Liveaboard Diving in Komodo National Park

What to expect on a Komodo National Park liveaboard

Liveaboard diving in Komodo National Park consists of itineraries to the main islands of Komodo, Rinca, Padar and Flores along with numerous smaller islands in the Lesser Sunda Islands in the centre of the Indonesian Islands. It covers an area of 1,733 km2 more than half of which is marine park. The park was originally designated as a protected area in 1980 to preserve its namesake inhabitants the Komodo Dragon and is now home to amazing Komodo dive cruises.

Six years later UNESCO declared the area a Biosphere and World Heritage Site in order to protect all of the unique flora and fauna living on the 29 islands in the park, to now offer some of the best liveaboard diving in Indonesia. On land, Komodo is home to several species that only live on these islands such as the rinca rat and the komodo cross frog. There are also cloud forests in the higher regions which support a range of rare fauna and many Komodo itineraries also offer land based trips to see these amazing sights.

The terrestrial flora and fauna is however considered less plentiful that the aquatic life of Komodo. The waters around the islands are also protected by the national park with numerous mangrove forests with unique ecosystems and aquatic life. The presence of reef building corals and abundant pelagic life also make this place unique. Mantas are frequent visitors along with mola mola, a variety of dolphins and whales and the occasional whale shark. On land and underwater Komodo is a naturalist’s paradise with fantastic topography and landscapes with sweeping bays, volcanic hills and even a pink sand beach. Dive cruises in Komodo generally include at least an afternoon or day trip for an Komodo island tour to sneak in a Komodo Dragon sighting and see the beautiful flora and fauna.

Komodo National Park Underwater

Sailing in Komodo the waters are highly varied with beautiful stretches of shallow coral reefs, deep walls and pinnacles as well as current swept volcanic mounts. The islands host a variety of different life as well. Macro lovers will find a wealth of critters such as shrimp, frogfish and nudibranch. Being inside the coral triangle, diving in Komodo offers a wide variety of reefs that are humming with activity, it can be enough just to sit and watch the comings and goings. Komodo is home to several reef building corals, hence its protected status.

If you are looking for something bigger then a Komodo dive cruise won’t disappoint. Mola mola are also frequent visitors to Komodo drawn by strong currents and rich waters. More occasional visitors are whales and dolphins which are attracted by the plankton rich waters. There is even a small chance that you might see a whale shark passing by.

Mainly though, a Komodo liveaboard is the place to see mantas, in fact if you are a little bit lucky you can even have the chance to see several mantas in one dive. The best time of year for seeing mantas is the rainy season between December and February although they are here year round. The visibility is at its best in December and January with more than 30 meters in some areas, although the sea conditions can be a little rougher.

Guests aboard a Komodo National Park dive cruise can typically expect to do 3 - 4 dives per day, except for departure and return day. Itineraries run anywhere from 3 nights to 2 weeks, so there are dive safaris to suit everyone's budget and timeframes, and boats range from simple to high-end luxury.

Dive Sites Of Komodo National Park

A Komodo dive trip is undoubtedly the best way to experience the Komodo National park, which is blessed not only with abundant marine life but also a huge number and range of different dive sites.

BATU BALONG is one of the jewels in Komodo’s crown with the beautiful coral gardens simply humming with fish life. The strong currents and deep walls also offer the opportunity for big fish as well. Sharks and huge napoleon wrasse can be seen in these deeper waters offering photographers the chance to get some amazing shots.

MANTA ALLEY - Many divers come to Komodo to see the mantas though and there are few places better than Manta Alley. The site is relatively shallow with much of it around 10-20 meters/ 32-65 ft. allowing a nice long dive time to spend with what can be double digits of mantas and other rays. If you are lucky you might see the younger ones playing and swimming around each other.

MANTA POINT similarly offers the opportunity to dive with mantas which come to this patch to feed in the currents. This is a drift dive with some serious current and you will likely be drifting with numerous mantas as well as white tip reef sharks, unicorn fish and the small but fierce mantis shrimp.

GOLDEN PASSAGE , close to Gili Lawa Darat is also one of the signature dives of Komodo with the expected currents making it a drift dive. Divers can drift down and over the coral reef to see reef sharks and sometimes even dolphins and mantas swimming through.

Top Tips For Divers

  • The local language is Indonesian although there are a great number of local dialects in Komodo.
  • The currency is the Indonesian Rupiah and the predominant religion is Islam so dressing modestly during land excursions is recommended.
  • The currents in Komodo can be extreme so it is important to stay with the dive leader as they will know the area and where dangerous areas with down currents are.
  • The temperature of the water varies enormously between north and south so bring extra thermal protection to avoid getting cold.

Getting To Komodo National Park

The islands of Komodo National Park are very fortunately still off the beaten track for tourism. There are a huge number of dive sites and some which are quite remote making a Komodo liveaboard the best option for visiting the park. There are also day boats which leave from Labuan Bajo and can take from thirty minutes’ transit, to several hours depending on the dive sites.

There are a variety of different Indonesian Liveaboards to suit different budgets and tastes. There are motor vessels available but most are the traditional phinisi, an beautiful Indonesian two-masted sailboat converted for diving. Divers can enjoy the experience of peaceful sailing and fine accommodation with purspose built diving facilities on board.

Liveaboards either leave from Bali or Labuan Bajo which can be reached from Bali International Airport (Ngurah Rai) with regular flights to Asia and connections further afield. There is also a several day long ferry to Labuan Bajo although this is reserved for those more adventurous travellers.


Komodo National Park Diving Reviews

  • 9.3 Superb
  • 70 Verified Reviews
  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Chit Her C
  • Malaysia Malaysia

Most of the dive sites comes with currents, so a reef hook maybe a good idea. Full moon will bring the stronger currents and the new moon phase brings weaker currents. So checking the moon position can be a good decision before booking a slot..

Diving Komodo National Park in November on the Komodo Shalom

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Julia S
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Wonderful diversity of corals and fish and non-vertebrae. Even though there are several Live Aboard ships and diving boats around, no dive site ever crowded (maybe also just really well chosen by our dive master / manager) . Very good night dives

Diving Komodo National Park in November on the Queenesia

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Joy S
  • Singapore Singapore

Different and unique corals and marine life

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Yoshi

  • 7.2 Good
  • Frank F
  • United States United States

Very good, healthy reef, diverse aquatic life

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Cajoma IV

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Robyn A
  • South Africa South Africa

Absolutely beautiful. Strong currents but the variety of fish and corals make it worth it

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Mermaid II

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • diego L
  • Mexico Mexico

The reefs are the healthiest Ive seen, so much density, diversity, colors, all sizes of animals

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Komodo Shalom

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Avital F
  • United States United States

In general the diving was incredible!

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Komodo Shalom

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Diane W
  • United States United States

The conservation efforts established by the Indonesian government have paid off handsomely in preserving a most beautiful and healthy environment.

Diving Komodo National Park in September on the La Galigo

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Thomas F
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Excellent - some of the best we have been lucky enough to do anywhere in the world.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Mutiara Laut

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Lau Y
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Colour corals and plenty of fishes

Diving Komodo National Park in September on the Ratu Pelangi

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Matthieu N
  • Belgium Belgium

Excellent but some really strong currents on some dive sites.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Ratu Pelangi

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Victor B
  • United States United States

Good. Nice combination of big and small things. VERY healthy and lush reef.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Solitude Adventurer

  • 8.0 Very good
  • David G
  • United States United States

Mantas, a few sharks and lots of very healthy corals

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Mermaid II

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Nicholas L
  • Australia Australia

World class corals d fish life!

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Tanaka

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Matthew M
  • United States United States

Excellent. Huge variety of fish, coral, and dive sites in a relatively small park.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Emperor Raja Laut

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kieran M
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Lots of nice corals, you can see big pelagic fishes in the distance, as well as small and colorful ones. Some nice nudis and lot of small little critters.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Carpe Diem

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Martin S
  • Australia Australia

The reef and the aquatic life all seem very healthy. Plenty of islands to dive off.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Lady Denok

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Gordon P
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great diving, lots of fish, with Mantas and more.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Tanaka

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • AJ R
  • New Zealand New Zealand

Diving was world class - just need to ensure it stays that way by assisting divers to help with rubbish pick ups on the islands ... and also ensure they don't over subscribe number of divers to sites ... keep it sustainable is my advice

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Jaya

  • 7.6 Good
  • Arkadiy B
  • United States United States

Great diving, but lots of currents.

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Jaya

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Paul B
  • France France

Sharks, turtles, best corals, and lots of both Pelagics and macro life

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Duyung Baru

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Huseyin A
  • Turkey Turkey

very good for drift diving and requires some experience at certain parts

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Ilike

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Dominik W
  • Germany Germany

Well organized and a great experience

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Mikumba 2

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Rudolf F
  • Austria Austria

There are spezial dive sites

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Mermaid II

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Olga S
  • Netherlands Netherlands

The dive sites were all different with so much to see.

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Cajoma IV

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Fred G
  • United States United States

Wide veriatty of dive sites and dive topagraphy.

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Mermaid II

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Jeonghyun O
  • South Korea South Korea

Very specifically and multiple species of fishes, corals.

Diving Komodo National Park in March on the La Unua

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • peter G
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Komodo is beautiful and full of life above and below the water

Diving Komodo National Park in October on the Lalunia

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Benjamin K
  • United States United States

excellent; so many coral and animal life!

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Lady Denok

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Robert G
  • United States United States

Good, generally 7.5 out of 10

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Samambaia

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Zack K
  • United States United States

Overall one of the best places dive in the world.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Empress II

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Caren L
  • United States United States

Out of this world diving experience. Tons of current and I mean strong current but the underwater life was the best I have seem

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Kira Kira

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Ngung Chia S
  • Singapore Singapore

Excellent - plenty of marine life diversity

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Empress II

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Rula A
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Absolute magic. It is God's own garden!

Diving Komodo National Park in June on the Mermaid I

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Michael R
  • Canada Canada

Pretty reefs with a good variety of fish.

Diving Komodo National Park in July on the Mermaid I

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Christian B
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Awesome, great marine life and a lot of spots to do current dives.

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Calico Jack

  • 6.8 Review score
  • Phil M
  • United States United States

Diving is good but if there is current which there was don't expect good visibility. Lots of creatures to see at night so don't miss the night dives!!!

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Mermaid II

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Elisabetta S
  • Italy Italy

Clean and warm water, good vis, lots to see..what else?!?!

Diving Komodo National Park in May on the Duyung Baru

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Elisabetta S
  • Italy Italy

Only in few occasion had drift dive, but enjoyed. Manta alley incredibly crowded of these beauties

Diving Komodo National Park in August on the Mermaid II