Immerse yourself in the diverse underwater world of Komodo Island!
Since 1991 the Komodo National Park is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is located in the region of the Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara). The Park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands, with a total area of 1817 square km. Originally the park was established as a sanctuary for the Komodo dragons. Later the protection was extended to include the entire flora and fauna, above and below the sea.
The dive sites here offer an incredible variety of dives, which makes this cruise so special. Marvel at one day at a leisurely dive, the rarest creatures in the macro range, and the next day drift with manta rays and large schools of fish. You can find over 1,000 species of fish in these waters, 260 species of reef corals, 70 different sponges, 17 species of whales and dolphins and two species of sea turtles.
Pindito puts great importance to plan the best possible tour for their guest. When planning the route, many factors play an important role. The most important factor is the weather. Since there can be storms in the tropics at any time, Pindito might change routes and itineraries at short notice.
The tour starts in Bali and leads through the middle of the Komodo National Park, passing the island Sangeang. Most of the time is spent around the islands of Banta, Komodo and Rinca. You also visit the smaller islands of Gili Lawa Laut and Tatawa Besar. The ship does a final stop at the island of Moyo, before heading back to Bali.
Twice a year the cruise starts or ends at Maumere on Flores Island. This is the link to the "Biodiversity cruise" from Maumere to Sorong (or vice versa). On this itinerary you spend more time at individual dive sites, especially in the Komodo National Park. It requires a domestic flight from Bali to Maumere (or vice versa).
A definite highlight is the dive site at the hot underwater springs. These send up gas bubbles from the black sand forming a magnificent contrast to the huge black corals and sea fans. If you look closely here you find pygmy seahorses in big numbers on the sea fans. Other places around the island, such as Masuk Sungai, Bohon Mera and Tanjung Barat offer fascinating dives. Soft and hard corals are fighting for the best places, countless nudibranchs, pipefish, frogfish, seahorses and cuttlefish can be admired.
On the island itself there are two active volcanoes, the Doro Api and Doro Montoi. At the hot and dry coastal area, savannah-like grasslands have formed with shrub vegetation. From the deck of the Pindito you can regularly observe large water buffalo grazing. Due to the volcanic origin the sand is black, which offers a stunning contrast to the remaining vegetation, both above and below water.
Banta has two of the most famous dive sites, the "Banta Wall" and the "GPS point". With regular strong currents in the open water, these dive sites are just made for big fish encounters. With a little luck you will find swarms of surgeon fish, red snapper, mackerel of all kinds, and of course barracudas, white tip sharks and grey reef sharks. If you like adrenalin rushes, the "Highway to Hell" will top this experience with a roller coaster dive. This beautiful wall, surprises ever again with its varying strong currents. For lovers of night-dives at the cozy "Critters" is a highlight of the tour! Here, all the animals "hang" out in the sand: hunting lionfish, stonefish and wandering octopuses. The stars of the evening, however, are the Stargazers who bury themselves almost unrecognizable in the sand, waiting to be discovered.
Rinca & Komodo
The waters around Rinca are fairly cool for this part of the world and can drop to 22 C degrees. A 5-7mm wetsuit is strongly recommended to enjoy the beauty of the Horseshoe Bay. The "Yellow Wall of Texas" and "Cannibal Rock" are world famous sites. They offer many colorful soft corals and feather stars in a small space. Every millimeter is overgrown and invigorated, you can spend hours admiring them and enjoy, if only there were not so many fish that obstruct your view!
Another highlight of the tour you are all waiting for is a visit to the Komodo dragons! The Komodo dragon lives exclusively in Indonesia and has its maximum length of 3 meters and weighs more than 70kg. It is the largest living lizard. Due to the enormous size they are referred to as the "dragon".
Accompanied by a park ranger, our tour through the National Park starts early in the morning. Not only the dragons can be observed at close range, but also macaque monkeys, wild boar, deer and water buffalos. With a bit of luck we can watch the lizards eating. Their saliva is poisonous and their bites kill quickly. The otherwise rather sluggish animals are very active when they hunt and to track their prey. They can reach enormous speeds for up to 15 seconds. Younger lizards prefer rodents and birds, adult lizards can kill bigger animals like deer, wild boars, macaques, snakes, wild dogs and horses. From a hilltop, one has a fantastic view over the valleys and the large bay where Pindito will be on anchor.
Tatawa Besar & Gili Lawa Laut
The small island of Tatawa Besar is locatedto the north of Rinca which means warmer waters! The island always has some slight current. It is perfect for a relaxing drift dive along the approximately 1km long island. You drift very relaxed along a slanted slope that is covered with beautiful yellow and orange soft coral. With a bit of luck, Mantas can be seen here.
"Karang Tokto" and "Batu Batu Dekat" at Gili Lawa Laut are first class dive sites. This are two drop offs which are perfect for divers. You'll be taken by the amount of fish in the water and hardly have time to notice the stunning beauty of the surrounding reefscape. Again the whole array of pelagic fish will come in from jacks in all shapes and forms to white tip and grey reef sharks.
The port of Maumere is an amazing and diverse dive are. Discover various pipefish and seahorses, frogfish, scorpion fish, various, countless colorful nudibranchs, as well as barracuda and batfish. The Pindito crew calls this dive site "blue water muck diving"!