Scuba Diving Komodo
The prevailing current, north or south, will dictate where you enter at the main dive site of Tatawa Besar ("Big Tatawa"), some 30km east of Komodo's northern-most point. When the current runs south, chances are you'll drop into a 2 or 3+ knot white-water current, probably on the north west corner of the island.
The first stage of your dive can happen rather quickly and will require all of your attention as you are hit with an up-current just before you reach the split in the current. Then you'll descend down the endless sloping reef of orange soft corals that runs along the western coast of this island, to around 20 metres.
Turtles seem to be everywhere and you can expect to see many as you navigate the site. Before you leave the currents behind watch out for the blacktip reef sharks, giant trevallies, great and black-tail barracudas. Manta rays also make occasional guest appearances.
Once you round the southern corner, the rollercoaster is over for this dive and you'll have time to appreciate the remainder of your stay at this beautiful Komodo scuba diving site. Bumphead parrotfish are resident here and you're likely to meet quite few of them in loose groups.
Further south and slightly west of Tatawa Besar is a rocky islet called Batu Besar, meaning big stone, and this is the location of a dive site called 'Current City'. Diving in Komodo often takes the form of drift dives. East of the Batu Besar, as the name suggests, currents can regularly exceed 3 knots, making for some serious drift diving. If the current is this strong along the east face however, it is usually fairly calm along the west.
The west face of Batu Besar offers a series of steep drops to about 30 metres, and several interesting coral caves. The soft coral cover is very good, and there are lots of fish, including large schools of sweetlips. Sharks are again common here, as are turtles and very large fantail stingrays.
Also to the south of Tatawa Besar is Tatawa Kecil ("Little Tatawa"). It's best to dive the west coast of this island to explore its vibrant shallow coral gardens full of anthias. Its caves and boulders are perfect harbours for larger groupers. There are also large schools of humpback snapper, titan triggerfish and the occassional orange-spotted trevally.
Tatawa Island Reef Basics: Fringing reef and steep banks with turtles
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 15 - 25m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Can be rough
Water temperature: 21 - 27°C
Experience level: Advanced
Number of dive sites: 3
Diving season: March to December
Distance: ~500 km east of Bali (25 hours)
Access: Liveaboard scuba diving in Komodo
• Komodo Island travel information
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• Komodo - Indonesia
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