Our experience diving in the Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Our experience diving in the Komodo National Park, Indonesia

The Komodo National Park just off the Flores island in Indonesia was some of the best scuba diving we’ve ever experienced. After learning to dive Koh Tao in Thailand, fun diving in Thoddoo island in the Maldives, Okinawa in Japan and in Palawan in the Philippines, we had very high expectations.

WARNING: you will be spoilt rotten diving here and everything afterwards will pale into comparison.

Spotting reef sharks while diving at the Komodo National Park Flores Indonesia

Stefan spotted a reef shark, no 2…no wait 3 while diving in Komodo national park!

WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT DIVING IN THE KOMODO NATIONAL PARK?

The waters surrounding the Komodo National Park form part of the Coral Triangle, which contains one of the richest marine biodiversity on earth: a paradise for divers. It was even selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2011.

Beautiful diving in the Komodo National Park

A beautiful angelfish at the Castle Rock reef in North Komodo National Park

The Coral Triangle is the global centre of marine biodiversity, holding 75% of the world’s coral species, 6 of the world’s 7 marine turtle species and 3000 marine fish species.

The Komodo National Park is located at the Southern end of the Coral Triangle, forming part of the Lesser Sunda chain of Indonesian islands:

Map of the Coral Triangle around Komodo National Park, Indonesia

The Coral Triangle: a paradise for scuba divers

Labuan Bajo on Flores island is the transport hub into the Komodo National Park. It has a brand new airport built in 2014 with flights to other international destinations in Indonesia like Bali.

Map of Komodo National Park, Labuanbajo on Flores island

Map of Komodo National Park near Labuan Bajo on Flores island

The Komodo National Park is also the meeting point of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Pacific Ocean towards the Northeast has a sea level of 150 millimetres above average, whilst neighbouring Indian Ocean in the South is 150 millimetres below. This 30cm difference causes a tidal flow from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, bringing with it nutrients and plankton to keep these waters rich and well fed.

The result is a plethora of wildlife but with strong currents, making the diving more suitable (and fun) for advanced/experienced divers.

Diving in the Komodo National Park: The Cauldron reef strong current

Strong current dragging us along the sea bed at the Cauldron dive site in the North Komodo National Park

THE DIVE SITES IN KOMODO NATIONAL PARK

The dive sites are typically affected by the seasons. The Northern dives sites around Castle Rock are rougher and not easy to dive between December to March, but the South diving sites are smoother during this time.

The Pacific waters keep the Northern dive sites warmer, with an average of 26 degrees celsius (79 Fahrenheit). The South is affected by the colder Indian ocean, with an average temperate of 24 degrees celsius (75 Fahrenheit).

We visited in September and with 30 dives under our belt, we were experienced enough to tackle the more remote dive sites around Castle Rock.

Diving in the Komodo National Park dive sites

Dive sites in the Komodo National Park

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE

After a few dives, you’ll become so blasé about seeing another reef shark and another turtle. Not to mention schools of tropical fish everywhere, moray eels, giant trevallies and so much more.

Here’s a few of our favourite friends and highlights whilst diving in the Komodo National Park:

Stef Seb diving at the Komodo National Park

The Nomadic Boys getting ready to meet their friends in the Komodo National Park

#1 Shakira the black tip reef shark

We saw sharks in nearly every single dive in the Komodo National Park, mainly black tip reef sharks and at one point a large grey reef.

At the Crystal Rock reef, Stefan found Shakira the white tip reef shark and they bonded. Shakira usually grows up to Stefan’s height of 170cm (5ft 7), sometimes more.

Spotting a reef shark diving at the Komodo National Park Labuanbajo Flores

Stefan with Shakira the white tip reef shark at the Komodo National Park

#2 Tatiana the Turtle

Tatiana the Turtle insisted on following us around the Komodo National Park during every dive. We just couldn’t get rid of her! Well, who are we to complain?

Turtle during our diving at the Komodo National Park Flores island

Tatiana the Turtle insisted on following us in all our dives in the Komodo National Park

#3 Moray eels fighting

The moray eels we saw were not really ones you’d want to befriend too quickly. They were a mean pair and quite angry at something. In all our dives to date, we’d only seen moray eels popping their mouth out from the rocks. But during our dive at the Crystal Rock reef, we saw these 2 moray eels out in the open fighting.

We thought they were mating or courting with each other at first, but their behaviour was too aggressive (in a manner not too dissimilar to when Sebastien tries to steal Stefan’s food…)

#4 Just existing within this tropical underwater paradise

At the end of the day, this is what it’s all about, just “existing” alongside this incredible underwater heaven and watching it swim by around you…

Tropical heaven at the Cauldron Reef in Komodo National Park

The tropical underwater heaven at the Cauldron reef at the Komodo National Park

But let’s be honest, spotting the occasional big fish does make it that little bit more exciting.

Giant Napolean wrasse spotted when diving at the Komodo National Park

Stefan spotting a Napoleon wrasse almost the size of him while diving at the Komodo National Park

Stefan spotting another shark diving at the Komodo National Park

Stefan spotting (another!) shark during our diving at the Komodo National Park with Blue Marlin

CHOOSING A GOOD DIVING COMPANY

We chose to dive with Blue Marlin Komodo, a well established diving company, who we found on Tripadvisor and has over 25 years diving experience in Indonesia. They have an excellent reputation with diving schools on Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and at Senggigi on Lombok island.

Their equipment is all new and what we liked most of all is they don’t pack their boats with people.

Stef and Anna on speed boat going to Komodo dive site, Flores

Stefan and our instructor Anna enjoying the space on our Blue Marlin speed boat at the Komodo National Park

We also liked that Blue Marlin were one of the few dive companies with a speedboat, so you reach the remote dive sites quicker then them and have the site all to yourself.

Speedboat to the Komodo National Park dive sites

Feeling all James Bond on the Blue Marlin speedboat making our way to the North Komodo National Park dive sites

Dives with Blue Marlin are very competitive, offering 2 fun dives with an outrigger for $85 or 3 dives with a speedboat for $190. The speedboat option means you can go further and quicker. They also offer Open Water and Advanced courses for $420.

Stef and Seb getting ready to dive Komodo National Park

The Nomadic Boys on board the Blue Marlin speedboat preparing for diving in the Komodo National Park

WHERE TO STAY IN LABUAN BAJO

The diving schools will usually offer discounted accommodation if you choose one of their packages.

We chose to stay with the accommodation packaged offered by Blue Marlin Komodo because they offer excellent rooms, modern, comfortable, with a delicious breakfast and a beautiful view from our private balcony every evening:

Sunset view from our room in Labuanbajo

Sunset view from our private balcony at our room at Blue Marlin Komodo in Labuan Bajo

Blue Marlin is the only PADI 5 Star Resort in Labuan Bajo and they also offer a liveaboard option on their Bajo Baji sailboat.

Bajo Baji liveaboard for diving in Komodo National Park, Labuanbajo

The Blue Marlin Bajo Baji liveaboard in Labuan Bajo, Flores island

As we warned at the start, diving in the Komodo National Park will set your scuba bar very high and will be very very hard to beat!

Diving in the Komodo National Park Flores Island, Indonesia

Diving in the Komodo National Park was our favourite scuba diving experience

Read more about our scuba diving experience in the Komodo National Park on Mr Hudson Explores.

You may also like:

16 Comments

  1. Philipp

    One of the best dive spots I have ever been too….. Diving Castle Rock was as amazing as scuba diving can get…. The only annoying thing the constant shouting of the muezzin … but yeah, what can you do. Cool that you explored it ….. Cheers, Philipp

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks for your comment Philipp- my god that Muezzin!!!

      Reply
  2. Mar

    Actually you are very right about the speedboat. I went on a regular boat and it was a very tiring experience. The area is large and it took us 3h to reach the five spots after collecting every one at their resorts, then you dive twice and back. We woke up early and spent over 7h on a crowded boat, it was exhausting. By the end of Day1 we didn’t want to go back to dive. I think if I return to Komodo these guys at Blue Marlin will be my choice. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks for the comment Mar. You’d love it on Blue Marlin’s speed boat- very James Bond 🙂

      Reply
  3. Ian

    Absolutely Amazing!!! Fantastic photos!!!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Yogs!

      Reply
  4. vira

    this is an awesome ‘report’ on diving in Komodo NP! So have you dived somewhere else after Komodo?

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks for your comment Vira. We did some dives in Gili T after yes.

      Reply
  5. andrew

    That looks like some great diving guys! I remember snorkeling around the gili islands and seeing some great stuff. We wanted to head over to komodo island to see the dragons but it was too expensive, perhaps the new airport has reduced prices.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Andrew. We flew from Bali to each – a bit cumbersome but far cheaper.

      Reply
  6. Guapo

    Just know this site. I just want to say i don’t care whereever u go, u two so super duper cute n full of love i can see from ur pictures. U two must be lucky meet each other. Wish i can hug you two.

    Big hug & kisses
    From
    South korea

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Awwww thanks Guapo 🙂

      Reply
  7. Sadie

    So many sharks! and nice video of the eels! I’ve heard great things about diving off Komodo and was thinking about getting my DM there on one of the live aboards.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Sadie – you’d LOVE it 🙂

      Reply
  8. Beata

    The water looks so amazing ! It have to be amazing experience 😀

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks

      Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find gay friendly hotels

Purple roof gay friendly accomodation

Pin It on Pinterest

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive our latest travel stories, exclusive deals, travel tips. We are also offering a free ebook revealing the 10 best apps every gay traveller should have.

You have Successfully Subscribed!