Komodo is justifiably famous for its incredible landscapes, biodiversity and, of course, its dragons, but the park is also an exceptional destination for regular sightings of manta rays throughout the year. In the south of the Komodo National Park, the cold, nutrient-rich upwellings that are so prevalent here create blooms of plankton when the cold water hits the sunlit shallows - perfect feeding conditions for manta rays. As such, the south is home to Komodo’s best manta site at the aptly named Manta Alley. Here large numbers of rays gather to feed on the plankton and visit a series of cleaning stations dotted along the reef. Whilst such large gatherings can never be guaranteed, divers can often witness squadrons of mantas feeding in unison, or get up close and personal with a ray as it hovers over a cleaning station.
The north of the park is dominated by warm, clear water and the marine life and habitats are both typical of reefs throughout Indonesia. And for those that still need their manta fix, Karang Makassar close to Batu Bulong and Tatawa is well known for congregations of rays that gather along the reef when the conditions and tides are perfect. The reef here is not the prettiest, but when the tide is running, all eyes are on the groups of manta rays that congregate here.
The north can be dived year round as the sites are sheltered from any rough seas that can impact the south whilst the south is best dived from October to December when the cold water and calm seas create perfect condition.
- Best for: Diving with groups of manta rays at Manta Alley in the south and Karang Makassar in the north - Komodo’s most reliable manta dive sites.
- Best time to visit: October to December for the south, March to October for the north.
- Best place to stay: Book a trip onboard Wicked Diving’s Komodo liveaboard and explore both the north and south of the incredible Komodo National Park. Get in touch to book your personalised experience.