of exciting underwater creatures. Green turtles, white tip and black tip reef sharks, manta rays, octopus, moray eels and lionfish are all common sightings when you explore the coral reefs of Komodo National Park.
The World Wildlife Foundation estimates that more than 1,000 species of tropical reef fish and 260 species of coral call this UNESCO World Heritage Site home. If you’re really lucky, you might even spot one of our rare marine mammals – like the dugong (a close relative of the manatee) or a whale shark.
Not only are you guaranteed to observe thousands of reef fish, but you’re also likely to see a variety of pelagic fish in Komodo National Park. If you haven’t heard this term before, pelagic fish are fish that inhabit the water column away from the bottom or the shore. These fish, like tuna, have athletic bodies that are well suited to long distance migration and, in Komodo, often arrive with the stronger currents.
Drift Dive Komodo
There are an abundance of dive sites for drift diving around the Komodo Islands. This unique type of diving is when a diver is transported through or around a dive site by water movement.
The Cauldron, or “Shotgun,” is arguably the most famous site for drift diving in Komodo. You’ll enter the water on the left side of the Gili Lawa Laut Reef. From there, a gentle current will carry you towards a deep circular depression referred to as “the Fish Bowl.” Here, you’ll observe manta rays, sharks, snappers and giant trevallies.
The currents in Komodo National Park vary each day in terms of strength, direction and location. This is why it’s so important to dive with a reputable dive center in Labuan Bajo with a strong knowledge of currents and the conditions that affect them, like the lunar cycle.
On a budget? No problem. Affordability is another reason why so many divers travel vast distances to dive Komodo. Although liveaboard boat trips can be pricey, spending days on a liveaboard is not required to experience the best scuba diving in Komodo National Park.
Thankfully, it’s easy to visit Komodo’s best dive sites on a day trip from Labuan Bajo. A full day of diving including three dives, breakfast, lunch, PADI certified guides, the national park entrance fee and round-trip transportation to the best dive sites in Komodo will only set you back around 2.500.000 IDR, or less than 170 USD.
With a wide range of budget accommodations available in Labuan Bajo and affordable eats around every corner, a scuba diving trip to Komodo is definitely possible to do on any budget.
A High Emphasis on Sustainability
The natural beauty of Komodo National Park draws almost 150K tourists to the region each year. We strive to preserve the beauty of our UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as keep the tourists coming. Because of this, sustainability and ecotourism are very important to the local communities in Komodo.
Komodo dive centers and the local community in Labuan Bajo do their part to preserve the natural beauty of the islands and the coral reefs in an attempt to keep them healthy and thriving for years to come.
Local organizations in Labuan Bajo like DOCK, Trash Hero and Green Fins work together to improve the sustainability outlook in the region and prevent things like illegal fishing and overtourism. At Azul Komodo, we’re proud to do our part by keeping our office and dive boat free of single-use plastics. We provide reef safe sunscreen and biodegradable soap to all of our guests. We also offer freshly made vegetarian meals daily to further reduce our carbon footprint.
When you arrive in Komodo National Park, you’ll see why it’s so important to preserve the beauty and serenity of this natural world wonder.
Dive Sites for Every Experience Level
Komodo National Park is home to a wide variety of dive sites. When you dive KNP, you’re guaranteed to find a site perfectly suited to your comfortability and experience level.
Some of Komodo’s dive sites, especially those with strong currents, are more suited towards Advanced Open Water Divers. This would categorize dive sites such as the deeper waters of Batu Bolong, Castle Rock and Crystal Rock. With wall dives, thrilling drift dives and muck diving, Komodo offers a much-needed edge for advanced scuba addicts.
However, there are also plenty of great dive sites for PADI Open Water Course Divers in the waters around Komodo Island. As a beginner diver looking to dive Komodo, we would recommend diving Siaba Besar, Crystal Bay or Sebayur Kecil.
A Chance to See the World’s Only Komodo Dragon Population
Other than scuba diving Komodo, tourists flock to Flores from all corners of the globe to observe Komodo’s claim to fame – the Komodo Dragons.
The Komodo Dragon is the world’s largest and most dangerous lizard. A full grown adult Komodo Dragon can grow to 3 meters long and weigh a whopping 140 kilograms (300 lbs).
To sustain their massive size, Komodo Dragons will eat almost anything, including deer, water buffalo, pigs and smaller Komodo Dragons.
We’ve been scuba diving Komodo’s amazing coral reefs for years. So you can definitely say we’re experts on what makes Komodo National Park so unique. If you’re ready to book your dives in Komodo, click here to get in touch with the Azul Komodo Team of diving professionals.
We hope you enjoyed this guide full of the top reasons why you should dive Komodo! For more content featuring Komodo, Labuan Bajo and scuba diving in Flores, follow us on Instagram @azul.komodo.
-Team Azul Komodo