Flores dive sites
The large island of Flores, to the east of Komodo, often gets overlooked by divers. Some Komodo liveaboard trips start at Maumere but head straight to Komodo without diving Flores dive sites. That’s a shame because Flores has a great deal to offer underwater.
The 1992 tsunami caused a lot of damage to local reefs but the regeneration of the reefs has been speedy. Many dive sites are back to their former glory however dynamite fishing is still a problem in places.
Flores is a very bio diverse area with many endemic marine species. Critter hunters will not be disappointed. This is a great area to explore. There are many places where divers could be the first to dive and discover a new dive site.
Flores dive sites
Maumere house reefs are home to a wide variety of macro critters like frogfish, leaf scorpionfish, ornate ghost pipefish and mimic octopus.
Pangah Balang is a good place to see some bigger fish like reef sharks and eagle rays. Divers can descend down the sloping wall to 30m. The wall is covered with healthy soft corals and gorgonian sea fans. Stingrays are found on the sandy bottom, along with patches of garden eels, plus different goby and shrimp species. Also look out for mantis shrimp and cuttlefish. The colourful reef is home to schools of fish, moray eels, lionfish, scorpionfish and frogfish. Very large bumphead parrotfish are also seen here. Currents can be strong here.
Wai Terang is a World War II Japanese freighter that is lying on it’s side on a slope in 12-25m depth. Coral growth on the wreck is impressive, you’ll see that lots of smaller fish have made their home here. However visibility can often be poor
The drop off that runs parallel to the beach at Babi Island shows no signs of the 1992 tsunami that completely engulfed by the island and took over 1000 lives. The wall drops down to 50m and is covered with pristine soft corals and large gorgonian seafans. Currents can be strong which makes this a drift dive. But when possible it’s worth stopping and exploring every seafan and coral crevice because the reef life is prolific. Frogfish and leaffish are seen, as are seahorse and ghost pipefish. Moray eels are numerous, ribbon eels are also seen. Schools of glassfish, snapper and fusilier cover the wall. Parrotfish, butterflyfish, angelfish and wrasse are abundant. On the shallow reef flat it’s possible to see eagle rays, reef sharks and turtles. Visibility is usually excellent.
Magic Log at Adonara Island off the east coast of Flores is one of the better known sites in this area. Here divers can find frogfish, leaffish, ribbon eels, mimic octopus and much more. The highlight though is the chance to see the much sought after Weedy Scorpionfish (Rhinopia).
Lambata Island also has some excellent dive sites where divers can see anything from reef sharks in the deeper areas to pygmy seahorse closer to shore. Liveaboard trips to this area often make a land visit onto Lamalera Village. Here you can meet the local villagers who fish for whales in tiny wooden outrigger boats during the whale season.