Komodo is one of the most interesting and extreme diving destinations in the world. Also known as the Galapagos of the East, it is located east of Bali between the two large islands of Sumbawa and Flores. Here in this relatively narrow channel, it separates the large Banda Sea to the north from the greater Indian Ocean to the south. While in the park on liveaboard trip, you can literally stand on-deck while in the park and be at the meeting place of two large oceans. Daily tidal fluctuations between the two large bodies of water create currents which bring in bountiful amount of nutrients and food to the marine environment, giving the area some of the lushest reefs and abundant marine life of anywhere in the world.
The dive sites are abundant and varied; from diving with big fish on current swept sea mounds and pinnacles to drift dives with mantas on softly slopping reefs, to navigating large underwater boulders and walls, or enjoying sandy muck dives loaded with fantastic macro life, Komodo offers something for everyone. As in most of Indonesia, the diving usual involves current, so some experience is recommended. But no matter the level of diver, everyone can sharpen their diving skills and enjoy a beautiful area.
During most of the year the diving is separated into warmer clearer water to the north, and cooler greener waters to the south. But from December to February, with the oncoming North West Monsoon, the seasons are switched and so to is the temps and visibility in the park, which range from 29 to 24 degrees Celsius and 30+ to 10 meters.
Komodo National Park is also home to the world's largest monitor lizard; the Komodo Dragon. The entire area is considered a micro-climate ecosystem of dry grasslands, which is the only habitat where you can find these amazing creatures. No trip to the area is without a trek on either Komodo or Rinca Islands, the two best places to find them. Park Rangers accompany groups in search of these majestic creatures, while also stopping along the way to observe other wildlife naturally living in the area.
Most liveaboard trips depart either from Labuanbajo in Flores, or return from Bali. The advantage to trips from Labuanbajo is that you spend more time diving in the Park. The advantage to trips to/from Bali is that you get to dive in remote places along the way, such as the bubbling black sand reefs of volcanoes, Moyo National Park, and Gili Banta.