Located in Horseshoe Bay between Rinca Island and Nusa Kode, Cannibal Rock is a pinnacle dive site that is always a favourite on a Komodo liveaboard trip itinerary. The tip of the pinnacle starts at just below the waters surface and descends down below 35m on the south side.
The coral and fish life on this dive site is abundant and colourful. Purple and red sea apples with stripes of golden spots are pretty when closed and beautiful when open and filter feeding with their yellow tentacles.
Blue anemones and huge gorgonian fans add more colour and are constantly moving in the current, which can be very strong at times. Sea whips, sponges and crinoids are all crammed in with the soft corals and are host to a myriad of smaller reef fish like damsels and anthias as well as shrimps, hermit crabs and nudibranchs.
Schools of fish include fusiliers and sweetlips, including Yellow Ribbon Sweetlips which are endemic to Komodo. Groupers and parrotfish are also numerous. Moray eels including giant moray and honeycomb moray can be seen. Green turtles are also resident here.
Reef sharks can be seen patrolling deeper parts of Cannibal Rock. Trevally hunt bait fish in packs. Black blotched sting rays are also seen in deeper areas. Pygmy seahorses can be found in the gorgonian sea fans. Also look out for long nosed hawk fish.
Visibility ranges from 5-30m. Cannibal Rock can be dived year round although surface conditions can be choppy from July to August. Currents can be strong at times but this site is more protected than other Komodo dive sites.
More Rinca Island dive sites
North of Cannibal Rock is a patch reef called Topedo Point because of all the torpedo rays that are found on the bottom here. It is also a great dive site for macro life such as frogfish, leaf scorpionfish, and pipefish.
Pods of dolphins are often seen on the surface in the bay between dives and it may be possible to snorkel with them.
Horseshoe bay is a wonderful place to anchor and watch the Komodo Dragons scavenging on the beach near by.
Yellow Wall Of Texas is a wall dive on the east coast of Nusa Kode to the south of Rinca Island. The colourful wall drops down below 30m and is covered with soft corals and seafans. It is not necessary to dive deep here as the shallow areas are the most colourful. Visibility is usually around 20m and although currents can be strong, this dive is normally a gentle drift with time to stop and explore for smaller critters such as pygmy seahorse, frogfish and long nosed hawkfish.
White tip reef sharks are occasionally seen in deeper water although they are less common than they once were. Green turtles are often seen feeding on the wall. Moray eels can be found poking out of coral crevices. Schools of fish include snapper and fusilier. Butterflyfish and sweetlips are numerous.
A good guide will be able to point out hundreds of nudibranch and crustaceans. In deeper waters you may be able to find a purple fire goby.
Yellow Wall of Texas is usually dived in the afternoon when the light hits the wall at the best angle. It also makes a superb night dive when the wall seems even more alive with crustaceans and free swimming morays plus parrotfish cocooned in the coral. Spanish Dancers may also be seen here.
Padar Island is located between Komodo and Rinca Islands, east of Komodo Island. To the south east of Pillar Island is a popular dive site called Pillarsteen or Pillar Rock. This is an expansive dive site made up of pinnacles, walls, sloping reefs, caves and swim-throughs. This is another dive site that is not suitable for beginner divers with strong currents and surge. Although it is not necessary to dive deep here it is possible to descend below 40m.
The deeper section of the dive site to the south are has some caves and caverns. The wall to the west is covered with colourful soft corals of yellow and orange plus seafans, sponges and sea squirts.
In the shallow areas is sloping reef with large leather corals, yellow sea cucumbers (holothurians) and purple fire urchins that divers will regret coming into contact with. Reef fish include sweetlips, angelfish, butterflyfish and black snapper. Schools of fuslier and surgeonfish are present as are lionfish, scorpionfish and moray eels.
Slightly north of Pillarsteen is Tiga Dara or Three Sisters, three large submerged rocks that start at 4m below the surface and drop down to around 30m. Soft coral and sponges cover the rocks and are home to reef fish and nudibranchs.
Crinoid Canyon, or Criniod Corner is located on Nusa Kode at the entrance to Horseshoe Bay and is an excellent morning dive when the sunlight catches the wall to best display it’s colours. The colourful criniods, soft corals and sponges make for a very colourful wall dive. This is a dive site for seeing all manner of small critters like shrimps, crabs, gobies, cowries and nudibranchs. Moray eels are also plentiful on the wall. Maximum depth is 25m and currents are usually weak making this a dive suitable for all levels of diver. Visibility ranges from just 5m up to 20m.
Boulders is located close to Crinoid Canyon and is another good critter dive. The submerged rocks down to 35m are home to diverse marine life.
Toro Sie is a rock off the south east coast of Rinca Island. The surrounding reef is covered with soft corals and featherstars and is home to an abundant of small reef fish, crustaceans and nudibranchs. Maximum depth is 35m and visibility ranges from 5-30m
Payung Island has some interesting rock formations, canyons and crevices for divers to explore. It can be dived on the north or south sides and the maximum depth is 30m. Visibility is 5-20m. Schools of snapper and trevally plus grouper and large wrasse are seen.