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Megafauna: Best Komodo Dive Sites to Find Your Favourite

Have you still got a certain species of megafauna that seems like it’s a buried treasure that will never be found? Well, look no further than this blog post.

What you’ll find below will make a SCUBA enthusiast richer than any gold ever will. You’ll find the directions to steer yourself toward the ideal Komodo dive sites for ticking those elusive giants off of your SCUBA bucket list. No need to thank us for making your day. We’ve got you.

Komodo’s megafauna

Komodo National Park’s aim is to preserve marine life, meaning that the park has ideal conditions for endangered species to thrive. Critically Endangered species, such as the hawksbill turtle, are seen more often in protected dive sites. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assesses species around the globe on their risk of extinction. The IUCN rank has been noted for each megafauna species in Komodo National Park, showing just how many species of megafauna are at risk.

Komodo National Park is one of the best places to view rare species in their natural habitat.

Reef manta ray

IUCN Rank: Vulnerable

Kicking us off are reef manta rays. Reef manta ray are magical to see, whether from the surface snorkeling or while diving in the deep. They are a must-see for any megafauna lover. Growing up to 5m, you will be awestruck when you are in their presence and humbled by both their size and elegant movements. So, it’s great to know that here in Komodo National Park there are three places to view them.

A manta ray in Komodo National Park

Dive site: Manta Point (Makassar Reef)

Makassar Reef is the Central Komodo dive site where you are most likely to spot a manta. The unfortunate use of dynamite fishing in the past has led to the formation of this rubble plateau. The area, situated in a channel between the Indian and Pacific ocean, has become the perfect place for manta rays to clean and feed. Spot them in their cleaning stations as you drift past or hold onto a piece of rubble to enhance your viewing time. Just make sure not to touch anything living – including the corals!

Dive site: Mawan

This beautiful dive site in Central Komodo is home to a stunning coral garden and is a great place to spot mantas. Whether in their cleaning stations or making their way along the reef it’s always a wonder to behold. Mawan comes with its own manta viewpoint. A natural sandy slope positioned in the perfect place for mantas to fly over it and for you to snap a picture.

Dive site: The Cauldron

While enjoying the current in this North Komodo dive site, you can also see manta rays flying in a shallow plateau alongside you. We will usually end this dive in a beautiful coral reef called China Shop. It has corals bigger than you ever imagined. China Shop is the perfect example of a healthy thriving coral reef.


Turtles

Six of the seven species of sea turtle in the world are and threatened with extinction. In Komodo, it is common to see two species of turtle, the hawksbill and green sea turtle.

Green turtle

IUCN Rank: Endangered

Due to the protection the park provides, there is the possibility of seeing a green sea turtle at almost every dive site. Although, there are sites that are more abundant than others.

A green sea turtle resting on the reef in Komodo National Park

Dive site: Siaba Besar

If you are keen to see a green turtle head to Siaba Besar. Siaba Besar is home to an amazing coral garden which is often called ‘Turtle City’. As the name suggests, there are plenty of turtles you’ll see lounging around the reef.

Hawksbill turtle

IUCN Rank: Critically Endangered

A serrated shell and sharp beak set the hawksbill turtle apart from the green sea turtle.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle in Komodo National Park at Batu Bolong dive site

Dive site: Manta Point (Makassar Reef)

On this drift dive, you’ll sometimes spot one chilling in the sand.

Dive site: Batu Bolong

Batu Bolong is one of the top dive sites in Asia and often you’ll spot a hawksbill turtle here. On the pinnacles sloping reef, you can see hawksbill turtles snacking on the reef’s algae.

Dive site: Tatawa Besar

Tatawa Besar means ‘big smile’. If you want to tick the hawksbill turtle off of your list then you’re likely to have a smile alike to the name of the island. Tatawa’s coral reef is unlike other dive sites. Tatawa has bright blue, orange and yellow hard corals that make it look like an artist’s masterpiece. Remember, if you don’t spot the turtle at least you’ve seen this one of a kind reef.

Sharks

In Komodo, we have had sightings of many species of shark. Listed below are the species that you are the most likely to see. When you dive, remember that anything is possible here. There have been reports of thresher and hammerhead sharks around the park. You never know, you may get lucky.

Black and White-tip reef sharks

IUCN Rank: Near Threatened

It’s common to see black and white-tip reef sharks around many areas of Komodo National Park.

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Dive site: Batu Bolong

For white-tip reef sharks, head to Batu Bolong. You’ll find baby white-tip reef sharks hiding under table coral and adult sharks resting below the surface on the pinnacle’s plateau.

Dive site: Tatawa Besar

Swimming around the reefs of Tatawa Besar, you’ll find black-tip reef sharks heading into the blue.

Dive site: Castle Rock

In the North of Komodo, you will find this open water dive site. Castle Rock is a huge pinnacle underwater which peaks at 4m deep. You are likely to experience the thrill of a strong current while being surrounded by white and black-tip reef sharks on patrol of the area. The North is the place to come and see sharks a-plenty.

Dive site: Crystal Rock

Another pinnacle in the North, this site derives its name from its crystal clear visibility and the pinnacle which is exposed at low tide. Crystal Rock is the site for people who are shark fanatics with experience diving in currents

Grey bamboo shark

IUCN Rank: Near Threatened

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Dive site: Manta Point (Makassar Reef)

These sharks can be found hovering on sandy bottoms which explains why the best place to see one is Manta Point. The rubble plateau is the perfect place for the bamboo shark to rest.

Guitar shark

IUCN Rank: Endangered

Also known as the guitarfish, these sharks have flattened heads and trunks.

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Dive site: Tatawa Besar

Guitar sharks aren’t common in Komodo National Park but when they are, Tatawa Besar is the dive site mentioned.

Grey reef shark

IUCN Rank: Near Threatened

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Dive site : Crystal and Castle Rock

It is unlikely to see grey reef sharks in Central Komodo but they can be seen in the North. In the North, Crystal and Castle Rock are the best sites to search.

Dolphins

Said to be one of the most intelligent creatures in the sea, dolphins are a pleasure for anyone to see.

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Dive site: Crystal Rock

On our trips to the North, sometimes we have been lucky enough to see dolphins frolicking around in the blue. We can’t guarantee you will see a dolphin but we can guarantee an adventure. Especially if we are heading to the North.

Dugong

IUCN Rank: Vulnerable

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Dive site: Siaba Kecil

Few of us have been able to tick dugongs off of our list. Yet, there have been sightings of dugongs in Siaba Kecil, which makes us keep our fingers crossed. Remember what we said, anything is possible in Komodo National Park.

Show me the Komodo megafauna

While we can’t predict if a species will show up for you, on most day trips we see mantas, turtles, and at least one shark. We can guarantee that Komodo National Park’s marine life is thriving and you will have an unforgettable day.

For some of our dive sites, you will need to have a certain level of experience and certification. As the currents in the North are stronger, we only take advanced open water divers. So, to head to the North and see the myriad of sharks there, you’ll need to book on for your advanced open water course. Don’t worry you’ll definitely have fun doing so, especially in Komodo.

We can’t wait to have you on board and help you in your discovery.