Karang Makassar Dive Site

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This dive site is also known as Manta Point and is one of the best dive sites in the Komodo area for divers to catch a glimpse of manta rays in numbers often reaching groups of 50. Unlike similar dive sites in the area, the dive site does not have an amazing underwater scenery and the coral growth is rather weak in comparison to other sites, but it is still is a very popular dive site because of the resident manta rays. They can be seen in most parts of the site as they remain in the deeper parts of the site to be cleaned and then move towards the surface to feed. This means divers can find them at any depth and all year around; between December and February, there are larger numbers.

Diver with Manta at Manta Point, Komodo

Diver with Manta at Karang Makassar (Manta Point) – Photo Credit: Kaelyn Lynch

The dive site is relatively shallow as well with a maximum depth of 17 metres. Most divers average around 10 metres of depth, though. Visibility is not normally higher than 25 metres but it is usually good and the currents are moderate. The moderate currents are perfect for diving as they allow divers to descend and then follow the currents to the dive spot. The dive site has some rocks and only a few areas of corals and has sometimes been described as having a lunar seascape with huge craters and large sandy dunes at the bottom. The groups of manta rays more than make up for this lack of scenery.

There is a small amount of macro life that can be found in the rubble on the sea floor and the few bommies that do exist in the area are quite vibrant. Divers should be able to see many other marine creatures including schools of bump head parrotfish, trevallies, marble rays, eagle rays, white tip reef sharks, and black tip reef sharks. Bamboo sharks are also becoming more common. Whilst it is clear that the manta rays visit the area to be cleaned and to feed, there has been no confirmed reason why they gather at this particular spot.

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Kaelyn Lynch November 06, 2017

This site essentially states its purpose in its name: Mantas. The premise is simple: drift low along a coral rubble bottom, spot a manta, get down, hang on, and enjoy the show.

When the “big flappy things,” did show up, it was often in droves. On one dive, I saw over 40 individuals, doing just about every behavior imaginable.

There were some circling around bommies, mouths and gills open wide to allow cleaner fish to scurry in and out; ones in mating trains, led by a large female swooping and barrel rolling as a long string of males attempted to match her every move to win her affection; ones feeding on the surface, huge mouths agape to catch the plankton drifting in the current.

Sometimes, however, just watching one or two mantas for the entire dive was a treat, as they would eventually grow comfortable, and begin to interact with us.

When the mantas decided to stay home on occasion, they’d often send spotted eagle rays, sharks, and turtles in their place. But, when they did decide to grace us with their presence, a good dive became downright magical.

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