Diving in Komodo Island
A bit of a giveaway from the name of the site, but this signature Komodo dive is the main location in Komodo to find manta rays - often as many as 10 or 20. It's a rock islet that just punctures the sea's surface in a small craggy chain, inside the bay along the south coast of Komodo Island.
You'll start your dive to the east of the rocks where another submerged mound rises to just a few metres below the surface. In the lee area between this mound and the rocky islet, where the maximum depth is 15 metres, there are almost always a couple of juvenile mantas playing around.
Another option however, is to drop down the steep eastern slope of the mound to the site's deepest section. Follow the slope of orange soft corals and encrusting invertebrates down to depth where giant trevally, white tip and black tip reef sharks roam in search of food. Make your way round to the north and in the direction of the islet chain, keeping alert for some huge black fantail rays resting on the bottom of the reef's substrate.
Eventually you arrive at a series of 3 underwater channels that run between the islet and its most northerly rocky protrusion. The channels are 18 metres or so deep and quite wide. Often schools of large bumphead parrotfish hang out here and mantas circle this area too.
Once you're through the channels onto the west side of the islet, you'll be out of bottom time and making your way up to 5 metres. Again the shallows here seem to be a favourite jaunt with manta rays. If the rays are not present then watch the surge areas close to the rocks. These are home to some formidably sized fish such as mangrove red snapper, emporers and giant sweetlips. Great barracuda often patrol here too.
Manta Alley is always one of the most frequently requested dives on any Komodo liveaboard, provided that you can handle the chill of these southern waters.
Manta Alley Reef Basics: Pinnacles and plateaus
Depth: 5 - 30m
Visibility: 10 - 20m
Surface conditions: Can be choppy
Water temperature: 20 - 25°C
Experience level: Beginner - intermediate
Number of dive sites: 2
Diving season: September to June
Distance: ~500 km east of Bali (25 hours)
Access: Komodo liveaboard diving
• Komodo Island travel information
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• Komodo - Indonesia
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