We started this trip with a morning dive at Angel Reef, Moyo Island. As usual for this place, crystal clear water and lots of fish, including Longfin Bannerfish, Redtooth Triggerfish and a zillion Anthias. On the wall, a couple of Ribbon Eels, up in the shallows Pink Squat Lobsters, Mantis Shrimps and a huge field of Spaghetti Garden Eels.
Continuing to nearby Satonda Island, the critter hunters amongst us had a whale of a time. Rare nudibranchs, all kinds of shrimps and crabs, Mushroom Coral Pipefish and, the stars of the show, Denise Pygmy Seahorses! Before the nightdive, we watched the Fruit Bats flying home to Sumbawa Island. Spectacular, with thousands of them leaving, just when the sun sets every day.
On our way east, we stopped at Gili Lawalaut for a scenic hike, with a glorious view of the Komodo Channel. Nearby divesites Castle Rock and Crystal Rock are among the best in the area, with huge schools of Surgeonfish, Unicornfish, Sweetlips, Snappers and Jackfish as well Grey Reef Sharks, Whitetip Sharks and a good chance for an Eagle Ray or three.
A trip to this area wouldn’t be complete without a land tour on Komodo Island itself, trying to locate a Dragon – the biggest lizard in the world! They can be up to 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) – impressive! This trip we were very lucky, and found a Dragon within the first 10 minutes or so! Later in the afternoon, while moored up at Rinca Island, we had several more Komodo Dragons on the beach just in front of us.
But the point of going here, into Horseshoe Bay, is to dive one of the top 10 divesites in the world – Cannibal Rock!! The place is just amazing, absolutely full of life!! Featherstars, Soft Corals, Sea Apples, Giant Frogfish, Zebra Crabs, Coleman Shrimps and all the Nudibranchs in the book. Anywhere you look, you’ll find something interesting and unusual! The place really deserves its ranking!
Next morning we headed off to Manta Alley at the south-east corner of Komodo, and were greeted by 20-25 Mantas, all busy feeding close to the surface. Cracking dive, with fantastic photo and video opportunities!
Another day of excellent diving in the Komodo National Park, and we rounded off this trip with a couple of dives at Moyo Island before cruising into the sunset back to harbor at Bali with a beautiful view of Lombok.